"Live blogging" isn't really my style, because I'm not very witty and can only appear clever after much contemplation and editing. But I'm sitting here watching the opening ceremony to the Olympics (and it's really a shame I couldn't watch it live this morning, stupid networks), and while I know I'm watching a spectacle that cost millions (if not billions) to produce, and is being simultaneously watched by millions more, it feels like I'm watching something far more personal. This is China on TV, this is Beijing, these are clips of Guilin and Shanghai and all the other places I have been and seen and come to know. And it makes me feel ...
... oddly nostalgic. Because I've been to Beijing and I've seen the city and the sights that are so arresting in their Olympic splendor, and seeing Beijing just reminds me of a two-year past I've just put behind me, and the mixed feelings that go with that.
... somewhat resentful. Because I spent two years there, dammit, and this should somehow be exclusively special, but it's not.
... dubiously authoritative. Because I can talk about Beijing a bit, and I can read the (really simple) characters, and I can tell you (regurgitate) a lot about China. But I know that in some ways I have seen more than one needs to see, more than I may want to have seen, of China; and in other ways, I know I have really only scratched the surface.
... overall, pleased. Because the opening ceremony was cool to see, and it reminded me of the best parts of China: optimistic, 热闹 (renao, "hot and noisy," busy and full of life and fun), grand and over-awing but also quietly clever, endlessly complex and fascinating and baffling in its incongruities and quirks and immensity.