Today my blog reached its 5,000th hit. A little more than seven months ago I started this blog as a way to tell my family’s story of life overseas. I’m excited to see so many readers stopping by to catch up on news here and post comments. Keep them coming! I enjoy reading new comments every night and getting to know others from around the world, like Cuban-Junky in Kerry, Ireland. (I haven’t been to Kerry, but I’ve been to Dublin twice and down to the south part of Ireland. What a change between my first trip in 1994 and my second in 2003! Ireland really has become a Tiger economy) As always, I will try to keep World Adventurers entertaining, leaving you wonder what interesting tidbit or ponderous thought will be posted each evening. Occasionally I take a break to enjoy an evening event or to crash after a long day at work. I always take time out to write when I can. Someday I’ll sit down to write that epic novel hidden in the recesses of my mind. In the meantime, World Adventurers will have to sustain my creativity.
I had a very eventful day at work today. I didn’t get home tonight until 8 p.m. because I was so busy helping Americans around Seoul. I spent the entire afternoon helping an American in trouble. Around 5 p.m. I was by their side in an ambulance headed to a local hospital. They’re fine now, fortunately. I stayed with them until I was sure that they had recovered. It was my first time riding inside an ambulance. Fortunately, I myself have never needed an ambulance. If you’ve ever ridden in an ambulance, you know it can be a hair-raising experience weaving perilously through traffic, rushing headlong to the hospital. Seoul residents drive somewhat chaotically, which added to the intensity of the ride. I held on to the ambulance cab and prayed that I’d make it safely to the hospital while the U.S.-style siren blared above my head. If you’re in a traffic accident, there’s no better place to be than in an ambulance. Still, being involved in an accident in the back of an ambulance is not something I want to experience. I made it home safely, but I will be following this American’s case for quite some time.
In other news, London was awarded the 2012 Summer Olympic Games today. Paris was heavily favored to win the Games, so it was quite a surprise that London received the nod today during the IOC meeting in Singapore. Paris has not hosted the Games since 1924, while London most recently hosted it in 1948. France has also lost several bids for the Summer Olympics (as has Great Britain) and it appeared to be the sentimental favorite in the run-up to the IOC vote. Of course I was rooting for New York to win, but I understand why New York was not a finalist. The U.S. most recently hosted the Games in 1996 in Atlanta. I also think it would be logistically more difficult to host the Games in New York than it would be in London or Paris. New York still needs to recover from the aftermath of 9/11. New York would be a great candidate for the 2016 or 2020 Olympics. Although the 2012 Summer Olympics would be a fitting tribute to the official reopening of the World Trade Center complex and the opening of the Freedom Tower in 2010, 2016 would be more memorable because it would mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Having most recently visited Paris in 1998, London in 2002, and New York in 2003, I think London is a bit more prepared to host the Games than Paris or New York. I remember a time eight years ago when Seattle considered bidding on the 2012 Summer Olympics. At the time, nearby Vancouver, B.C. was gearing up to bid on the Winter Olympics, which it will host in 2010. The Seattle City Council tabled the Games initiative in October 1998, citing the huge cost Atlanta paid to host the Games in 1996. In hindsight, considering the choices this year (London, Paris, New York, Madrid, and Moscow), the Council’s decision seems wise. Still, Seattle paid over $850 million for a baseball and football complex partly on the premise that it would be used to attract the Summer Olympics and a Major League Soccer team. Neither came to fruition. Talk about a bait and switch. Maybe the venues could be used for a couple of Olympic events—Vancouver has graciously agreed to work with Seattle to promote the Games as a showcase of the Pacific Northwest.