By Frank Moher
Hello India. Canada here. Just chiming in to say, in a spirit of Empire solidarity: Ignore the critics of your upcoming Commonwealth Games. The keeners who arrive early will always find something to gripe about.
We speak from experience. In the days before our Winter Olympics, all sorts of rude people, who don’t know it’s appropriate to show up fashionably late, decamped to Vancouver and, boy, did they have a lot to say. It was rainy. That was one complaint. It was foggy. That was another. The fact that they were in Vancouver in Winter did not blunt their Vancouverfreude.
There was no snow, the kvetchers kvetched. All right, that was a reasonable concern, given that these were the Winter Olympics, but eventually the snow arrived.
We had no more control over that than you do over the fact that your monsoon season has been the worst in 20 years. Then a luger was killed during trial runs. That really was a serious story. But the questions raised about our competency in constructing the track led nowhere, just as the ones about the collapse of your pedestrian bridge leading to the main stadium, and some tiles falling off a ceiling in the weightlifting venue, likely won’t either. Shit happens. I understand you know that better than us.
Actually, that was a cheap shot. It’s based on the notion that cows are running all over the place in India, crapping on things. Silly. Hence the emphasis given to the story of a photo showing a dog defecating on a mattress in the athletes’ village. My theory is that outsiders’ reports immediately emphasize their greatest fears about the place. In our case, that they’ll expire of rain and boredom. (Reporters also complained early on that Vancouver had no street life.) In yours, that animals have the run of the place and people who live in shanties can’t build bridges. Shameful.
So, ignore them and get on with your preparations. You’ve still got 10 days to go and, unlike us, plenty of people to do the work. (We had to bring in Mexicans to finish the job for us.) Then have a good time. After all the kvetching, you’ll deserve it. And, if our experience is anything to go by, it’s the fact that you’ll be flat broke after the games are over that you really have to worry about.