Olympic night in Shanghai

Aug 8th was finally here and the long awaited opening ceremony would be telecast lived at 20:08. The date and time of the opening ceremony have been carefully chosen to associate with the lucky number 8. The reason for this is that 8, pronounced as ba in Chinese – which is somewhat similar to the pronunciation of fa, means “prosper” or “wealth”.

Many restaurants and pubs installed bigger screens in a bid to attract more customers on this special night. We too made reservations at Katheen 5 (a posh restarurant in central downtown area) to have dinner while watching the event. On our way to the restaurant, we passed by the openair auditorium at Nanjing road. A huge crowd was gathered there expecting to watch the grand Olympics opening ceremony on the 2 gigantic screens.

It’s 7:30pm at Nanjing east road outdoor auditorium. More and more people gather here hoping to watch the Beijing Olympic opening ceremony. We thought that such a important event would surely be telecasted and shown live on the giant screens, so we stopped and waited anxiously with the crowd.

Unexpectedly… at 8pm sharp, they switched off the screen! Holy Crap! A bunch of people went up to the stage and shout “Au Yun.. Au Yun…” hoping they on the screen again.

Stand higher to get more angles? Professional photographer LiuJin from AFP GettyImages.

Jam-packed with people at Nanjing Lu. People started to grumble and leave.

It’s a great opportunity for the Chinese to make money. There’s people selling all sorts of toys, China and Olympic flags.

Watching opening ceremony through a small screen at a cafe in Nanjing Lu.

Watching through a small tv.

At Fountain Xintiandi. Even the cook from another restaurant stopped by to catch a glimpse of the ceremony. Everybody cheer… and it’s more fun sitting at home!

German pub at Xintiandi. The screen was hanging from the ceiling of the 2nd floor and barely visible. There was a live band on the first floor and everyone on the 2nd floor were straining to hear the live coverage. Customers at tables near the stairs and screen started banging on their tables and shouted for the band to turn down the volume.