My Olympic ticket story

The following is a guest post from my friend Bill, an old-time China hand who’s been here nearly 17 years. He is an affable fellow who many of you know. No China basher he. His story appears to be verified over here. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of this site’s owner, who was not there.
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Today I was an active participant in what was without question the most barbaric episode of Chinese history I’ve during my past 16 years living here. Waiting in line, outdoors in 35c swealtering heat for Olympics tickets.

I was quite impressed with the previous on-line ticket lotteries. Whoever decided it was time to have an olympics’ tickets free-for-all off-line during a Beijing summer deserves to face the Party (and possibly the UN) for his crimes against humanity.

It was announced on the local news this week that the final 700,000 tickets would be sold on July 25th in Beijing at the ticket counters of the respective venues where the events were to be held starting from 9:00 a.m. I knew it would be a little crazy, but at least thought that a.) the crowds will be spread out to the different venues and b.) this is a unique opportunity to make friends out of shared comraderie. You know, like we do every week when our flights are delayed and no indication is given as to when or if it will take off. So, what the heck I trampsed to the Bird’s Nest at 5:00 a.m. only to learn that all tickets were to be sold from the Asian Games (AoTi) venue.

I got to AoTi and did a quick poll from the upper part of the line to learn some people had been there since Wednesday. Not a good sign. Anyway, I took my place at the end of what seemed like a 10 kms wrap-around line and soon met my two new “best friends,” Chen Laoshi, A Tsinghua University professor of management and Xiao Wang, a UIBE student of accounting. These are numbers guys, so I figured if they’re going to wait this out my chances are pretty decent to get tickets. Had they been art students, I would have been off like a prom dress.

I’m not sure exactly how many people were in the line(s), but a rough guess would be at least 20,000. Thinking 700,000 tickets divided by 20,000 folks waiting ahead of me, in the worst case scenario if I wait it out I’ll at least get to see the Albania vs. Chad Women’s beach volleyball preliminary.

How could I have been so bloody naive? Seven hours later, nearly at the strike of noon, an almost 18-year-old PLA soldier came by and told us they have finished selling tickets for today, but we can stay in line to wait for when they begin selling these tickets the next day at 9:00 a.m. HELLO! Who volunteers to be a refugee in Darfur?

I should mention in more detail, there was no general announcement to the throngs of people waiting and profusely sweating in line. I had been pinching cigarettes from that PLA boy and rewarding him with RMB 5 notes throughout the morning which is why he came to inform me & my numbers guy clique of the news. The masses before and behind us were not informed to my knowledge, at least not in an formal manner.

Mr. Management and Mr. future CPA (unrelated except for meeting in the ticket line) decided to cut their losses and go their respective ways home. They were long gone before I could ask how to say “Gimme Shelter…” in Mandarin. I felt like this barbarious situation needed some screaming and yelling, but I was just too self-absorbed at the thought of returning home for a cool shower, some AC and a chance to pee. Yes, there were no WC’s available to the masses. God knows how the Wednesday arrivee’s were faring.

The subject often comes up whether such sudden development in China is good versus the “simpler way life was before.” And, a popular dinner topic among certain long term or returning expats is similar. Hai gui friends have the same conversation but on different levels. It often ends with people trying to reinforce their opinion that before we did not have these traffic jams, this fast paced life, the intense competition for jobs, etc.

Today’s experience is my end-all to that topic. Though, I have always reminded other foreigners and returnees living here that life for a Chinese person sitting in their car in traffic in Beijing with their heat in winter or air conditioning in summer is a great leap foward versus being on a bicycle. Ok, Ok, …same for the new public transport options.

So, lining up for anything which can otherwise be booked on-line truely ‘serves the people’ and if anyone argues with me on that point, I welcome them to enjoy this Green Beijing summer in a line for Olympic tickets now.

The CCTV news this week informed Beijing residents, “The last day to buy Olympics tickets is July 25th.” How many hours in a day?

