July 1 is Canada Day or Dominion Day as I like to call because I admit right now that most displays of Canadian Nationalism I have recently seen distress me. Most of it is anti-American and strangely bellicose (Canada kicks Ass! for example). Canada has been a country that went about its business in a quiet and determined way. Not any more. The Americans have made a great nation which has given them the right to brag. The Americans are also very self-possessed. Seeing this makes many Canadians jealous. Many in Canada want us to be like America when the truth of the matter is we can't. We should really compare ourselves to Mexico and all of South America and see how fortunate we are, how much better we are. We are not a second fiddle nation; we are the second best country in the Americas. Not bad. And yet many Canadians think and act like second fiddle people. They have become the sort of people they accuse the Americans of being. They are stupidly nationalistic and jingoistic. America does criticize Canada but it isn't a fetish like it is for many Canadians who somehow think that there is a competition between the America and Us. Canadians, in fact, look down on Americans. Americans like Canada but mostly don't obsess about it....
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I like reading this monthly (I believe) feature on National Review Online. Here is the link to the latest impromptus. Nordlinger, like me, was a leftie in his younger days. I quote:
And I am reminded of one of the reasons I fled the Left, many years ago: Personally, they were so mean — so nasty, so indecent. So full of mockery, ridicule, and scorn. I had to ask, “If the Left is the party of love and compassion, how come so many of them are such a**holes?”
I switched to the right because they made an intellectual and humane case for their creed. The fact that they are assholes never really dawned on me till I admitted my switch.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The Left Wingers I know are excited because another film by Michael Moore denouncing America is coming to the screen and pirated DVD shops soon. This film entitled Sicko criticizes America's Health System and suggests that Socialized Medicine like Great Britain's NHS and Canada's Medicare is what America needs.
Here is one nurse's take on Britain's NHS. It talks about the human misery brought on by NHS.
I have my own anecdotes about Canada's medical system. When I was in Canada three years ago. There was debate about reforming the system what with waiting lists being too long. The only acceptable answer to the medical establishment for fixing Canada's medical system was to spend more money on it. I remember hearing a call-in show in Vancouver comparing American and Canadian Health systems. The Callers were split 50-50 on which system was better. Those who could afford it went to America. Those who could not wanted to drag those who went to America down with them. I remember Nursing students I know excited by the possibility of working in Hawaii which was looking for nurses. I have a cousin who was a nurse who worked for temp companies. She would almost always get work on weekends, especially long weekends where the regular unionized nurses could not be bothered to go to work. I have a cousin who also remarked that the nurses at the Saint Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg were more dedicated when they were Nuns. Nuns had a dedication to duty that Unionized nurses long abandoned after the introduction of Medicare.
China's medical system is actually private. I see cashiers on every floor of People's Hospital #4. I asked the students if they wanted a public system and the higher taxes they would have to pay that went with it. One student said no. "I am healthy. Why should I pay?"
I went to Ronnie's Australian Pub, an Expat bar, last night with The King of Wuxi. We briefly discussed the latest issue of Wuxi Life. It was the King of Wuxi's contention that the operators of Wuxi Life are worried about being shut down so they tried to mute criticism of the local government and play down the Wuxi water crisis on their website and in the magazine. The King of Wuxi went on to say that an editorial in the latest issue was apologetic to the point of being sycophantic. Please!! Please!! Don't shut us down!!
On facebook, I have joined three groups: Che Guevara was a murderer and your T-shirt is not cool, the Marc Steyn Appreciation Society and the Christopher Hitchens Appreciation Society.
I see people wear Che T-shirts all the time in Wuxi. In many shops, you can buy these T-shirts alongside those bearing Cultural Revolution iconography. To me wearing a Che T-shirt is like wearing a shirt with Hitler's face on it or a swastika. How can people take a nostalgic view of Evil?
