(CNN) -- "Beijing Journal" is an occasional series examining everyday people preparing for the 2008 Summer Games. In his series, journalist Steven Jiang reports how the approaching Olympics is affecting the lives of people in Beijing and other places in China.
The series so far:
An animal lover's Olympic nightmare
Qin Xiaona used to visit the suburban Xiaotangshan Sanatorium in the summer to escape the scorching temperature in the city. Now she comes here to turn up the heat on a subject close to her heart -- saving Beijing's stray cats.
Fighting the desert -- one tree at a time
The Chinese government has emphasized that this will be a "green" Games, but for Ma Junhe, an environmentalist combating desertification in Gansu province, he hopes they keep that environmental sentiment even when the Games are over.
The look of luxe
Enwei Lien, the director of guest experience at the Opposite House, has one aim: Setting his luxury hotel apart from the competition when it welcomes its first guests in early August right before the Beijing Olympics start. (Full story)
Beijing commuters feel the squeeze
The city's authorities may have cut the cost of traveling by subway, but for many the only way they would use the over-crowded public transport system is if they were paid. (Full story)
Green dreams for China's golfers
Golf isn't widely played in China, and despite its "elite" status some of China's best golfers come from poor backgrounds. (Full story)
In Shanghai, 'gay nights' underground
At the Lai Lai Dance Hall, Min Min and others are prepared to set their sights on an alternative "Olympic" event that includes ballroom dancing as a competitive sport. (Full story)
An Olympic-sized baby boom
Xu Yunyun is bracing herself for another unusually busy year. The obstetrician at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, one of the city's premier health facilities, has seen her maternity ward filled to capacity since the beginning of last year. (Full story)
One lucky tenant
Landlords across Beijing are trying to hit the jackpot this summer, anticipating soaring demand for short-term rental from visitors shunning hotels because of inflated room rates. (Full story)
The margarita salesman
Ronjon Sen flies across the Pacific once a week to serve cocktails. The San Francisco-based business executive began his weekly U.S.-China commute only this year and, by the end of January, had racked up more than 100,000 frequent flier miles. (Full story)
An underground 'parallel universe'
Walking through a maze of narrow streets south of Tiananmen Square, Nick Frisch appeared unfazed by the sight of drastic changes -- traditional courtyard houses that once lined up these hutongs, or alleys, now in different stages of being knocked down. (Full story)