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Update by Richard. I wanted to move a remark I made in the comments into the actual post: “To the less hysterical readers, I don’t blame the ticket buyers for this, but the bureaucrats who allowed it to happen. The entire thing was a recipe for chaos. Sure, I’d like to see some improvement in line-waiting etiquette, but that’s happening – compared to 2002 there’s been huge progress.”

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 41 Comments

[...] Original post by The Peking Duck [...]

July 26, 2008 @ 12:07 am | Pingback

“Sixteen years” in Beijing and you still don’t know the drill?

July 26, 2008 @ 12:28 am | Comment

Let me see. 700.000 tickets still to be sold.

Aprox 1.000.0000.000 Chinese still without tickets.

Yes. It is not going to be an easy task. ;-)

July 26, 2008 @ 3:26 am | Comment

They’ve already sold 300 million tickets? =O!

July 26, 2008 @ 6:39 am | Comment

Sounds like typical Xbox or iPhone release line back in the States.

Do what rest of the expats do, find a ticket trading place and buy tickets the civilized way. Remember our money buys more Big Mac, so it’s actually worth it.

July 26, 2008 @ 7:10 am | Comment

YJ was up there on Thursday night and Friday morning shooting footage and interviewing people in the crowd. She said it wasn’t the riot that some of the wire reports have made it seem like, but it was definitely chaotic and disorganized: A lot of hot, anxious people waiting outside for hours without water. There was also the requisite queue jumping and such adding to the short tempers. The police were rough and order in the crowds, especially towards the front of the lines, easily broke down when people started running for open ticket windows.

July 26, 2008 @ 8:37 am | Comment

Total solar eclipse on Aug 1, guys, and the path of totality runs across China. NASA has the maps, etc.

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEmono/TSE2008/TSE2008.html

The Duck might want to blog on this.

July 26, 2008 @ 8:43 am | Comment

The hot topic in HK regarding this cluster f— was how the local police roughed up a bunch of the local (HK) journalists who were there filming and reporting on the event. Supposedly, they were even in the designated press area. And these guys know the drill.

Bodes well for the Games when you will have thousands of foreign reporters there with their own agenda, and probably a little less apt to want to listen.

July 26, 2008 @ 9:17 am | Comment

Do you know there many people were killed fighting outside stores, when XBOX or PS3 were released in the US?

If you go to a big American city like Detroit or New Orleans with high black population. And announce that you have enough chicken wings and hamburgers for 5000 people, and start giving them out in an open and busy downtown area. What will happen? Hoho, I do not even want to imagine. Don’t tell me that I’m racist, think about this scenario honestly and tell me what do you think will happen.

Did anyone get injured, killed during these ticket sales? Stop joking me.

July 26, 2008 @ 10:13 am | Comment

@HongXing

What? Do you even bother to read the drivel you spew forth? It doesn’t appear anyone was injured or killed, but even the most highly organized and planned activity in recent Chinese history looks like a clusterf**ck and as usual all you can do is point fingers at something else, in this case an overtly racist hypothetical situation. Grow up. Become a human being.
Then start expressing opinions. Otherwise crawl back under your CCP rock along with the 80 million other lackeys.

July 26, 2008 @ 10:29 am | Comment

Charles: Sounds like typical Xbox or iPhone release line back in the States.

Does it really? Seriously, I am willing to believe you. Where did you hear about this being typical on lines for buying the iPhone? Share with us. Please. Here’s one article I found with photos of the vicious treatment of those waiting for iPhones. Keep scrolling. Shocking. Talk about abuse.

HX, how many people were killed as they tried to buy iPhones? Were the lines for the iPhone like this? From the newspaper article linked to in the post:

Police yanked more than half a dozen unruly fans from the crowd, kicking one who fell as he was being led away and dragging another by his hair.

”It was very dangerous. I was afraid,” said Wang Zhenqiang, who waited 28 hours with Ji Liqiang, a fellow businessman from eastern Shandong province, to buy tickets to the diving competition.

Hundreds of police and paramilitary troops tried to control the crowd, with lines of officers throwing their weight into hastily erected metal barricades to hold back the throng. There was no line; fans were allowed to pass through the police barricade in groups of 25 to 50, streaming toward the two-dozen-plus sales windows.

