Thursday, March 16, 2006

Open for Business

Well they have begun. The Games that is. What is it about Opening Ceremonies that elicit such diverse reactions in people?

As Ian mentioned in an earlier post, we watched the proceedings from the 30th floor of my current place of employment. To be honest, we could have charged $2,000 a pop for the view we got and people would have paid with impunity*. It was nothing short of fabulous.

We had a large screen on which to view what was happening at the MCG, which we could just make out the corner of if we crossed the floor and crooked our necks, but below us lies the Yarra River where the metal fishies live. And, unbeknownst to us, on the roof tops of the half a dozen buildings around ours, was loads of black exploding powdery stuff that goes BANG when lit.

The advantage to being up so high is that we got the total picture which included the fireworks on the river, the fireworks across the roof tops of the skyscrapers around us and the reflection of it all it the glass building in front of us. It was smorgasbord for the eyes!! Apologies for that rubbish euphemism but I am extremely brain dead

Sadly however I made the mistake of sitting near a woman who exuded that special kind of cynicism that made me want to stuff her head into the chilli cream cheese dip. I hate it when people are cynical simply because they can not accept that something that means nothing to them (or they refuse to accept that it could) could actually hold meaning for someone else. So what if the duck seemed a little obscure at the time.

Had she shut up for a moment we would have heard Michael Leunig explain what it all meant and how wonderfully engaging it all was. I love Leunig's cartoons for they are always simply profound. See for yourself.

Anyway, aside from Leunig's duck the rest was over pretty quickly and the fireworks continued. It was a pretty good night but I found myself wanting to speak to my friends in the UK. I wondered if any of them were watching the ceremony. I also threw my mind back to 2002 when Manchester had the Commonwealth Games and I could not work out where the last 4 years had gone.

We tried a whole host of friends (you all know who you are) and we spoke to a lot of voicemail. Only Annette was at her desk and sounded as excited as I did to be speaking to someone halfway across the world. I felt a little more centred after our chat - I so miss my mates in England...

We got a cab home with 2 of my colleagues which was thankfully paid for by a nifty little piece of paper called a Cabcharge. Firms use them a lot as they are a cheque book type system where no money changes hands, so employees are not out of pocket. Great when used on a trust system - not so good when your work experience students get hold of some and take a cab to Perth.

It was a fun night and a great start to what Melbourne is finally realising might actually be, an enjoyable few weeks.

We will post some photos from last night later this week.

*not sure if impunity is the right word in that context. If I've erred can someone let me know?

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