the next best thing

Posted: August 22, 2008 in FHinlife, my trips 2008

X-man is back. He sent me a message last night. We are meeting for coffee and my supply of stories later. He tells me I’m getting a goody bag from the Olympics (I hope Michael Phelps is in it!). I can’t wait!

The last time X-man and I shared coffee was before he left to watch the Olympics’ equestrian event in Hong Kong. Hong Kong not Beijing because bringing the horses into China would have required a 1-month quarantine for the poor horses.

Saturday was crucial decision time for me. I had to decide if I loved him enough. Enough to lend him my camera, that is. Obviously that’s a yes. I only needed to peg the degree. Do we give him big camera with powerful zoom lens or the medium sized camera or the point and shoot idiot camera? I play it safe and give him my canon powershot G9. Medium sized. Moderation in everything is always good.

He had asked me to join him. But mommy wanted to go too. His, not mine. Two tickets, three hopefuls. One had to be voted out. I volunteered. And anyway, it was partly my fault why we didn’t end up watching the main event. No, actually, the second to the main event in his book. Only 4% of all those who applied to watch the opening event in the world actually managed to get a ticket. It didn’t really matter that X-man applied more than a year ago. It was all up to luck (for some) and connections (for a whole lot of others). I’ve always considered myself charmed. But not that charmed! Anyway, the one X-man really wanted to watch was the gymnastics event. And I could have gotten those tickets. But I didn’t remember until it was too late. See, I have been traveling. And when my friend offered to sell her rhythmic gymnastics tickets to me, I dilly-dallied. I like the Olympics too. But I wasn’t sure I wanted to go fly out again so soon after getting home. So I delayed and by the time I finally got to tell X-man about it he had already scheduled the Hong Kong trip.

X-man loves the Olympics. Being at the Olympics was always his dream. So yes, it was Hong Kong and not Beijing. And yes, it was a relatively unfamiliar sport to him (jumping horses instead of jumping humans). But he really wanted to be a part of the Olympics. Even if he was just going to be a spectator. He wanted a share of it. He wanted to lay claim to the stories. That love for stories is something we have always shared.

This would be the first time for him to watch an equestrian event. As soon as he told me he had gotten tickets and that he was going, I had told him quite emphatically. “Research on it. I don’t want you getting kicked out for clapping and hooting at the wrong time!” “Sure,” he tells me which I knew meant closer to, “Yeah right!” He was not going to do it.

So every time we would meet up. I would catch myself using dressage terms like passage or piaffe (I like the way that sounds in my head) and pirouette and then try to explain what these terms were as related to the event. He would listen politely and then our conversation would drift off to something else. Last Saturday he asked me to go through it again. But I already had my hands full trying to explain the camera buttons to him. While I had remembered to bring the manual, I had forgotten it was written in Japanese! So in between sips of coffee and taking covert shots of people around us, our conversation would drift back to horses and riders and gaits and trots. When I caught myself actually trying to mimic a horse’s gait, I realized that our conversation had once again taken a turn for the ridiculous and decided to just point him to the BBC site. I really hope he had time to read up on it.

Well, he is back now and I know he will be bringing home tons of pictures. I really hope he brings double that amount in stories.

One day soon we will visit Beijing. The actual Olympics event will be long over by then. X-man and I, we made a pact. No, not the blood and gore kind. Just one over a shared coffee cup! We will go see the amazing buildings they built in China for the event (the Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube, the Basketball Stadium, the Olympics control centre etc). And then we will do the obligatory walk up and down the Great Wall. And we will visit the Forbidden City. We will have our very own Olympics tour. We will marvel at the architecture that housed those events. There will be ooohs. There will be ahhhs. There will be flirtings done with history. There will be feats of human ingenuity and imagination. There will be brilliant achievements and monumental triumphs. No. It won’t really be the Olympics. But it will be the next best thing, for now. And it will be enough.

  1. runmd says:

    hmmmm. i smell romance.

  2. kingofpots says:

    mesh, what happened to your Canon camera? any pictures from the Olympics Equestrian event? hahaha! good luck on your marathon training.

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