Last night at the supper table - Lulu and I decided we would try to get into the Weightlifting Event.
We left our apartment at 5:45 PM. We took the black subway line south - then the silver subway line east. Finally we had to take the DLR train two stops to get to the Excell Arena. The event was not being held at Olympic Park.
We got off the train at 6:30 - we still had a half hour to find tickets for the 7 PM show. I figured this would be easy. I held up two fingers - did not even get a nibble. Lulu went to the ticket booth - and nothing was being sold. While she was there - two separate guys offered me single tickets - but I was sure I would get a pair. Lulu even started holding up two fingers - but nothing. People did not even understand what two fingers meant - maybe it means something obscene over here.
Finally - we saw a nice dressed guy holding two tickets. They were excellent tickets - second row. The guy said he was stood up. The tickets had a 95 pound tag (about $140) each. Lulu and I wanted to get in for 10 or 20 pounds. Lulu offered the guy 20 and then even 30 pounds per ticket. He lowered his price to 70 pounds - still out of our range. He eventually got full price.
The cops were all over. I talked to them. They said if they see money exchanging hands - they would arrest me. I told them I was looking for free tickets. We devised a plan - if someone had tickets - we would go in with them and pay them inside. Still - we only had that offer - unless you count an old Mexican in a sombrero offering two single tickets to fencing and boxing. We are so used to the "open market" at Tallahassee. An open market tends to lower prices - people aren't afraid of being arrested.
The Olympic ticket situation is tight. They had a lottery for tickets - and many people got shut out - no tickets at all. Prices ranged from 40 pounds to 3000 pounds (are they nuts?) All tickets were sold supposedly. They gave a large amount of tickets to sponsors for VIPs. Many of the sponsor tickets have gone unused. Not only are the VIPs not found in the seats - but the tickets have disappeared. When you watch on TV - the upper decks are bulging with people - and the lower levels have big patches of empty seats. To compound this situation - they put all the concession stands and toilets only on the lower level - because they are going to tear the top half of some of the arenas down. So whenever the upper fans need toilets or refreshments - they must tread way down to get them.
I know it sounds like sour grapes - but you can see the event s better on TV than way up in the rafters. The swimming arena is designed with a big down sloping roof - so that you could not even see the fans on the other side of the arena.
Today - we have tickets to see the USA Basketball Team play Lithuania - thanks to Keith buying them from over in the US.
Yesterday - Drew - Robin - and Jack got to meet Duke's Coach K at an event. They were at the event because Robin's grandfather was invited to meet the basketball team.
Right now - Keith and Liz are in Paris - but we expect them home in time for the basketball game Saturday. It will be probably televised back home live. Lulu - Drew - Keith and I will be going. Do not expect to see us on TV unless you have radar vision.
We are lucky to have this nice apartment at FSU - in a great area of town. This area was designated for the media. They have closed the street down in front of our apartment - just for media and VIP traffic. They over-prepared for the media because most of the buses making the trek from here to Olympic Park are almost empty. Because of traffic - it seems faster to take the subway than bus.
The whole trip is going so fast - we have been here 4 weeks - 1 week left. It is good to go to home - but we will miss having all the family together like here.