Monday, April 14, 2008

Anti-protest Protesters?

So I was just proxy-browsing the BBC Chinese news, and the headline there was "Thousands of Chinese Hold Peaceful Protests in Sydney".

Funnily enough I hadn't read anything about this in the actual Australian online news-sources, and then in the end of that BBC story that actually point out that this has been under-reported in Australia (getting only 10 seconds airtime on a local tv station apparently).

The article says there was about 5000 protestors, more than the 1000 which were expected when they organised the gig with the police. So it seems pretty newsworthy.

Weird. I trust the BBC to be accurate on this, as much as Chinese language reporting can be accurate (or media in any language, for that matter).

Oh, and as the title says, according to the BBC article they were protesting about what they perceive as unfair treatment that China has been getting over Tibet, and criticising the Tibetans for the violence in their protests.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Magic School

After a sort of hard hitting night at D22, I figured I'd take it easy today. I was planning to just grab some dumplings and some Beijing style noodles for brunch but at the last minute I changed path for the subway and went to the American Cafe. Anyway, after that I figured I was on a bit of a roll, and after chuckling over some of the stories from the Evening News (one in three high level Russian military officers are overweight- the West have nothing to fear) I headed down to Xidan to look for Chain Lightning after reading Joel Martinsen's review of it.

They didn't have it, and they didn't have the comic series GTO either. I didn't want to feel like I'd wasted my trip so I picked up Kevin Rudd's biography (in the best selling area), which I'll check out. It should give me something to blab on about on cab rides at least, when they ask about Rudd.

I was feeling (amazingly) a little hungry after my brunch only an hour or two ago, so I strolled around looking for a cinema (not sure why I did this, there doesn't seem to be a causal connection). I ended up in with the movie screen on the outside of it (大悦场 possibly...can't remember the name very well)

Not surprisingly there wasn't much on that interested me, so I headed downstairs to the food court on the 8F, to find...a magic school. I'm quite a sucker for magic- I've been watching the Chinese dub of The Prestige over and over lately in fact- and the guy wasn't bad. Seemed to be a pretty simple trick but the idea is that they teach them to you for a fee.

300 kuai gets you like 12 tricks I think. I didn't have that much on me (and I'm pretty poor in any event) but it seems like a pretty cool idea. I think I might head back there. After watching The Prestige so much, I at least have the vocabulary for it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Rudd Speaks at Beijing University!

But I can't watch the Youtube video, because it's blocked.

Tried using a proxy to no avail.

Well, at least fast, reliable internet is something I can look forward to when I leave the P.R.C.

This is another thing I'd add to my reasoning for studying somewhere like Hong Kong, Taiwan or Singapore as opposed to Beijing (for the time being anyway).

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Tomb Sweeping Long Weekend

It was the Tomb Sweeping Festival on Friday, and we had a day off university.

There was a friend I hadn't caught up with in a while, and he has encyclopaedic knoweldge of Chinese history, so I thought it'd be an apt time to go an visit Matteo Ricci's tomb.

Got off at Fuchengmen and asked directions for a while, and finally turned up at a governmental office which looked more like a university campus. It was quiet, and you wouldn't know that there was a graveyard there, hidden behind the drab main building. But there is; Ricci died about 400 years ago so it's quite amazing that it's still standing.

There was a small group of Chinese Christians there when we arrived, standing by Ricci's tomb snapping photos while doing peace symbols. I thought that was a bit odd, but then again there's something a bit odd about Christianity in China anyway*.

Anyway, I took a photo as well, though more for the sake of reading the inscription later on.

There a lot of other graves there as well, all missionaries.

Anyway, I got a message from my parents saying they were driving around St Vincents Gulf in South Australia, and had just lunched at the Star of Greece.

I suspect the weather there would be slightly better than that in Beijing today (taken from my balcony):

All part of the deal I guess, though it certainly makes one consider finding a prettier city to study in! I just saw an ad for Dalian on t.v. Looks very nice there.