Making life harder online
Tomorrow is a big date for China, but no-one in China will mention it to anyone, apart from foreign journalists writing page-upon-page on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the protests/massacre at TianAnMen Square. It started as some students commemorating the death of a liberal politician and then became a movement against corruption and for political change... at that point, enough was enough and the government stopped it after 6 weeks and with the death of several hundred people. What it means 20 years later is the government is trying to control and restrict communication -hence youtube, twitter and flickr is blocked, blogging softwares are blogged and more websites are blocked -even hotmail got blocked for a while. And it might not be unblocked until after October 1st, the 60th Anniversary of People's Republic of China.
Such self-censorship becomes ingrained eventually... i mean why cause trouble when your whole life depends on your visa! The subway stations have all had X-ray machines for baggage since pre-Olympics, but now you can see they have moved the barriers closer to make sure no-one can sneak though without putting their bags through the machine... the government can control things when it wants to, that is for sure! Meanwhile a few of my Hong Kong friends will be out in force at the annual protest there. The strange '1 country -2 systems' means Hong Kong is still somewhat independent and its people are especially independent!
Meanwhile I've moved into a new apartment which is looking nice -the beanbags i got off of a friend are especially comfortable. simple. but comfortable. it seems the recession has made people rethink things. 3 of my good friends have left in the space of a month... another will hopefully find a girl to keep him here! It is an extra 10 minute walk to the subway station, but i definitely need that exercise, and most of the walk is through a nice park betweek the complex, so no complaints.
yesterday a letter from my dad came. great. except it was sent on 16th april, which is ridiculous. a simpel small letter. would love to know why. it was sent by air mail and everything! other news is that we are not bottom of the table in the new 5-a-side season (yet); work was so intense i had to cancel a Thailand wedding trip, which was a shame, and i learnt the work for Swine Flu in Chinese, as it was/is a hot topic. Amusingly someone was identified with Swin Flue and they tracked him to having taken a subway, and got the video from inside the subway car and put it on national TV encouraging anyone in the video to go get a check-up!