Thank you China!

Maybe I shouldn‘t start off writing about last weeks Beijing trip with the following but I was really thinking a lot about it afterwards.
Among all the sites we visited in Beijing was of course also the ‚Olympic Green‘, the area with all the stadiums, etc. of last years Olympic Games. The first thing that was already confusing was the term ‚Olympic Green‘ which is in reality a grey concrete stretch with some trees planted along the way and the stadiums to both sides. The ‚birds nest‘, the famous stadium built by ‚Herzog & deMeuron‘, looks really impressive from the distance but when you get closer you notice that after only one year it looks somewhat dirty and torn down. To some degree I‘m quite sure this is because of the Chinese ‚construction art‘ (quick and dirty) but some parts are simply left the way they were when the last visitors left the games. Inside it’s similar, but of course also impressive to see. Just walking down in the arena where all the famous sports legends walked not even a year ago is really amazing. Across the street is the ‚water cube‘, the Olympic aquatics center. The outside as well as the inside seem a lot more professional than the birds nest. Behind it along the way are several more stadiums, a Conference Centre that seems to be rebuilt or repaired (after one year???) and eventually on the far end is a park area. On the search for the Olympic village we walked the few kilometres to find out that it doesn‘t exist anymore. It’s another concrete area in the size of a shopping mall parking lot with a trash yard in front of it. In the entrance area where the most representative buildings are it’s still kept in considerably good shape but moving further along the road you realize the waste that comes along with an event like this. We eventually came along a small pavillion of the company ‚GE‘ (General Electrics) that seemed to have been something like a showroom (or similar). Outdoor stairs lead to the top where you can find a formerly beautiful roof-top terrace. The pools that must have created a very relaxed atmosphere are dried out and of course it’s dirty and trashed. Two elevators are leading up from downstairs, the doors are rusty and the elevator doesn‘t seem to work anymore. When we walked around the building we found an unlocked entrance. The building is now used by the workers (gardeners, cleaning staff) that is still working on the field. Among tables, discarded jury chairs and huge glossy prints the workers set up their housing. The inside is completely trashed everything seems like a surreal art work but unfortunately is not.
At latest here you realize that the Olympic Games are really over and what’s left behind is an unbelievable amount of trash and wasted resources.


the Olympic Village


inside the ‚GE‘ pavillion




the ‚GE‘ pavillion from outside


I guess it used to be a very relaxing roof-top terrace


a shopping mall built only for the Olympic Games now completely empty