The pros and cons of life in Olympic Beijing
Five reasons to stay in Beijing: (1) This is a once-in-a-century opportunity that we ought to personally experience. When your grandchildren ask you about it, you should be able to say that you personally witnessed the spectacle, or else they might look down on you. (2) Lots of friends are coming to see the Olympics, so if you run off to avoid them, they'll think that you're not welcoming. I've even got some foreign classmates who are set to watch the Olympics. (3) There'll be swarms of celebrities at the Olympics, and for many people, this will be their only chance to see them. And you'll be able to see lots of superstars all at once, so you can really satisfy your hunger. (4) Many people will be able to employ their skills, to some degree. For example, there'll be even more foreign reporters than athletes, so those of us who know English can go around giving interviews so they'll have a more well-rounded understanding of China. We're always going off to far-off countries to promote China, but this time they've come here, so why not make a contribution? (5) The Olympics are the Olympics, and work is work. Athletes fight for the glory of the country in the arena, so we should continue to work steadily at our jobs so we don't fall behind. We should do what we need to here in Beijing, rather than let the Olympics delay the work at hand.
Five reasons to leave Beijing: (1) The Olympics don't need us. We have a huge, dedicated team, and the on-site volunteers are all set. Competitions on TV are clearer than in the stadiums, so let's not add to the mess by staying in Beijing and crowding out the international guests. (2) Everything will be inconvenient during the Olympics: cars use the even-odd system, roadways come under frequent control, and many places aren't easily accessible because of the need to look after foreign guests. Even many familiar bathhouses, massage parlors, and KTV joints have been closed. So with convenience and practicality in mind, we should go elsewhere for our activities. (3) During the Olympics, Beijing has substantially fewer meetings and professional, many of which have been moved to other places. Some international guests are even hoping to host events outside the country after being unable to obtain a visa for this period, so we ought to go where we're needed rather than remaining here idle. (4) During the Olympics, everything will be done for the service of the games and everyone will be focusing on the Olympics. But in fact, the things that people focus on are not necessarily the most important, and it is precisely during this period that many other thing require our attention. The victims in the Sichuan disaster areas, for example: we need to take this time right now to conduct another round of surveys of the needs of those victims. (5) The company's headquarters is located in Beijing, and I typically use that as a reason to spend most of my time here. Now there's finally a good reason to check up on my colleagues, clients, and partners in other areas.
So I've decided to spend half the time - particularly the beginning - in Beijing, especially to take care of friends and special guests who have come to watch the Olympics and to do what I can to contribute as needed. But the other half of the time I'll go elsewhere rather than postpone my work, both revolutionary and otherwise. So what's your choice?