After completing my nightshift on Monday morning and catching a quick nap, I went to collect Shanshan & Nicole from Beijing's old International Airport with Emily. Once the new arrivals got settled, Emily Tours took us for a stroll round Hou/Qianhai Lake (where I also had dinner with Atos Origin a couple of days earlier). Actually it is right next to a world renowned sports school. Once we got sufficiently starved, our culinary guide took us to the magnificent Beijing DaDong Roast Duck Restaurant at No.
No longer quite sure whether I am reporting on Saturday, Sunday or Monday, as days are collapsing into one while working nightshifts, aggrevated by the six hours timezone difference, which we never had time to fully digest. In a way this nightshift has been a blessing, as it tolerates to put one's mind in order. Everything seems to co-incide these days, as my father would have turned 75 if he wouldn't have died 2 days ago.
Luckely I was granted 3 great medidative moments before, during and after this shift.
Patrick, ik schrijf hier in naam van ons ma die hier vlak naast me zit. Dieter en ik weten dat ook jij nu hele moeilijke momenten zult kennen, hou u sterk ginder en wij zullen het nodige hier doen. Jij moet je geen zorgen maken, terug naar huis komen heeft geen zin. Niettgenstaande je aan de andere kant van de wereld zit, zijn we dicht bij jou, zowel ik, je broer, als mama. Als je terug bent zullen samen afscheid nemen op en rustige manier. Veel sterkte
A day I'll remember for the rest of my life in more then one way. Got a bit late for my working shift this morning, as subway transfer line 10 to 8 was completely locked down at Beitucheng for the common public (in fact you required a VIP sign on your Accreditation Card). Luckily Olympic bus 1 or 2 nearby dropped me off almost right in front of DQH.
Did very little today apart from completely configuring my new Samsung smartphone, reading and studying. At some point I ventured down the embassy area towards Tiananmen, when I saw a great foldable bike from about 680 yuan, which I probably buy to become much more mobile in the Olymic Parc and beyond. On my way, I stepped in www.Tenfu.com to buy some good quality Chinese tea, when Xiao Mei called me on my (new) mobile phone (with local chinese number). In fact she was just living a few blocks away, so she joined me for a nice chat with the tea ladies in the shop.
Bits of underground 8 into the Olympic Park from line 10 are undergoing final preparations, so going to work is not yet as convenient as it will be during the Games. Actually I was off duty today (advance recuperation for a series of long day/night shifts coming), so I just made acquaintance with my Duty Manager, printed all procedures to read and made sure I could gain access to all systems to do my work.
Busy but satisfying training Monday ... really busy (got a couple of night shifts coming as well) however below some pictures to set the scene.
Writing my second entry on the Olympic Games feels far more natural. That's because the party has started, and we're now all physically part of IT. Saturday 2nd July 2008 I went off at a good start, joined my collegues Rik Van Hespen, Frederic Coppens, Shijun Zhang and her daughter Zang Li (Lili) Pollet at Brussels International Airport, after Shanshan dropped me at the Kiss & Ride and (accidently) queuing at the VRT check-in near Lieven van Gils from Sporza.
After my VUB ("Free University of Brussels") post-graduation a week ago, what I already knew since mid January 2008 – being selected as a Belgian Volunteer of the Atos Origin Olympic IT Support Team – is now slowly but surely dawning upon me: Within 25 days I will be granted the joy & honour of becoming a piece of the clockwork behind the XXIX Olympiad staged for the first time in history in the capital of the Middle Kingdom.