Editor's Note: Jodi Noffsinger, an American living in Beijing, is filing regular updates on the scene at the Olympics in The Beijing Blonde column on FOXNews.com.
By the looks of this man I photographed taking a snooze this afternoon, you might think Olympic fatigue had set in. But here in Beijing, Olympic fever is still raging.
Despite appearances of fatigue, afternoon power naps are a common sight on Beijing's streets. From the taxi driver to the maintenance worker, to the man pedaling a delivery bike, the Chinese know how to nap. In fact, on a short walk in my neighborhood today, I found 10 men sleeping soundly on sidewalks, in a gravel path and in a van — just a regular afternoon in Beijing. Perhaps they're a little more tired than usual from staying up late to watch the Olympics, but I didn't want to wake them to ask.
I have heard from many Chinese friends that they're still glued to their TV sets nightly to watch the games. In fact, China Daily reports that sales of snacks and beer from Carrefour, China's largest foreign retailer, have risen since the games began. In one Beijing branch, snack sales have increased almost 16 percent, with — get this — a 60 percent increase in the sale of prunes. I could say something here, but I won't.
From the events I've watched on CCTV in which Chinese teams are competing, the fans are louder than ever, rooting wildly for their own with the cheer, "Zhong Guo Jia You!" (Go China!).
Last night, I finally made my first trip to the Olympic Green. With the Olympics nearly over, I've been feeling left out since I had not yet visited the area of town where most of the venues are and definitely where most of the action is since most of my tickets are for track and field events.
Before last night, I had a lot in common with other Chinese, who also had yet to get into the Olympic Green because getting in required a ticket to an event or special pass. The big corporate sponsors were seeing sparse crowds the first week, but it seems Olympic organizers opened things up giving tickets to the Green to 10,000 residents daily.
Plus, now that the track and field events have begun at the enormous "Bird's Nest" stadium that seats 91,000, the crowds are increasing and infusing new energy into the space.
I definitely felt that energy as I stepped out of the subway and into this Olympic zone. It really is quite stunning to be so close to these architectural wonders and feel the enthusiasm of the crowds. I saw the Water Cube and Bird's Nest at preview events last spring, but experiencing it at night and seeing the torch burn bright was something I'll never forget.
The stadium was full and crowds roared, although a little less so than at other venues since many Chinese fans who probably had tickets last night to see Liu Xiang compete in the second round of hurdle qualifications were still disappointed at his withdrawal from the race, leaving just a few less-promising Chinese athletes to root for.
Despite the Liu Xiang disappointment, the fans pressed on, sticking around until the events came to a close just after 11 p.m. I was ready to crash, but enthusiastic Chinese fans remained milling about on the Green still showing their excitement to be a part of these games as they snapped photos outside the stadium.
So while many Chinese tirelessly keep the Olympic spirit alive, it seems I'm the one in need of the Beijing power nap.