Posts Tagged With: olympics


What a great game last night. To be out and able to watch it live on TV with a bunch of other Canadians was pretty exciting. It was certainly edge of your seat action. Both sides played hard and Canada dumped it in first in the first period. Sweden fought back, but Price (the Canadian Goalie) had cat-like reflexes and deflected, blocked and saved. Canada scored again in the second period and then the third. There were a lot of close calls too where it just hit the post. Sweden fought harder and the last minutes seemed like it rarely came out of the Canadian end, but Canada held on.

Being in a restaurant in Shanghai we could almost imagine we were back home. Red hockey jerseys and Olympic gear was worn by 90% of the patrons. The game started and everyone was glued to the set. The place is covered in flat screen TVs and many of them had the local Chinese channel on. A few TVs had a live feed from another English-speaking country, so we could hear the commentary. It was no Hockey Night in Canada, but would do. It was funny since the games didn’t sync up and on 2 occasions the bar cheered and some of us were left wondering what??? Then 10 seconds later we saw the Canadian goal. A few people hushed the crowd and said “Don’t spoil it!”, but it just added to the excitement and energy in the room.

It was an amazing game. I was always waiting for Sweden to score…. but they didn’t. Canada had a lot of shots and misses, but got it in an incredible 3 times. In the last minute and half of the game our table started to sing Oh Canada. This was our game, and we were winning and we were proud. Our poor Aussie colleague I am sure isn’t sure what to make of all this. Soon everyone was singing along at the top of their lungs. What a moment. Didn’t matter if you were a singer or not -you joined in and sang loud. If you closed your eyes we could have been in any bar back home, but we all came together and cheered on our home country here in Shanghai. What a memory….

Great game men!



Did you watch the game???

I have photos from last night, but I am running off to work now. I will add pictures later, so check back tomorrow.

Categories: Chinese Adventures, teaching overseas | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Being an Expat During the Olympics

Being an expat living in China is very different from daily life back home. How does that affect life during the Olympics? At home proud Canadians are watching and listening to the various events, interviews and reading about beaver_721-300x283great wins and losses in the daily papers. Highlights are played and re-played in case you missed it. At work back home daily comments like “Did you see that winning goal?” or “Did you watch the game last night?” or “Wow we got another medal” could be heard in staff rooms and around the water cooler. Being an expat it is very different… we don’t get any of this. It goes without saying your home country TV is not available. Trying to watch the Olympic games can be difficult and if you can tune into it your host country will be playing events that that country is involved in. Some web hosts show TV programs and movies, rarely sporting events. Throw in living in China where access to home sites are blocked because it reads your local IP address. End result —no Olympic coverage. Watching events is not easy for expats. Trying to get information on medals, wins and stories becomes a quest of details on the internet trying to find access to local blogs and newspapers.

Image Credit: Bev Young

Image Credit: Bev Young

I am not a big sports fan and I never watch events, or care much about who won or lost. The Olympics, for me, are DSC06643different. The Winter Olympics are my favourite. The opening and closing ceremonies dazzle the senses and the events with close calls, falls and medals are a true edge of your seat action that never disappoint. The feeling of pride comes through the glow of the television as you watch all the hard work of all the athletes involved. Canadian’s show more patriotism and wear their Olympic mittens with pride.

2010 Vancouver Olympics were on home turf. Energy and excitement was everywhere. This was just before we left for China, so we had our fill. Along comes 2014 and the Winter Olympics are here again. Our TV mostly comes from Hong Kong and the Philippines. Both countries who will not be sending teams to the Winter Olympics. We can watch CNN, but their reports are brief on the games. CNN comes from Hong Kong, but the Olympic information is from the American feed. It doesn’t fill the quest for our Canadian content. Local restaurants have been putting on the local Chinese channel, so we have been able to see a few things in action. Of course the sound is turned down, so it is a bit hard to follow. We seemed to always hit the curling events, which are not action packed excitement, but it was better than nothing.

