Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The BIG day is tomorrow!

Since I last wrote, the last 3 weeks have been dominated by preparations for tomorrow.

All the trees, flowers and bushes have been recently cut in pretty shapes. The lawn has been mowed all over, including in the sections between the highways and other strange places.

Every lampost in the inner city (an area of several miles) has a banner celebrating and welcoming the big day.

Every bus stop (in an even bigger area) has changed all the advertisements to government advertisements welcoming the big day. The TV is full of shows commemorating the achievements of the last 60 years.

Security which used to be a few people at each entrance to the subway is now 5-6 people (some men standing behind the women to back them up) and women who used to get away without putting their handbags on the x-ray machine no longer get away with it.

Our favorite restaurant is now longer able to put seating outside on the street as a massive information/notice board has gone up. Written at the top of the notice board a sign declares its purpose (translated into English): The Building a Civilized Spirit in the Capital Promotion Notice Board. Classic. Truly Chinese. These kinds of words are used all over the place, but I still laugh when I see them!

Due to two knife attacks earlier this month (an unusual event in a safe city) knifes are no longer on sale for the next 2 weeks and have been removed from any serviced apartments or hotels that have knifes of any kind in kitchens. This should keep the city much safer, as of course, no-one in the city already has any knifes!

And of course the Western media has articles covering China's progress and commemorating various points in the last 60 years since the People's Republic of China was founded. Aah, the PRC. 6 months ago, the government was always proudly talking up the significant progress the country has made since 1979. And it has. Now, though, the government talks up the progress from 1949 until 2009, which is laughable, as there was no progress in the first 30 years. In fact the country almost went backwards (which is a hard thing to do, since in 1949 the country was emerging from over 20 years of civil war and fighting the Japanese in WW2). It also leads to crazy comparisons of GDP going up thousands of percent.

So tomorrow will be military parade, the civilian parade and security is insane, so we'll be watching it on TV (although hopefully we'll see the air force's display overhead). I am not sure what will happen after tomorrow; the country has been solidly geared up for this after the Olympics finished. Next up is the Expo in Shanghai I suppose, and them i imagine some other event needs to be secured, so the government can continue promoting how amazing it is and inspiring everyone towards whatever slogans and goals it wants to associate with these events.

Well one thing is for sure, China will get back to looking at the future, and will forget about the past. For China only cares about the future as it races into a future that is moving very fast. Whether that future will be incredibly unsustainable or just a little unsustainable, we don't know... but the government is making promising noises around Climate Change at least -so lets stay tuned for more daily news on that until (and likely after) the Summit in Copenhagen in just a month or so.


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