05th Sep2009

Behind the Great Firewall of China…

by Dorothy

I’ve spent the last week or so being intermittently barred from all of my usual haunts online, but it has been interesting so far.

The plane ride to China was within a bearable threshold, unlike the grueling 24 hour journeys to the USA.  I am entertained by the H1N1 cartoon they’ve created, the animated characters looking like a Chinese New Year food product advertisement rather than a warning about the disease that has affected people worldwide.

I survive the taxi journey from the airport during which the driver weaves in and out of trucks the size of Optimus Prime. Privately, I suspect he fancies himself as auditioning for 2 Fast 2 Furious, because he drives like (well, a taxi driver…) he is behind the wheel of a Forumula 1 Vehicle.

IMAG0067The next morning, I am having breakfast in the hotel, and something is having my foot for breakfast. I later spot the culprit – a lone Hangzhou mosquito hovering around and having eaten it’s fill, finds its business elsewhere. My foot bears the only trace of its presence. The breakfast area plays Christmas saxophone songs and I think of snow. End of the week, I realize that that same CD basically plays everyday, at any of the eating haunts, and repeatedly from morning to night.

Despite the revolving doors at the entrance which usually hint to me of freezing cold weather, it has been pretty much “like Singapore” and not “hotter than Singapore” as I had been forewarned. Maybe I have some sort of luck with the weather right now, because it has apparently been raining in Singapore since I left. Perhaps then, my perception of this place is somewhat different from the rest, because talking to the locals gets me the information that this is an uncharacteristically cool bout of Summer weather we are experiencing.

The office here is seriously swanky, with a pantry area that looks like a cafe, LCD screens mounted on the ceiling and kick ass conferencing equipment. I love the happy colours, and the chinese logo is a nice touch on the introductory wall that greets everyone who steps in.

Till then, Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, Youtube, Blogger are amongst the sites that I’ve been unable to access in certain places….

unfamiliar

Facebook reassures me that they “take my privacy seriously” with their investigation that I really am who I am, since I’ve not  logged in from this location before. I wonder if this happens only in China, because I didn’t get the same screen in the USA.

More on the great firewall of China (and Iran for that matter) here and some other interesting insights on the other parts of China.

Because, I can imagine from the sheer size of this country, there are many Chinas within the whole, and what I’m seeing is barely scratching the surface of what it is like in all the other cities and provinces.

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