Monday, July 23, 2012

there's a thing happening here

The Olympics is officially in my city.

There are people on the streets reading tube maps upside down, walking slowly (can I punch you n the back of the head?), folks are taking up space in the tube at unlikely times (squashed at 12 midnight), and there's that torch that is being relayed around various landmarks in London.

I'd like to think that I am on a par with my fellow countrymen. The English view the Olympics in their city in a few ways, not least that we probably didn't deserve to win the bid; and we're probably going to mess the whole thing up.

While South Africa thought that the World Cup might be a disaster in the weeks leading up to it, they also managed to get quite excited about the whole thing.

Londoners don't relish the thought of more tourists - estimated 1 million extra people per day - here. London is the most visited city in the world as it is. Already it's a hack taking a train under the Earth's crust to work with a whole bunch of other sweaty people, so imagine our sheer delight at knowing that we don't know how we will get around at all, during this time.

And in true English charm, there's the grumble aspect to everything. I've jumped on this bandwagon with reckless abandon. "There'll be a stampede!" they say with almost glee, eyes flashing with excitement as everyone starts thinking back to the Blitz where stampedes into tube tunnels caused chaos and death.
"We're totally going to mess this up," with that natural self-deprecation that so becomes of them. Surely Britain couldn't even think about pulling this off? It would be very American to think we could.

Headlines about the security company [or lack thereof], and losing the entire US team in London because the bus driver left his GPS at home, haven't helped matters.

But the truth is: Britain has never been happier - as they have never had so much to grumble about.

God I live amongst a funny old nation [of freaks]. They're at their most content when they're really miserable. And have realised that I have, alongside them, been doing exactly as they have. I have been extremely Londonesque in my view of all this touristy malarkey.

Only this week have I really started to come round to the fact that one of the largest international events on the planet is happening here. As in, I've started to wonder why we have only booked to go to France at the end of the month and not now.

I jest a little. I am a little bit excited to be part of a city that is hosting its third Olympics. Probably because there's sun outside. And we are going to a few games; this Sunday is our first. The Brit's family did a pull-out-of-hat tickets sweepstake about a year ago. And we got Women's Hockey, Basketball and...fencing.

How funny is that? We go to the first game (hockey) this Sunday. Where we can eat MacDonald's burgers and drink Coke. Because they fucking said so.

The sun is shining, it's a wonderful 27 degrees - it's hot as fuck suddenly - no warning - and at the end of the week, as the Olympic Ceremony opens, it'll be raining and shit again.

Britain you're as mad and as unpredictable as a box of spanners.

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