Scuffles broke out as officials opened additional windows at the last minute, causing some fans to stampede ahead of others.

”People got hurt around me. They fell and injured their knees and elbows. A barricade was bent out of shape by the crowd,” Wang said.

In the scramble, Wang and his friend ended up with tickets to synchronized swimming, instead of the diving competition — where China is a gold-medal favorite.

”We all could see there would be a huge problem, and it became very chaotic,” Ji said. ”This also shows the Chinese government lacks the ability to deal with public crises.”

Temperatures topped 93 degrees with 94 percent humidity on Friday, and some of the fans fainted in the heat. Some men stripped off their shirts during the long, muggy wait and police restraining the ticket buyers also handed out bottles of water.

Thousands also waited in western Beijing for 20,000 tickets for basketball. Another 570,000 tickets went on sale for preliminary round soccer matches in the cities of Tianjin, Shanghai, Shenyang and Qinhuangdao. There were no reports of major problems at the other sites…

Security officials also scuffled with journalists trying to report on the sometimes-chaotic scene. Some reporters were escorted away after going into off-limits areas, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Hong Kong television showed several journalists pushing back against police. Hong Kong Cable TV showed a policeman putting his arm around the neck of one of their reporters and pulling him to the ground.

The reporter said he was assaulted after his crew refused to leave a media zone, Cable TV reported. They were seen surrounded by dozens of police.

Red Star: Do you know there many people were killed fighting outside stores, when XBOX or PS3 were released in the US?

HX, tell us what you are referring to: how many iPhone and Xbox buyers died? I know those Apple-lover can be really violent and tend to murder first before asking questions, but somehow I missed this story. So enlighten us, thanks. If you are going to say things like iPhone mobs were worse, feel free. But if you give us no link or context as to why you say this, you have little to stand on. But then, you rarely do.

To the less hysterical readers, I don’t blame the ticket buyers for this, but the bureaucrats who allowed it to happen. The entire thing was a recipe for chaos. Sure, I’d like to see some improvement in line-waiting etiquette, but that’s happening – compared to 2002 there’s been huge progress.

July 26, 2008 @ 11:05 am | Comment

HongXing,

If you go to a big American city like Detroit or New Orleans with high black population. And announce that you have enough chicken wings and hamburgers for 5000 people, and start giving them out in an open and busy downtown area. What will happen? Hoho, I do not even want to imagine. Don’t tell me that I’m racist, think about this scenario honestly and tell me what do you think will happen.

Did anyone get injured, killed during these ticket sales? Stop joking me.

For one moment, i thought the Apartheid regime is still with us in this new century.

July 26, 2008 @ 11:24 am | Comment

Richard my friend, read these very carefully:

“HARTFORD, Conn. – Two armed thugs tried to rob a line of people waiting for the new PlayStation 3 game system to go on sale early Friday and shot one man who refused to give up his money, authorities said.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15764297/

“Reports of violence were heard throughout the nation. In California, an unruly mob trampled several people in their rush to get to store shelves. Police in different areas of Virginia found it necessary to fire pepper pellets and talcum powder balls in an effort to subdue crowds. In Kentucky, a TV news reporter who was covering the crowd and three shoppers were grazed by BB pellets from a passerby while waiting in line. ”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_482020.html

“Shortly after midnight yesterday, an estimated 15,000 shoppers pushed and shoved their way into the Fashion Place mall in Murray, Utah. Police soon joined them, responding to reports of nine skirmishes. ”

http://consumerist.com/consumer/black-friday/consumers-gone-wild-roundup-of-black-friday-violence-217273.php

Each of the above incidents are about things that are much more unimportant than Olympic tickets, and each were much more serious violence than what happened during this ticket sale.

What do you want to say now?

July 26, 2008 @ 11:29 am | Comment

I posted a reply to Richard but was deleted maybe because of two many links.

