Friday, 26 August 2011

Fingers crossed for Daegu

Tomorrow marks the start of the World Atheltics Championships in Korea and I'll be glued to my TV, time differences permitting. I am delighted that Daegu, where I lived for over five years is hosting the event. In fact I am still amazed and impressed that they actually won the bidding. I would never have believed it possible when I first arrived in 2005. Although I wish I could be there in person watching the events it is the impact on the city that I would have taken more of an interest in.

I hope the area gets a boost from the visitors that will be arriving. I don't know if it will change 'anything' but it can't harm Daegu to have some tourists and have locals exposed to people from other nations that aren't English teachers. There are some tremendous people in the city and I hope they make an impression on those coming to watch the athletes and help further promote Koreas image worldwide. Perhaps it will help attract visitors for the Winter Olympics in 2018 in Pyeongchang too.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Rioting in Manchester

Whilst London burned on Monday those living outside the capital wondered if the rioting would escalate and spread to the rest of the country. And it did. I live in the Northern Quarter in Manchester city centre and last night rioting/looting took place in the city where I live. At various points in the evening they ran past the area where my apartment is though thankfully caused no damage. From what I could see around 90% of them were under sixteen but there were adults who are basically career criminals amongst them.

The damage and trouble was not as bad as that in London over the past few days thankfully but today Manchester wakes up to a ransacked city centre hoping that the worst is over and that it never happens again. Attention turns to why it happened, how to prevent it happening again and why the hell the police couldn't stop a whole lot of what was going on.

I woke up and went for a coffee today and had a walk round the immediate area where I live. Thankfully there is not one single window smashed or any sign of damage as people go about their daily life and hope for normality but walk a minute or two nearer the city centre and that is not the case as shops were looted, windows smashed and places set on fire. I still feel safe as does my wife though I am disgusted that this has happened and also that more people weren't arrested at the time and police didn't prevent more damage. People are asking themselves is this the end?

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