It is a sad world. 1989 should have been the dawning of a great era for humanity. Socialism and Communism should have been put in the trash heap of history for ever, never to be recycled like Nazism and Fascism and Japanese Militarism were in 1945. 1989 was the year that these movements weren't shown to be wrong and evil. But these ideas are coming back and in more virulent and uncivilized forms. What is wrong with people? Are the human motivations that allow the axis movements of WWII to grow always in the human heart? Are the new manifestations of the Left in the forms of Hugo Chavez, the anti-globalism movement, and the Michael Moore crowd mutations of these human insanities?
Monday, June 25, 2007
That is what an Israeli Prime Minister Golda Mier said about the Palestinians. This quote has never been proven wrong. Given the chance to show the world they can be a civilized state by holding elections, they instead descend into Civil War.
There comes a point when victims just have to stop being victims and try to make their future better.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The Duke of Wuxi gets married. I hate my office downstairs.Fiddling around with Facebook. Coolest Movies of all time. Pregnancy Update. Wuxi English TV News.
This is an exclusive to AKIC blogspot. Simon, the Duke of Wuxi, is officially married. Last week, He and Nicole went to Nanjing to get their wedding license. I won't announce it in AKIC live spaces because it would be tantamount to making a public announcement about it. Instead, I do it here because it constitutes giving hints about it.
Simon tells me his in-laws want him to bestow more gifts and money on them than he has.
I hate my downstairs office. I want to move back upstairs. The office has a bad smell and my duties have me more upstairs than downstairs. Also, the office does not have a lock on it so I always have to lock up my laptop.
The past two weeks, I have been playing around with Facebook, adding friends and reacquainting myself with people I knew in what I like to call my prehistory. I have learned some of the following things: a manager I knew at DHL is now working at an Automobile dealership; a person, who was a bombadier (an artillery corporal) at a militia regiment I was a member of twenty years ago, is still a bombadier (he is the one person I know who looks like Bubbles in the Trailer Park Boys); and another friend of mine has been a mother for seven months. My network on Facebook is extending from China to British Columbia to Manitoba. Cool Stuff.
An American conservative talk show I listen to over the Internet did a segment about the Coolest movies of all time. I have to admit I am a sucker for these movie lists but theirs really disappointed me. The criteria for a movie to be cool, it seemed, was that Quentin Tarantino had to make it. So Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction made the list. Pulp Fiction was said to be the coolest movie of all time. The list did not have anything in it with Steve McQueen. And it listed the most nerdish and adolescent movie of all time, The Matrix, as being cool. My criteria for cool comes down to the actor. None of the movies mentioned on the list had any cool performances in them like Steve McQueen in Bullit and Clint in the Spaghetti Westerns. Strangely enough, a movie called Out of Sight was put on the list. I had not heard of the movie till the day before yesterday. I just happened to come upon across a copy of the Elmore Leonard novel that the movie was based on at school where a cache of 100 pulp English paperback novels was discovered in a locker. I am reading the novel now. So it was an interesting coincidence.
I also found a Robert Ludlum novel in the cache and I will be reading that once I finish Out of Sight.
Dennis, a fellow HyLite trainer, agrees with my way of counting the amount of time my wife has been pregnant. Helen does not.
Wuxi is hot and muggy. And so the next two months will be hard on my pregnant wife. Last night, we went out to eat but our mobility and thus choice of restaurants were reduced because she was not at all interested in going far.
The wife and I watched English Wuxi News Sunday at 1020 PM. It was the first time either she or I had seen it. What was the big news last night? Government bureaucracies and Construction companies were going about their work: was what I could make out from the dull administrative words being used. Wuxi government officials went to Moscow to make deals with the Russians (evil Russians I would say); cultural projects are being completed with urges being given to redouble efforts to complete them faster; the Chinese are interested in the traditions of the Dragon Boat Festival; preparations are being made for possible flooding in the Wuxi area; and more electrical power is now in Wuxi's power grid in preparation for high Summer electricity demand. The Commies have a fetish about talking about electricity.
The Kindergarten under our bedroom window is silent these days. Thank God.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
You know what the Chinese do that is really disgusting? They let their little children piss and shit on the street.