This is what the websites say:

About PS3:

One story:
Reports of violence were heard throughout the nation. In California, an unruly mob trampled several people in their rush to get to store shelves. Police in different areas of Virginia found it necessary to fire pepper pellets and talcum powder balls in an effort to subdue crowds. In Kentucky, a TV news reporter who was covering the crowd and three shoppers were grazed by BB pellets from a passerby while waiting in line.

About Thanksgiving shopping:

Shortly after midnight yesterday, an estimated 15,000 shoppers pushed and shoved their way into the Fashion Place mall in Murray, Utah. Police soon joined them, responding to reports of nine skirmishes.

Each incident above is about things that are much more common and less important than Olympic tickets. And each one above resulted in more injuries and chaos than the ticket sale event in Beijing. So, do you have anything to say?

July 26, 2008 @ 11:31 am | Comment

Too many links – caught in the spam filter.

I adore our logic, Red Star. One story begins, “Two armed thugs tried to rob a line of people waiting for the new PlayStation 3 game system to go on sale early Friday and shot one man who refused to give up his money, authorities said.”

And you make that an example of how terrible waiting on line can be in America, as if that’s our everyday experience as we wait on line. Okay. No matter that is has nothing to do with the line, but with some armed robbers harassing people on the line, a most unusual situation.

And the other tells of a passer-by peppering the crowd with BB pellets. Like the two armed thugs, these are stories of people NOT waiting on line who then abused those waiting on line. And it’s not like people waiting on lines in America are typically pelleted by BBs or shot by armed thugs. Now, the story also alludes to the mob itself getting unrowdy, and that does happen – very rarely. And when it does, it becomes news because it is so rare. But let”s go back to what you said “Do you know there many people were killed fighting outside stores, when XBOX or PS3 were released in the US?” Yes. The answer is zero. Absolutely zero. Someone waiting on a line was killed by an armed thug. That’s like someone getting killed by a robber wile waiting to buy an opera ticket and you writing, “Do you know how many people get killed waiting on lines for opera tickets? That’s a typical thing in America!”

So back to the usual Red Star argument – it’s a million times worse in America. “Look, I can show you a google search that’s basically irrelevant, but it proves my point anyway. If I can find some odd incident that happened at some point in America’s history, it is an indictment of all Americans at this instant and it validates anything the CCP does.” So we all know how this argument goes. It’s worse in America. When has there been a day in America when we haven’t all stood on a line like the one described above ad witnessed bloodshed and rioting?

This story, which I didn’t write, is of interest because the Games begin in less than two weeks, and it gives us a good insight into how ready Beijing is for crowd control. But the real story, of course, is about a freak story from 2 years ago where some crazed Xbox players got unruly on line and some got hurt. Of course, the stuff about iPhone buyers getting killed is pure horseshit, but now Red Star will simply ignore that he said it as he tries to derail the thread in other directions.

July 26, 2008 @ 11:56 am | Comment

Some families send their old parents to wait in line. That is really cruel because i could not see ambulances there.

July 26, 2008 @ 12:31 pm | Comment

Well, I guess it’s too late to stop people getting worked up over Hongxing, but if you want an interesting look at “the other side” of this story, check out the coverage at Roland’s ESWN blog.

http://www.zonaeuropa.com/weblog.htm

Though I think he sorta confuses the issue by putting HK’s human garbage paparazzi into the same discussion as this incident…

While I certainly think the poor crowd control and lack of planning are a big embarrassment, I also think the Western coverage is again lacking here. It sounds to me like it was not a simple case of the police trying to muzzle journalists. Tempers were already short and several of the photographers crossed a tape line to get a better shot, which started the pissing contest with the police — at least, that’s my impression after reading the different accounts at ESWN.

July 26, 2008 @ 12:55 pm | Comment

Hmm, maybe I should have linked directly to the main story:

http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20080726_1.htm

The link in my post above to Roland’s front page might be confusing, since it talks about HK paparazzi and Li Yapeng (Wang Fei’s husband) getting into another pissing contest.

