Saturday, August 09, 2008

Good luck for the Olympics!

OK, it may not be very original to post a China related photo today, and you've probably already had your fill of the Olympics in the news, but I just saw the re-run of their stunning opening ceremonies, and I could not help paying the Chinese a small tribute (I took this photo during one of their New Year celebrations in Paris)! I've never really visited China, but I hope I will soon.


  1. I thinkj this photo is perfectly appropriate! Also gorgeous. Am looking forward to seeing some of the opening ceremonies on the tube tonight.

  2. Cool photo, Eric! Never been to China either. Liked the rain one yesterday, too; bw good choice. Your storm just arrived here in Belgrade.

  3. I believe this fits in with PHX's rules, Guille. And I only misspelled one word.

  4. Oh, North America takes it by a fraction of a minute!

    I love the fabulous textiles in this shot! That blue is the perfect shade for me.

    Heads up, Americans! Keep an eye out for Petrea in the ATT spot!

  5. Fabulous colors and textures Eric! (And I can't help but notice the gigantic "soldes" sign in the background.) I was in Beijing in 2005 and I very much look forward to watching a lot of the Olympics coverage, especially the swimming. Oh and to watch for Petrea's AT&T commercial!

  6. LOL, PHX is indeed lurking around! Your GF crown is the blue one in the picture today(because I like it!). Congrats, Alexa , and spelling doesn't count.
    I wonder what the calligraphy says on the sign on the left?

  7. Nice shot, Eric!! I think it very appropriate. What lovely colors!

    I'm hoping we can get the channel that shows the Olympics for the next 2 weeks; we usually can't get it. But I dearly love to watch the competitions, so I've got my fingers crossed!

  8. This picture is colorful, exactly as I like...
    I missed yesterday's pix, but Eric, just Wow! The B&W is perfect. I love storms...

    Alexa! Gf! Don't worry about my advice LOL.

    Nite nite all!

  9. Christie -- I hope you get the channel too. So you can see the Olympics and -- perhaps more important -- Petrea's commercial!

    PHX -- Thank you -- I now feel officially official. And I'll take that beautiful blue crown! Maybe someone can tell us what the calligraphy says. I once had a shirt with Chinese words embroidered on the back (I loved it). I wore it to a restaurant in Chinatown one night and saw that all the waiters were laughing, so I made them tell me what it said. Somewhat reluctantly they told me, "Buy me—very cheap." Yeah, that shirt is now history. (This sounds like a Lois story, doesn't it?)

  10. Alexa, I love your story.
    A French-Japanese friend told me that the Japanese tattoos (really à la mode here)that we can see on people shoulders were often crap and didn't mean 'love', 'peace', 'respect' as the 'victims' thought! I can't imagine to have a tattoo which means nothing...good.

    Michael, about yesterday's comment: You sneaky guy!!and I'm nice with u. May I have to add 'unbearable'?

  11. A spoting event I would dearly love to photograph, the Olympics. The textures and vibrant colours are so alive in this image. So juxtapoxed to yestedays grey downpoor. Your people shots have to be my favourites. You just cathc the personalities and humanity so well.

  12. I have a story like yours Alexa. I was on a tour in China in 1986, and was wearing a tshirt that I had bought in Hong Kong a few days earlier. I thought I was was "smart" enough to ask what it meant before I bought it. They said it said HAPPINESS in many different chinese calligraphy.It did. I was laughed at in Shanghai. Our tour leader ,when I asked why they were laughing, told me that the Chinese "DO not wear words on their clothing."
    My friend bettered me when she told me that the beautiful disk with chinese lettering that she bought in China and wore to a cocktail party said"Prostitute#12" when someone translated it for her. caveat emptor.

  13. Sign of the times,just ask the people from Tibet what do they think about the games.But please just keep posting kistchy parisian pictures, dont let a couple of thousands of innocents victims ruin your posts.Maybe if you keep on going with you LOW:CHEAP profile the chinese embassy will pay you a free trip to china.

  14. Phenomenal!! Watching the opening ceremonies right now. Well, a commercial right now, but phenomenal none the less.

  15. Anonyme -- I'm behind the Tibetan people 100%, and you won't catch me giving any business to the sponsors of the games. But I wouldn't want to take anything away from the athletes, either. And, btw, this is a very positive, supportive, friendly blog.