I told a student of mine who is going to study in a high school in England to beware that probably half the students there will be on drugs. He was shocked to hear this. But I am afraid it is true.
China has a lot of ugly things to it. But so does western culture.
The Chinese do have some insistence on family. In the West, families are falling apart. Divorces though are increasing in China among those who can afford it.
Many of the newly rich in China do act like the boors that Communists always portrayed them as being. Yet many of the newly rich are old party hacks who were given factories.
The Chinese, despite all their Socialism, are not Socialist at all in the provision of health care. They are dependent on the family to help them through in times of medical trouble. While in the West, we often expect the State to help us. Go to a People's hospital, you see Cashiers on every floor. If the Communists were smart, they would not bring in Socialized health care. As Marc Steyn says (I paraphrase), bring in Socialized medicine and you get an infantilized citizenry along with it. The Communists are better off hoping a self-reliant population is too concerned about making money to care a fig for politics.
Many of the Trainers laugh at the Chinese for saying that having a child is a way for a couple to stay together. They seem to think that couples should stay together because of romantic love. No they should stay together because they promised each other they would.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I really would like to switch over from my Spaces Live blog to this Blogspot blog. I like the look of this blog. It is simple and uncluttered. The blogs I admire, like Seablogger and American Fez, are literary and without media players and slide shows. To read their latest postings is to be made to think. That is what I would like to do with this Blogspot site. Spaces Live just does not look like it was made for writers but teenagers with too much time on their hands.
But my Spaces Live blog gets more visits. It helps that I have a link on WuxiLife, a prominent Wuxi Expat site. It also helps that Spaces Live is not blocked as often as Blogspot is. I have not been able to get to this blog, without going through a proxy, for three weeks now.
With four places to publish my notes, I have yet to decide what I want to do with each site. Spaces Live will always be the place where I can put photos. It will have to a portal to my other sites. Blogspot is meant to be literary with the help of the King of Wuxi. MySpace blog is a place to put strange things and thoughts of mine that hopefully don't get noticed by those in Wuxi who read my Spaces Live site. Facebook is an alternative place to put my blogspot entries but one has to be a Facebook user to see it. Facebook is a good place to put photo albums.
The Wuxi Water hysteria has passed. Every one is dealing with it. The stores still stock more bottled water than before the crisis. Near the entrance to our apartment complex, a water machine capable of filling 20 liter water bottles has been installed though I have yet to see anyone using it. Many people have stared at the machine and, like me, must wonder if it is a scam.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The means I was using to get to this site in China worked for two weeks, but yesterday did not. I was also not able to get to Seablogger and American Fez. But I found other means. But till blogspot in available in China, I will have to put my entries in MSN Spaces.
These entries are fed to facebook but facebook turns many off by its confusing interface.
Czech president calls for rational debate on global warming, rejects "current hysteria"
The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
PRAGUE, Czech Republic: Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Wednesday called for a rational debate on global warming, rejecting what he called "hysteria" driven by enviromentalists.
"Let's bring the debate to whether the 0.6 (degree Celsius warming over the last century) is much or little, how much Man has contributed to the warming and ... if there is anything at all Man can do about it," Klaus said when presenting his book "Blue, Not a Green Planet."
He charged that groups other than scientists have now seized on the topic and ambitious environmentalists are fueling a global warming hysteria that has no solid ground in fact and allows manipulation of people.
"It is about a key topic of our time, and that is the topic of human freedom and its curtailment," Klaus said.
"The approach of environmentalists toward nature is similar to the Marxist approach to economic rules, because they also try to replace free spontaneity of the evolution of the world (and of mankind) with ... global planning of the world's development," Klaus writes in his book.
"That approach ... is a utopia leading to completely other than wanted results," he says.
Klaus, an economist by profession, has repeatedly warned that policy makers are pushed by the widespread fear of global warming to adopt enormously costly programs that eventually may have no positive effect.
Klaus served as Czechoslovak finance minister after the 1989 fall of communism and as Czech prime minister after Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. As president, he now has mainly ceremonial powers.