July 26, 2008 @ 1:00 pm | Comment

I don’t understand why you even allow that guy Hongxing to post. To make such nasty comments about people of color and suggest that a wing can lead to death is beyond comprehension. If this person is actually Chinese, I even have less respect for these people than I did before, congratulations Hongxing, you are a “real credit to your race”. Off topic a bit, I am coming to Beijing for the Olympic games around the 12th, are there any cheap spots available that you guys know of? I have a marriage shen fen zhen, so I think I should be ok….And I wiiiiiill go to the bars, and immediately let you guys know if I had any trouble ;) e-mail me offline if you like at rasaanw2000@yahoo.com. I indeed need a motel for a night or two, thanks guys.

July 26, 2008 @ 1:32 pm | Comment

There are lots of cheap places to stay in Beijing, Ra. The two- and three-star hotels have rooms; just check the Internets.

About why I let Hong Xing (and Math and some others) post: they provide some comic relief and debunking their claims is so easy. HX uses a proxy to hide where he’s posting from, but my guess would be somewhere in New Jersey.

July 26, 2008 @ 2:33 pm | Comment

It’s true! I was in fact hired by the US government to beat up journalists reporting from PS2 release lines back in the beginning of this decade. Thankfully, with the help of a broad Western conspiracy, this news was never published in the Western world. There is so much that you don’t know!

July 26, 2008 @ 3:35 pm | Comment

Personally, I am jealous of Bill. Having moved back to America, I often have to stand in their horrible, violent, and chaotic lines. The line at my local grocery store often leaves me wishing that I could have spent three days in an outdoor line in the Beijing summer without access to a restroom.
That’s why I am visiting this summer. I am so excited about the safe, stable, and friendly lines.

July 26, 2008 @ 3:39 pm | Comment

@sr
“They’ve already sold 300 million tickets? =O!”

Use better this one. =8-O

= : Pointed hair to show fright
8 : Wide open eyes
- : Nose (big nose for weseter)
O : Open mouth

July 26, 2008 @ 3:55 pm | Comment

Big nose for westerner, I mean

July 26, 2008 @ 3:56 pm | Comment

@Michael Turton
“Total solar eclipse on Aug 1, guys, and the path of totality runs across China.”

Ice Storms, TB Unrest, Torch relay, Earth quakes, Weng’s Riots, Algae pest in Qingdao, Olympic Games controversies.

And now…. a total solar eclipse. Wow! What a year!

July 26, 2008 @ 4:07 pm | Comment

@HX
“Do you know there many people were killed fighting outside stores, when XBOX or PS3 were released in the US?”

How about the Wii? Already released in CH?

July 26, 2008 @ 4:10 pm | Comment

I hope this isn’t a foretaste of how crowd management will work during the games. Chinese citizens and China residents might be used to this way of doing things but I can’t see international visitors who’ve paid big bucks to be there accepting this kind of cattle herding approach.
It surprises me because in many ways the Chinese are unsurpassed in managing – choreographing – large events and crowds. Whose idea was it to sell almost a million tickets on a first come first served basis in the middle of summer? Madness.

July 26, 2008 @ 5:05 pm | Comment

I was actually one of those silly people who stood in line at Gongti. I got there a day in advance to check the scene out and at 2pm on the previous day there were about 50 people already lined up. I couldn’t really abide the thought of sleeping out there for tickets, so I just decided to try my luck early in the morning of the actual day of ticket sales. I overslept, in classic fashion, and arrived at 10:30am getting in the back of the line and inching forward. I thought even if I stood out all day I would still be spending less time in line than if I had spent the night. I stood there for about three hours listening to more and more reports of craziness at the front of the line. I thought it was a scam to make people leave and lose their spot in line, but eventually I walked up and checked it out. Towards the front of the line order had completely broken down and people were rampantly cutting in line. There were over a hundred uniformed personnel of various types there – all placidly standing inside the cordoned off inner-line area and absolutely indifferent to the blatant line cutting. The tickets I wanted had already been sold out at that point, so I just left – knowing that after 6 years in Beijing I am apparently still struggling to grasp the basics.