  16. I think your picture really fits today! I've seen the opening of the games, but is never too much when it comes to beautiful colours and costumes!
    I've been in China(Tibet) and words are still to be invented to make an accurate description!
    Greetings from Lisbon.

  17. PHX-CDG...the first character on the banner (far top left)refers to "love." My Chinese (hanji)is limited but I'm sure others can help with the other characters. Perhaps, this is all that is important anyway.

    Anon...if you spent time on this blog (not just dropping by) you'd soon find out that Eric is one of the most classiest, sensitive, caring humans on the planet. Your "ethos" is weakened by a cheap insult. Be passionate, but be reasonable, too. I think you'll find most of the bloggers on this site are actually horrified about the Tibetan situation as well. Be cool and don't lose your head. Might I suggest "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis. It might be just what you and I both need at this moment. ya man!

    BTW...opening word: DRUMS!!!! ;-)

  18. Ella...a tisket, a tasket some GF crown is in your basket AGAIN! I don't know how you do it, Alexa, but congrats! You could add a few platinum albums to it if you like. ;-)

  19. A beautiful shot of beautiful people, Eric.

    Anonyme, I agree with Coltrane. I believe you'll find most people here agree with you about the human rights situation in Tibet. I also agree that Eric's one of the best people there is. And as Alexa said, this is a supportive, friendly blog.

    My friend is at the Olympics; he'll be announcing indoor volleyball. He's been emailing messages from Beijing. In one message he said, "what is going to happen here with these loving, caring, tender people WILL change the world." In his most recent missive he said, "I have found, especially in the young people I am working with, an exuberance and joy that abounds in everything they do. These are extremely happy individuals, who love and treat one another, and others, with the utmost respect, kindness and dignity. I have to say it is very refreshing." He's having the time of his life.

    Maybe we can separate the Chinese people from the Chinese government. I would hope people of other countries would grant the same for me.

    Historically, the Olympics aren't supposed to be politicized. You may recall the two African-American athletes (runners?) who were disqualified when they raised the "black power" fist...1968?...even though many sympathized with their quiet demonstration. It was still politics, and that's against the rules.

    Maybe these Olympics shouldn't be in China in the first place. Or maybe shutting China out of the world won't help their government take the forward strides necessary to see their way towards a more progressive society.

    Anyone connected to this venture commercially has to weigh these things, as I did. Maybe I'm rationalizing. I know I'm not my government, and I know my government can change. I believe the same is true of China because I know people are people. So I have hope for them.

    End of diatribe. Now all I need is for AT&T to cut me from the spot to complete my global embarrassment.

  20. Petrea, no call for your embarrassment if they do! Did I put my foot in my mouth by "outing" your work before it aired?! If there is any shame to be had, it is mine.

    As for this blog, Alexa, Coltrane, and P. - Well said.

  21. coltrane -- yes! drums! 2,008 of them—wasn't that amazing??

    petrea -- diatribe well done. I'll have no trouble avoiding McDonald's or Pepsi (never touch the stuff), or Chevrolet (don't drive). However, I just remembered that my cell-phone service is with . . . At&T. You're absolutely right: It's a tough one this time around, but it still shouldn't be about politics.

  22. I don't know if it should be or shouldn't be about politics. I was pretty mad in the beginning that Beijing was chosen. But it was, and the games have possibility in them.

    Here's a video you all might enjoy from (scroll down just a bit). They're thinking forward to peace and understanding.

  23. Just two words: BERLIN 1936. Should have we been nice to the German olimpics then? This is not the first time it happens, and thats why it makes me so sad. I thought we could learn from history, specially the people that use to visit this blog(not the averages one, thats for sure, cultivated people). Sad, all this is really sad.

  24. I agree with Petrea,... separating the Chinese people from the Chinese government...
    well said Petrea.
    If we refuse to politicize the Olympics, perhaps we will have a chance to see things from a different point of view, possibly helping us to connect as human beings.

  25. Anon-- I don't think you have been around this site long enough to feel the life enhancing spirit of both the pictures and the bloggers. Both, are exceptional.

  26. If the Berlin Olympics had been held in 1941, perhaps you'd have a case. But 1936? At that time, Hitler was but an ominous presence, not yet what he was to become. Shall we practice pre-emptive Olympics? I've had enough of the pre-emptive stuff myself.

