The video above is a short timelapse of dawn over part of Beijing. The soundtrack is some drive-time radio I tuned into as the timelapse was being taken. As you'll hear, I caught a good chunk of English-lesson radio, which was also playing in several of the cabs I've taken. In the lead-up to the games, English newspaper The Independent reported, Beijing cab drivers were encouraged to learn not just basic English but also chit-chatty English like, "Is this seat taken?", or, "Did you know China raised petrol prices for the first time in 18 months the other day? Analysts say it is because of the rising cost of oil around the world." I've yet to have a cab driver who can say more than 'hello,' but this is totally fair in my opinion since it's almost all I can really say in Mandarin.
Also of interest in the video: the morning sky is clear blue. As in, no perceptible smog. Which, until today (Monday, which is on the gray side) has been my experience of the past week Beijing.