Each morning I would turn on the computer and check the standings. A number of Canadians work at the same school as I, so our new morning ritual on the bus became a recap of medals, or what story they read about. It certainly isn’t the same to see live action or at least the highlight reel, but it will have to do. As the Olympics are winding down someone discovered a local bar/restaurant will host the final Gold medal hockey tonight. The place is owned by another expat Canadian. Tonight will be final  game, so despite a late school night we plan to be there and cheer Canada on. No matter win or lose to be a part of the action with fellow Canadians will only add to the excitement. Being an expat in China and still able to watch the game for Gold, who would have thought it?

Photo Credit: Canadian Olympic Commitee

Photo Credit: Canadian Olympic committee

Good luck Canada….


Categories: travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Red #2: Tourist in Your Own Town

Each month I have posted a theme and asked you to join in. For February the theme is RED. I haven’t been getting a lot of participation and asked for suggestions on red post #1. Many readers said keep trying and it may be slow going before it catches on. Thanks so much for your encouragement. I did have some takers this month. Patchwork Ponderings, who has participated before, showed us some RED from The Niagara area in Ontario, Canada. I also had 2 new bloggers visit and post. Debbie had a very cool take on the theme in London, England while Jackie, a fellow Canadian, showed some RED from Toronto, Canada. Visit the orignal RED post (in the comment section) to find their links and check them out. They are worth a peek!

When I first thought of RED I wanted to post something for Chinese New Year, but didn’t have any photos. The other day we were out and I captured this.

Red paper from firecrackers litter the streets.

Red paper from firecrackers litter the streets.

Chinese New Year is the big celebration in China. Some compare it to our Christmas, but I think it is bigger. The holiday lasts 14-15 days. The biggest part of the celebrations take place over 3 days. New Year’s Eve brings loud pops and bangs as firecrackers scare away the evil spirits and bring good luck for the upcoming year.  With pollution at high levels Shanghai was said to limit the amount of fireworks, the much more colourful counterpart of crackers. The newspapers reported less polluting fireworks were also being sold as to still allow the tradition to continue. Despite this New Year’s Eve was still noisy and continued cracks and bangs went on at regular and random intervals for close to 48 hours. Another part of the celebration is a family dinner with all members reuniting. With many migrant workers coming into the city for work, or higher wages it may be the only time they see family. This is not just seeing extended family, but it may be people reuniting with spouses and children.

Chinese New Year involves gifts, but not brightly coloured packages wrapped in bows and coloured patterned paper. Instead crisp bills are placed inside red envelopes. Other gifts often include oranges and sweets like cookies in specially designed gift boxes similar to those we see in shops for Christmas at home. The following photo shows the symbols of Chinese New Year as well as red envelopes hanging on a holiday tree. As far as I know they do not usually decorate tress in the way for the holiday. I think this was more a mix of East and Western cultures done by the local hotel.

Red envolopes and lucky coins with tassels decorated this unique holiday tree.

Red envelopes and lucky coins with tassels decorated this unique holiday tree.

The last photo is to celebrate the start of the olympics. Here are my RED Olympic Canada mittens which I wear here in Shanghai. GO CANADA!

DSC06643There is still time to participate and post something unique, special and RED from where you live. Be a tourist in your own town and share something from where you live. Follow this link to get all the details. Be sure to leave a link back to your post in the comment section of Red #1

Stay tuned…

Categories: Culture, Tourist in My Own Town, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close

Recently we posted on “Friends” and “Together” so for “Close” I thought I should think outside the box and not use the first idea that popped in my head… being close with someone. Besides it has already been done ;), so this is what I came up with instead:

Results from:

A few weeks back we went to the Shanghai Diamond League Games and these two women high jumpers were so ‘close’. They both made the same heights and it was a close race and the next jumper to make it was first. Unfortunately the rain started and kept getting heavier, so each one of them missed the jump. The officials kept lowering the bar and the rain came harder still, so the women slowed their pace and continued to fail to make the new height. It was CLOSE… and the crowd watched with baited breath and a collective sigh and “ahhhh” was released each time there was a miss. Finally the American woman C. Lowe  made the jump and the Chinese woman X. Zheng missed and event was over. Boy was it CLOSE! Not only a close race, but look how close they come to the bar without knocking it down.