  27. specially the people that use to visit this blog(not the averages one, thats for sure, cultivated people)

    Ah, I see, "anon". You're here for a bit of fun. Nevermind then.

  28. Wow, the comments today are interesting! Not sure I'm educated or politically aware enough to comment on anonymous, but don't want to waste my time with him/her either. What I have understood is that the problem in Tibet is not as black and what as what the movie stars make it out to be. Has anybody been there and can explain the situation more objectively?

  29. I have had the fortunate opportunity to visit China many times over the last few years, and it truly is an amazing country. For a certain period I was going every 4-6 months and the changes that you'd see in that short amount of time away were incredible. A force to be reckoned with when they put their minds to something.

    Most all of my Chinese colleagues are smart, caring, and loving people. As are my French colleagues. When you travel as much as I do, you quickly figure that out. People want the same basic things in life. How they get them is another story.

  30. Petrea, WHAT commercial are we looking for you in? Will you share an excerpt for us?

    I'm sure Eric Tenin will be very interested. Another reason for E.T. to call home! (groan)

  31. Thanks for asking, Michael, but I won't know until I see it. I usually don't get to see these things until everyone else does. I can tell you what I did: I "watched TV", looking right at the camera. I was sitting on a hotel bed. I believe the spot will be a series of vignettes of people watching the Olympic games.

    Like I said, I hope they didn't cut me. It happens.

    And Michael, as one who has spent time in China, your comments are especially informed and appreciated.

  32. Good evening, all!

    Excellent idea, this shot, and actually quite original!

    I ran home after work to see the opening ceremony and I must say the only disappointing part was the fact that they presented it with commercials (with interruptions every 15 to 20 minutes or so). I would LOVE to see it again, commercial free. That was really an incredible artistic expression (but then again, we knew they were up to the task :)

    I haven't read the comments yet (just logged in) but I'll say this, before I even look at what other people have to say: I'm sick and tired of hearing how people want to boycott the Olympics already and how they don't want to watch the ceremony because of China's human rights track record. I failed to see how that is the fault of the athletes? I saw that Sarkozy (and the Bushes) were in attendance. Good. I'm please to see that. The athletes and the *people* in China deserve that much. My 2 cents.

  33. I always knew you'd make a delicious tomato soup Tomate! Just enough spice! :-)

  34. Oh, wow, there was a whole discussion going on !! A good thing I missed it, too, I think, as I was a little short on patience today, and might have snapped at Anon instead of looking for the common ground.

    Petra, I applaud your "diatribe." Really, thank you for that comment! :)

    E.T. call home... Hahahaha! Good one!!! Just what the doctor ordered. :)

  35. Oh, boy, better get out of here before someone decides to make soup out of me! Why don't you have a steak instead! ;)

  36. Just one more thing before I put the soap box away for good: I was going to say something about the 1936 Olympics earlier—but just to point out that Jesse Owens showed Hitler a thing or two, simply by being the superb athlete he was.

  37. All the world's a stage,
    And PDPs are merely players.
    They have their exits and their entrances;
    (Sometimes in bad English! LOL)

    Notre Reine is carrying boxes of books into her new apartment.
    We all are carrying tons of baggage into the new world.
    Bear what you can, ask for help for the rest.
    We all learn from history.
    We care. Be assured, we care.

  38. The Olympics are not about politics. Olympics are about universality, equality, friendship and all the best values which count for us.
    SO, yes, it would have been probably better not to encourage China by giving it the right to organize the games. This appointment is a sorte of encouragement. Who would give the right to Burma to organize the games? Nobody, for sure.
    It's done now, the only thing we can do is to hope that the athletes will have enough influence and courage to change something. And that Hu Jintao will understand all this boycott story.

  39. Jeff, yes, and my back is painful! ;)

  40. What wonderful colors in this photo! And seeing the Olympic theme on PDP reminds me of how I find myself rooting for France about as much as for my own country ... It's so much a part of me!

    I am too tired to formulate a coherent, thoughtful response to the debate surrounding the Olympics being in China. However, I want to say that I appreciate the discussion here; I love the way this community can discuss, agree, and/or disagree with listening and respect. This is the kind of community Eric has fostered, and I am grateful for it and for him.

    Also, as for visiting other countries and cultures in general, I think I'd be interested in visiting every place at least once to learn, observe, and appreciate the variety that exists on this planet.