July 26, 2008 @ 6:40 pm | Comment

Theo gets it. The references were all just adjectives. Bill

July 26, 2008 @ 6:43 pm | Comment

Theo gets it. The references were all just adjectives. Bill

July 26, 2008 @ 6:44 pm | Comment

Theo:

‘It surprises me because in many ways the Chinese are unsurpassed in managing – choreographing – large events and crowds.

So is North Korea.

July 26, 2008 @ 8:20 pm | Comment

My dear friend Richard. I see you ignored my last story.

“Shortly after midnight yesterday, an estimated 15,000 shoppers pushed and shoved their way into the Fashion Place mall in Murray, Utah. Police soon joined them, responding to reports of nine skirmishes. ”

http://consumerist.com/consumer/black-friday/consumers-gone-wild-roundup-of-black-friday-violence-217273.php

Don’t tell that this story is about “people NOT waiting on line who then abused those waiting on line.”. This story is exactly about people who wait in line and then pushed to get that 199 dollar TV.

Here are some excerpts from that story:

“Oh, my god, stop pushing me, oh, my god,” screamed Linda Tuttle, a 47-year-old employee at the store.

“As the 5 a.m. opening at Best Buy approached, latecomers crashed the line marked by yellow tape, jockeying for pole position with people who stood in the cold for hours.”

“Attempting to quell the crowd, a store manager jumped on a garbage can and threatened to call police. Store employees handed out tickets, entitling the bearer to one of the limited number of so-called “doorbuster” items.”

“An elderly woman and nine other bargain hunters were injured Friday in a rush for gift certificates dropped from the ceiling of a local mall. ”

And don’t tell me that this is “Rare”. Crowds shoving and pushing and completely disobeying the lines are a common routine in every black friday in the USA.

So you said “So back to the usual Red Star argument – it’s a million times worse in America.”. My dear friend Richard, you are wrong again. How did you get the idea that my arguments is that it’s a million times worse in America?

When it comes to unruly crowds, it is 10 million times worse in America.

July 26, 2008 @ 11:07 pm | Comment

Yes, HX, we all know this is business as usual in America. Thanks. All of us also know that waiting on line in America is far more stressful than here, where no one cuts the queue, which is always organized in a perfectly straight line, and most people courteously offer senior citizens and others who might be having a hard time, to move ahead of them.

Keep googling. You can find whatever you want and then say that the obscure and outrageous story you find defines America. Julius Streicher as part of his job of editor of the Voelkischer Beobachter would find a story about a good German woman defiled by a Jewish employer (though most of these stories were total fabrications) and use them to say Look at how monstrous the Jews are. Charles Johnson does the same at Little Green Footballs. You are in good company. Don’t go away – we all love you.

July 26, 2008 @ 11:19 pm | Comment

Yes, HX, we all know this is business as usual in America.

My dear friend Richard, are you saying that the above story is “rare”. You don’t think chaos and injury in Black Friday shopping in America is a common occurence?

What is the fundental difference between the black friday chaos and this Olympic ticket sale chaos? Are you saying that the fundamental difference is that the Olympic ticket chaos is business as usual in China, but the black friday chaos is rare in USA.

Maybe you are right that it is a little more frequent to see such crowd chaos in China than in the USA, but don’t make it sound as if it is a fundamental difference between China and USA, that “in China, crowds injuring each other and stampeded is very common, typical of Chinese society.” And “in the US, these incidents are very rare, because the US society is simply a much more civilized and ruly society”. Fundamentally, there’s no difference between human nature.

The US and the West may have more “civilized” citizens, but only because the general education level is higher than that of China, because it is an industrialized nation, not a third world nation. CHina is still a developing nation, of course “lags behind” in many aspects. But as a Chinese, I watch these events and I try very sincerely to think ways to improve it. But that is not you guys attitude, you guys attitude is just to blog and say “Oh look, look how uncivilized those chinese are, typical of this Chinese society, haha, oh well, who cares, this society will never reach the level of a modern Western society.”

