Olympics – t minus 100 days

With 100 days to go before the Olympics, the screws are starting to tighten on Beijing.

It is now impossible to get business multiple-entry visas to China until October, and students are starting to find their particular class of visa is also a lot harder to get. Just flying down to Hong Kong for the weekend and waiting for some paperwork is not as easy as it was.

A couple of weeks ago, the People’s Liberation Army visited every apartment in Central Park and checked everyone’s visas. In theory, visitors to China have to register at the local people station 24 hours after they arrive – and until recently, no-one did.

This has now changed.

We were out when they visited here – but it sounds like the grumpy guards met their match in Yu Mei, who threw them out before they could check Zara’s ID. Which was lucky – it was in my wallet.

By the time the Games start, the PLA want to know exactly who is in Beijing, and where they live. No mean feat in a population of 18 million.

We’ve also had a couple of unexpectedly clear pollution-free days, so I guess they have started their final tests of the weather and pollution control procedures. Reid and I have got tickets to a bunch of events – Athletics, Canoeing, Women’s Beach Volleyball (?), Rowing, Basketball, some others. All very exciting.