  41. Tomate,
    French public TV "France2" shows all their Olympics programs on their web site (
    The opening ceremony is available in "streaming", without any commercials, and with comments in French ;-)
    I watched it live. And as a lot of you, I did really love the 2008 drums.

  42. quote: 'What I have understood is that the problem in Tibet is not as black and what the movie stars make it out to be.'

    As i said before, I've been there, so i have to tell you: go and see with your own eyes! I can´t believe you will say the same after you realize (in loco) how tibetean people and their culture have been used and destroied...
    Just be there, get some good reliable information and feel...

    Oh, I really don't care about movie stars AT ALL!

  43. I have been away from PDP for a while (busy at work + holiday) and what a day to return. One of the few occasions where the tone is a bit hard. It's OK and interesting. We're all entitled to our opinions (you too anonyme)but go after the ball not the man.
    Do NOT blame Eric for a frustrating,foreign, political situation. He is doing such a huge job showing the rest of us how many-sided and interesting Paris can be and he's always giving us something of current interest, which China and the Olympics are right now.

    I totally agree with the rest of you about the Tibetan situation, but even Dalai Lama said, in April 2008, that he support the Olympics in Beijing and told his people not to make obstructions.
    The Chinese government do NOT listen to loud criticism. If they ever listen to criticism it's from friends in the proper forum where they experience an interest for China and the Chinese people. Megaphone criticism, from other governments or organizations, has never ever worked.
    The Chinese government are working on the human rights and the death warrants, slowly though, but the rest of the world must encourage these steps.

    Eric, I really like this photo from the Chinese New Years in Paris.
    I just came home from ten days in Paris and actually I spent a lot of time in the Chinese quarters with my Chinese friend and her friends. So this photo reminds me of my holidays, thank you !

  44. Thanks, Thib, that's great, I'll check it out!

  45. This morning I'm wishing I hadn't gotten on my soapbox, wishing I'd reached out a hand to Anonyme instead of arguing. I'm sorry, Anonyme. I understand how you feel. I wanted to defend Eric, who is perfectly capable of defending himself, I'm sure!

    I recorded the opening ceremonies and watched this morning. Stunning. Moving. I'm understanding some of what my friend Mike said about how it feels to be there. The people are excited. The Chinese self-image suffered a blow when they found the world unaccepting during the worldwide torch relay. That could be a good thing. (And when the U.S. can claim perfection on human rights issues, I'll cast the first stone.)

    I saw what I think was my AT&T commercial, but I wasn't in it. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

  46. It's only natural to want to stick up for Eric when he has given so much of his time in sharing his love of Paris with us. We value and appreciate him. And isn't this how we wish all people to be treated? I don't know why the IOC awarded the games to China, nor why China would want to be exposed to the white hot glare of the world's cameras, but it is done. Might it be a bit difficult to close the door now that it's been opened?

    I caught part of the opening ceremonies but missed the drums so will check out the link. Thanks in advance, Thib.

  47. Petrea, I disagree with you :) Your comment and response to Anon was just fine. You reached out plenty!

    Criticism of a blog post is one thing, but when it borders on personal attack, well ...

    I know I was irritated yesterday after hearing a number of snide comments from my US buddies who, apparently, are not aware that the US (or France, for that matter) does not have a perfect human right record either. Grrr.

    By the way, I looked online this morning for a repeat of the opening ceremony and couldn't find it anywyhere. Just still photographs :( . Any link would be greatly appreciated :) TF

  48. PS. I would *love* a free trip to China. :-D

  49. Petrea! I'm so disappointed if that's true! I wonder if they have different versions of it for different lengths of commercial spots.

  50. Thanks, Tomate. :)

    I don't know, Elaine. I'll keep looking for it. Maybe they made more than one spot.

  51. I couldn't post earlier when I read the posts from everyone else. So, I want to say now what I thought then.

    Wow! You all are amazingly positive and mature in your interactions. Its pretty humbling but also really inspiring to read when my first reaction to something is to react harshly. Petrea, I especially love your mental image of reaching out a hand to someone -- and alot of times its not easy for me to do. But life gives us plenty of opportunities to practice the hard stuff! Thank goodness for that -- and thank goodness for all of you.

  52. TF, you can get the very beginning of the opening ceremony on Dailymotion, only the first 13 minutes but at least you can see and hear the drums, the best part according to me