Women’s High Jump – So CLOSE

A sprint is always good for a photo finish and talk about being close… less than a second between winners!

Photo Finish – now that is CLOSE!

Want to join in? Check out Word Press here and drop your link for close. Just want to see what others think about close? Hit the same link and see everyone’s examples 🙂

As always play nice -no copying of images without permission of CTB.

Stay tuned… I have 2 more photo challenges have to be posted this week!

Categories: Photography, post a week, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Olympics are Coming

This summer will be another Olympics as London, England will host the world. The last summer Olympics were in Beijing, China. I am not a big sports fan and I don’t watch a lot of Olympic events. I enjoy watching a little bit of the winter Olympics, especially the figure skating. Winter sports also take place during school months, so I follow more intently to talk to the kids about it and we often graph the medal counts, so it is more educational than interest on my behalf.

Leading up to any Olympic event there is always sporting events in different countries for athletes to ‘warm up’ if you will. Shanghai was host to such an event 2 weeks ago. I never bought tickets, or really knew it was occurring until a co-worker invited me to the event when her husband could not attend. I thought I would go since this would be the closest I would ever get to an Olympic hopeful. John being away it was also good to get out and have some company. Plans were set for Saturday evening to attend the Shanghai Diamond League. It had been hot and sunny all week with temperatures hovering around 30*c. Saturday I awoke to heavy cloud,  rain and a chilly 19*c. Not knowing much about the event or location, other than it being at Shanghai Stadium, a location where my favourite reality show the Amazing Race had been to do a challenge.  Anne called midafternoon to change our leaving time, not to cancel, so I assumed the event was indoors.

Leaving the house I layered up to keep warm and dry and got a little soggy on the short walk to Thumb Plaza. Dripping wet we grabbed a quick bite at the Korean restaurant and then to the metro for our night out. We exited the station to a light mist and passed many vendors selling plastic rain coats, umbrellas and binoculars. We found our way to our seats, 5th row and close to the finish line. I now realised there was no roof, it was an open air stadium. It is times like this you appreciate the Sky Dome (now Roger’s Centre) for a retractable roof. It was OK since the rain had now stopped and I had a rain jacket and many warm layers on. It had rained hard for most of the day, so we assumed the rain had passed.

We were surprised the stadium was not that full and Anne figured most people would come later since China’s top hurdler would be running and that was the last race of the night. Sure enough as time went on the stadium filled more and more. Our 5th row seats turned out not to be as good as they sounded… just in front of us was the camera men on a platform, so our view was partly covered and we no longer could see the finish line. Then the rain started again as a light mist. If we had the cheap seats we would have had a partial roof to help keep us dry. Oh well, we did have a great view of the women’s high jump and that was pretty exciting. It came down to 2 competitors that were tied, but the rain started heavier and they became more hesitant. Once it started to pour, and this is China where they LOVE umbrellas, umbrellas popped open all around us, so again our 5th row became a hinderance as all we could see was colourful umbrellas and none of the events. 2 nice gentlemen noticed we only had on rain coats, and Anne’s did not have a hood, so they loaned us their umbrella as the steady, drenching rain hammered down. The races slowed down considerably and men with ginormous squeegees tried to move the water off the track before each race and between laps. It wasn’t helping. Many people left and our view was clear again. Anne, a big sports fan, finally had dampening spirits (ha ha) and said OK one more race then we will go. As we left I noticed most people had left their seats and huddled near the back where the roof overhang provided some escape from the rain.  After all their Olympic hopeful was up soon.

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Getting a taxi in the rain is never easy and we lucked out as someone was just getting dropped off as we exited the gate. If we had waited I am sure we would not have been so lucky. Inside a nice warm taxi we headed back home and I had plans to snuggle up in a my nice warm bed and let the rain lull me to sleep.

It was a fun evening, but it certainly didn’t win me over to become a sports lover… 😉

So will you watch the Olympics this summer?

Stay tuned for more next time….

Categories: Chinese Adventures, post a week | Tags: , , , , ,