The torch of the Universiade which had been burning for 11 days has now flamed out. While the Chinese people of the host country "were urging the guests to empty their glasses of wine", athletes, coaches and officials from various countries cast their last glance at Beijing. Beijing's poise and charm, Beijing's rhythm and Beijing's novelty--all these have left an unforgettable impression on them.
Everything Here Gives People a Feeling of Joy and Surprise
Beijing in early fall undoubtedly left a deep impression on foreign friends attending the world university games. Beijing is ancient and mysterious, Beijing is modern and open; and Beijing is solemn and respectful and Beijing is also full of vigor and vitality.
The solemn and respectful Tiananmen Square and the Imperial Palace, the magnificent Great Wall, the varied and graceful Summer Palace, indeed, foreign friends praised Beijing greatly, they said, "Everything here give people a feeling of joy and surprise!" In the post office of Universiade Village, many athletes carried in their hands postcards printed with China's scenic areas and resort which they were sending to their relatives and friends.
New Beijing has likewise left a deep impression on them. After viewing the universiade facilities, FISU President George E. Killian exclaimed, "It's unthinkable! It's unthinkable! Beijing's completion of the first-rate Universiade Village in just two years is unimaginable in other countries."
In Universiade Village, the broadband Internet brought great conveniences for the athletes and reporters. The content of science and technology is being constantly enhanced in Beijing.
Progress of Beijing's "hardware" is evident to everybody, but how about its "software"? Many foreign athletes expressed their impression in this way: "In Beijing, we don't feel strange and inconvenient, English has enabled us to have made many friends." Indeed, 80,000 taxi drivers and hundreds of thousands of employees in various trades of Beijing, inspired by the success of Beijing's Olympic bid, have set off an upsurge in learning foreign languages. This time, 16 languages service was provided for the World University Games.
Beijing is a city giving people a pleasant feeling. Putting aside for the moment the hospitality of Beijingers, the delicious food of Beijing, the Quanjude Peking Ducks which were often instantly cleared off at the cafeteria of the Universiade; it is also needless to say the great variety of commodities in Beijing, the cheap and quality garments, and the native and special products, public bar street in Beijing's Sanlitun alone brought foreign friends great pleasure.
On the evening of September 1, the melodious music here, the glimmering neon light had attracted numerous guests sitting by the tables on the roadside till after midnight, many of whom were contestants of the World University Games. An American reporter who first came to Beijing to report on the Universiade said before he came he thought Beijing's night life would be very dull, he had never thought Beijing was a place of so lively where people sang and danced, he felt Beijing people were living a pretty good life.
Everything Here Makes People Become Intoxicated
A contestant coming from the United States to Beijing to attend the Universiade seemed not for competition, but for tourism. Several track-and-field competitors, students from Mississippi University, asked: "Please bring us to Universiade Village, to Wangfujing, to Xiushuijie (Beautiful Water) Street, to Shangri-la International Hotel and Xidan".What places in Beijing and what things had attracted them? Ye Wei, a responsible person in charge of tourist reception for the Universiade, said on September 1 that more than 1,000 tourists had been received during the Universiade, most of whom were athletes and the main sightseeing places were the Great Wall and the Imperial Palace.
Beijing's long history and profound cultural base had made some humane and historical landscapes become the hot spots for numerous athletes to visit during the interval after competition, the Palace Museum was one of them, A Swedish sportsman told the reporter, "I heard when I was at home that the Palace Museum is the largest imperial palace in the world which has the largest complex of palatial buildings, therefore, after I came to Beijing I must go there and see." An international football umpire from Nigeria said, "the Great Wall and the Imperial Palace are a large amount of tourism wealth of the Chinese and can make much money for you." What had attracted foreigners were not only scenic spots such as the Great Wall and the Imperial Palace, but also Peking opera, quyi (Chinese folk art form) and other theatrical arts. In the famous writer Lao She Teahouse, everyday athletes and officials came here to sample tea while enjoying the performance of opera. In their eyes everything here made people become intoxicated.
In the open cultural square of Universiade Village, strains of music accompanied by drumbeat of distinguishing Chinese national characteristics were performed, which evoked bursts of enthusiastic applause from athletes of different skin colors and in different attire.
Everything Here Wanted to Be Carried Away
When the Universiade was drawing to an end, shopping had become the main activity of the representatives of various countries. In the glazed tile factory, Wangfujing Department Store, Modern Supermarket, goods ranging from ancient commodities of national characteristics to modern household appliances-are all commodities for the panic buying by athletes from various countries. The prosperous market, rich commodities and reasonable prices-all struck the hearts of the buyers! Xiushuijie Street in Beijing's embassy district became the place of first choice for shopping by athletes from various countries.
On September 1, the day of the conclusion of the Universiade, customers of different skin color crowded before rows upon rows of clothing stalls, who wanted to carry away whatever they needed. A stall female owner by the roadside, speaking in English to solicit customers, said gleefully to the reporter, "They like to buy silk fabrics, T shirts in the pattern of panda, handkerchiefs, curios and other small handicrafts. I can sell goods worth 3,000-4,000 yuan a day, much more than at ordinary times!"
Two Mexican officials praised the goods sold here, saying, "Things sold here are very cheap, and their quality is good." A gentle and frail-looking young athlete from Uganda quit the contesting ground with great regret because he was wounded in the shoulder during competition; however, on the afternoon of September 1, he also came to Xiushuijie Street for shopping. He said he liked Chinese silk very much, and so specially bought a silk nightgown for his mother. He said, "things here are very cheap, and the variety is rich."
Mascot "La La" became the most valuable souvenir. With "La La", a customer said, "La La; La La, I love you", this is the latest trend in Universiade.
A young man from Finland spoke out the minds of many people, "This time I came to China to major in law in Peking University, five years ago I studied Chinese in this same university. This time the moment I got off the plane, I felt Beijing had changed a lot: leaving the customs house from the airport, I fulfilled all the necessary formalities within five minutes, the fourth ring road had also been opened to traffic, communications had become much more convenient. So I feel the present Universiade is only a preview of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games."
Yes! Today, the Chinese people have successfully held the 21st World University Games; in 2008, the ancient yet modern Beijing will definitely be able to give the world a feeling of joy and surprise once again!
(People's Daily 09/04/2001)