I found this blog as I was cruising the wires for gymnastics updates and this part that I copied below ... is EXACTLY what being here is like!! The chinese volunteers swarm you whenever you go to get something. Jess (the other gymnastics producer)laughed saying 'that's communism - every one's employed, no one has anything to do!' I wanted to try a noodle dish for breakfast this morning but when I went to go look at the options, there were literally 20 eager wide-eyed smiling people behind the counter staring at me as I looked at the food. All ready to jump. It's funny to hear everyone talk about how intimidating it is to get food here! (I ended up backing away and bolting to the other side of the cafeteria) In the NBC commissary, the help-yourself salad bars are always packed and I don't think it's because people are on diets - it's the one and only place that you can just get your food without being "helped". At the starbucks cafe in the commissary, someone literally unscrewed the milk for me when I went to add creamer. Even when you go to throw your food away, there is someone (usually 4 people) there who take your tray from you and actually scrape the food off the plate into the garbage. They have one bin for food waste and another that they call "recycling" - but it's basically everything else. You just know that ain't recycling! But hey, it's the GREEN olympics! Gotta put on a good show at least.
Another hilarious thing is that every floor in the hotel has a concierge by the elevators. The minute they hear you open your door, they are off to the elevator to push the button and escort you on. It took us awhile to realize that's what they were doing, it just seemed convenient that the elevator was always waiting for us. Last night, one of the hotel people held the door for me and literally stood in front of the doors as they closed, said good night in english and waited for the doors to close. It was extremely awkward because of course the doors took forever to close and she just stood there smiling at me right in front of the doors in her bizarre green and metallic silver uniform. I said goodnight and then tried to nonchalantly murder the 'door close' button.
I'm still working on conquering the word "thank you" - I kind of suck at chinese. It's hard dude!
From the blog.....
Here, just like everywhere else, volunteers outnumber the media 10 to 1. Eight volunteers greeted me as I stepped out of the bus. Three escorted me to the front door of the registration desk. Four lazily wiped down the doorknobs on a building no one was going into.
At breakfast today, 12 volunteers stared as I entered the empty cafeteria at 6 a.m. When I lunged for the coffee machine, three quickly instructed me that I had started from the wrong end of the line. They showed me the way to the correct way to do things — naturally, you enter right, exit left, silly — then 12 of them stared at me as I decided what to eat.
I felt like I was the center of an anthropological experiment: "Would the American choose the scrambled eggs or the sticky buns? Would she ask for one slice of bread or two? Or, maybe, would she erratically dart for the coffee again? Let's watch and see."