Even if what you blogged is true, your attitude is totally different from mine. This is the problem.

July 26, 2008 @ 11:31 pm | Comment

“But as a Chinese, I watch these events and I try very sincerely to think ways to improve it. But that is not you guys attitude, you guys attitude is just to blog and say “Oh look, look how uncivilized those chinese are, typical of this Chinese society, haha, oh well, who cares, this society will never reach the level of a modern Western society.”

If you “sincerely” want to improve it, then really educate your people. Let them see , hear, read what goes on in China and the rest of the world without the ignorant CCP thugs deciding what’s best for them. By the way, Chinese don’t stand in line for anything…not the bus, not at the airport, not for a taxi, not at a cash register….mainly because it seems to be a society for thinking of one’s self only in the short term. How about instilling real values of harmony instead of the weak Olympic crap that you and rest of you degerates keeps shouting?

July 27, 2008 @ 2:29 am | Comment

“Big nose for westerner, I mean”

Awesome, equal representation for all emoticons.

July 27, 2008 @ 5:30 am | Comment

HX, you are exactly right, the incidents were identical. Both of them were strikingly similar. From my earlier comment with the link from the NYT:

Police yanked more than half a dozen unruly fans from the crowd, kicking one who fell as he was being led away and dragging another by his hair.

”It was very dangerous. I was afraid,” said Wang Zhenqiang, who waited 28 hours with Ji Liqiang, a fellow businessman from eastern Shandong province, to buy tickets to the diving competition.

Hundreds of police and paramilitary troops tried to control the crowd, with lines of officers throwing their weight into hastily erected metal barricades to hold back the throng. There was no line; fans were allowed to pass through the police barricade in groups of 25 to 50, streaming toward the two-dozen-plus sales windows.

Scuffles broke out as officials opened additional windows at the last minute, causing some fans to stampede ahead of others.

Okay, no more. We keep going back and forth, with your insisting on drawing parallels to America – YOU are the one who who is grasping to find examples to equate the two, even though we are talking radically different situations. And stop putting words in my mouth (“you guys attitude is just to blog and say “Oh look, look how uncivilized those chinese are, typical of this Chinese society, haha, oh well, who cares, this society will never reach the level of a modern Western society”). And then you overlook what I actually say: “To the less hysterical readers, I don’t blame the ticket buyers for this, but the bureaucrats who allowed it to happen. The entire thing was a recipe for chaos. Sure, I’d like to see some improvement in line-waiting etiquette, but that’s happening – compared to 2002 there’s been huge progress.”

You are getting real tiresome. I’ve put up with you for years despite some truly foul stuff, but now I’m telling you to stop derailing threads with the same idiotic argument that the US is the same or worse, and then googling for something, anything you can point to to make your case. I’m not asking you to stop. I’m telling you.

July 27, 2008 @ 6:27 am | Comment

@snr

Small correction

Small nose
=8-O

Bigger nose
=8^O

July 27, 2008 @ 8:07 am | Comment

Richard, I’ll take the scuffle point. Here’s a fight at the iPhone line in Florida:

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9109298

in NYC:

http://selectroclash.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/homeless-iphone-fight/

July 28, 2008 @ 3:59 am | Comment

We all know there have been scuffles at the lines to buy some super-hot products. It happens. HX said it was common for people to be killed

“Do you know there many people were killed fighting outside stores, when XBOX or PS3 were released in the US?
If you go to a big American city like Detroit or New Orleans with high black population. And announce that you have enough chicken wings and hamburgers for 5000 people…

He also reveals his racism, but that’s another story. Please don’t misread me. My point is simple: HX is lying when he makes it sound as though many Americans die while waiting on lines to buy iPhones. He also tries to draw a comparison to lines the the US to those we read about above, and those many of us are familiar with from daily life. He will do anything to say America’s as bad or worse. In some areas America is worse, but not when it comes to queuing. Anyway, thread closed.

July 28, 2008 @ 7:33 am | Comment

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July 28, 2008 @ 12:26 pm | Pingback

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