Domer

There was a bit of info about this Chinese documentary, ‘Under The Dome’ in the news lately because it had been censored (ie. taken off the Chinese internet) by their government. It’s still on youtube and has had English sub-titles added, although I should mention that if you’re going to watch it then prepare your brain because the subtitles are not the usual family-friendly SBS style — they come _fast_ and you’re bound to miss bits and pieces of what’s being said.

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Very interesting. For me, the biggest thing that stood out was how frank and un-hostile most of the interviewees were, especially the guy who was head of Sinopec. As an aside, some of the dialogue gives the sense that Mandarin (hard as it is with all those tones) is full of colourful metaphors the way English is. The description he gave of Sinopec being ‘a big person, but it’s all fat and no muscle’ seemed very apt and parallels the state apparatus there now too.

The other thing that was interesting was that the key points that Chai Jing, the host, pushes are not earth-shattering. Cleaning coal before use, upgrading the petrol being used and enforcing exhaust filtering on vehicles are all very mundane things by western standards. It shows how very much China has fallen to the temptations of evil capitalism.

The vibes ain’t nothin’ but the vibes

It’s been a little interesting hearing about this china earthquake thing. It seemed like it took a long time for the state to respond to it. The first couple of day’s reports were minimal in the damage mentioned. They were slow getting in there to do anything about it.
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But then once the whole machine kicked in, apparently, it’s been state-enforced mourning. At 2.28pm bells go off and everyone has to stand up and stand still for three minutes. All the state run telly has been 24/7 earthquake stuff–for three days. Newspapers are a strictly B&W affair. Websites have monochrome enforced. I’m told that no one’s allowed to smile.

like tears in soup

all the memories of everything that I wanted to mention about the recent trip to Shanghai and surrounds is blending in to nothing, so I better try and write it now, with fotos.

First the food. I really like food from the different parts of China. I feel like I’m over Korean food. I guess it’s just a thing of mass. China is massive and made up of a bunch of different cultures that have their own food. Maybe it’s the result of being in Korea for some time now, but the Sichuan style of food, (spicy) is probably the kind I like best. <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/5454898431/” title=”drool by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5139/5454898431_0e2375a21f_o.jpg” width=”394″ height=”205″ alt=”drool” /></a>

In this particular night we went to the appropriately titled Sichuan Restaurant. On the right is a kind of fried potato dish, lending further weight to my theory that chips are universal and that you could go to Mars and they would be eating chips there too. On the left, according to girlfriend with e-dictionary in hand, is a dish entitled, ‘an excess of saliva’, which we’ll shorten to ‘drool’ for the purposes of this blogpost. It was chicken in a spicy -hot oil. It really did make you drool! Very tasty once you get over the not-so-western style of chopping–they cut straight through the bone rather than filleting or sectioning the way folks like me are used to.

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I did several of the touristy things the first time around when I was there in late Feb but there was one that had eluded the tackyness-magnet. There’s an underground train that runs under the river which was like _Journey to the Centre of the Earth_ meets Star Trek: The motion picture meets Boards of Canada’s album, Geogaddi.

I think it’s worth noting down that weather-wise, late April was a perfect time to be in Shangers. It was warm but not humid and the nights were just nice.

For a day or two we got out of the central city to a place an hour na a half away on the bus, Xitang. It’s a small place and not as on the map as Hangzhou or Suzhou. Xitang’s claim to fame is that a few scenes from Mission Impossible 3 were shot there. In several of the restaurants and shops you can see fotos of Tom Cruise and cast standing around.

Personally I found it interesting to see how the place filled up with the new Chinese Upper-middle class on Saturday morning. there’s all these people with money in their pocket in china and now all they need is Disney Land.

In any case, Xitang was a nice little place and the canals didn’t smell.

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