The world has arrived!

Vancouver-Olympics:

What a dramatic change! Vancouver has never been so vibrant or international. It’s like summer again – you see all the tourists from around Canada and the world, you hear different languages and accents, and see cameras hanging from people’s necks.  Thursday the 4th was pretty quiet. Friday the 5th was when it all apparently started but even then, I didn’t notice too much. Saturday the 6th, however, was a whole new world!

Week by week, day by day, there are always new additions or changes to the city! Aside from Olympic-related decor, we have new:

– outdoor rubbish bins (more like clear green bags)
– indoor bins separating recyclables from rubbish (which I’ve MISSED from GERMANY!)
– outdoor specially-designed chairs & benches & bike racks
– info stands & billboards w/ maps & directories

This will help keep Vancouver a sustainable city & help tourists in the future.

In relation to the Olympics, we have more security guards. It is not uncommon to see 2 or more patrolling malls and streets together. Did I mention we’ve deployed the military as well? Ja, security you know. The world’s leaders and celebs in our city… and a ginourmous population we’ve never dealt with before!

I saw:

  • Ukrainian, Russian and Italian teams – I see the Russian members every day, it’s no longer a novelty 😛 I’m Canadian – we let celebs live their own lives. 😉
  • First Lady of Taiwan

My Mum wanted me to take a pic of Taiwan’s First Lady Ma, since she would be visiting 700 Granville, where the children’s lantern forest is.  I just happened to arrive at the right time because I saw a pretty big Asian crowd moving through the street – and sure enough, it was the President’s wife! I tried getting a good pic of her but it was difficult (all those cameras and heads and ppl moving around…).

I’m still hoping I’ll be able to find the 1) German welcome sign & 2) German team! It’s good to hear more German again 🙂

The Bay (HBC): This is home to the Olympic Superstore. Now that the tourists are here, they’re dashing to buy Olympic souvenirs and attire. Honestly, this is the beginning of their dwindling $$$!  Tourists, save your pennies! 😉

We now have 2-3 more days until the Olympics begin. The flame will be in Vancouver by Wednesday, I believe…   Many dignitaries and head of states have arrived or will be arriving soon!