Monday, June 18, 2007
I can remember this scene in the 1984 Steven Martin film The Lonely Guy where the lonely guy character played by Martin walks into an policeman's apartment filled with life size cut-outs of people accompanied by a record playing sounds of people having conversation in a crowded room. The Steve Martin character says to the policeman: "Oh my God!! You are a lonely cop!!" or something along those lines (He may well have said "Oh my God! A lonely cop!") This was the line used in the trailer to advertise the movie. I remember going to see the film and being underwhelmed by it. Though that scene still sticks in my mind like the line from another Steve Martin film Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid where the Mexican Cop says to the detective character played by Martin: "Two Hours? Good! That gives me plenty of time to dry clean and press your pajamas."
Anyway, all this and the pajama line came to mind when the Duke of Wuxi told us of a late night visit he had from a Chinese policeman. About 1100 PM one night, The Duke heard a knock on his door and was never heard from again... No. He heard a knock on his door and opened it. At the door was a policeman who asked him questions and filled out some forms. When the policeman learned that the Duke was an English Teacher, he asked the Duke if he liked BBQ. The policeman then gave the Duke his name card and said to call him sometime. Obviously, a lonely Chinese cop.
I looked for the Wire this morning at the Ramada (now the Marriott) DVD shop. I did not find it and so instead I bought a DVD of Ella singing jazz in 57 and 63, and a DVD of The Mamas and Papas TV performances. I will watch them tonight after I finish blogging.
I had a student ask me if westerners or Chinese were more greedy. I told her that I meet some very generous Chinese in my time here but the Chinese political system engenders greediness because the powers that be want to hold onto their power. The Chinese system is thus thoroughly corrupt and because of this it can be said that westerners are less greedy that the Chinese.
Chinese students are thoroughly indoctrinated in anti-Americanism. I pointed out to one that the Americans rebuilt Germany and Japan after WWII. Something that no other conquering nation has ever done.
I have only met one student who told me he like George Bush. He was badgered by the authorities after he started asking questions in 2oth century history class.
Most of the other trainers sneer at America or at Bush. They probably never ever stand up to the lies the students have been told especially about Bush.
I am listening to Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager on townhall radio.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Luis and I went to the New Muslim Restaurant on JieFang Road last evening. I am happy to say the place has an English menu and that the food was very delicious. We had the spicy potatoes, kabobs, Xinjiang noodles, spicy beef and potatoes with green peppers.
I have been seeing praise about the TV series The Wire on the Internet. It has been ranked up there with Rome and Deadwood. So I have decided to pick up a copy of the series in the DVD shops. I can only afford to buy the series in a cheaper edition that manages to compress many episodes on fewer discs. And so last night, looking for this cheaper edition in three local DVD shops I came across many copies of Deadwood and Rome, but no The Wire.
I did meet this interesting person T.C. who introduced himself to me when I was browsing DVDs. T.C., looked Chinese, but in fact was a Berliner who used to live in Saigon. His family lived in Saigon in '75 and became boat people fleeing the Communists after the Vietnam War ended (you can thank the Democratic party for that debacle. Somehow his family ended up in West Berlin and lived with the Wall. T.C. can speak Cantonese but finds Mandarin to be very difficult (maybe he is trying to learn it from Wuxi People).
I watched an episode from the BBC series In Search of Myth and Heroes last night. It is hosted by Micheal Wood, who also hosted a documentarry series from twenty years which I can watch over and over again: In Search of the Trojan War. The series I watched last night was made probably two years. It pales in comparison to the Trojan War series because it has gone from the filming style of Kenneth Clark's Civilisation series to the style of the overly adjectified Around the World in 80 Treasures series. The Myth and Heroes series by being subservient to all the fashions of the modern BBC places itself in a time instead of in time.
Third year Middle School Students in Wuxi (or what we would call grade nine students in Canada) are writing High School Entrance Exams today. The Exams are being written over a three day period. Those students with the highest marks earn the right to register in the best Wuxi high schools.
Lord knows what happens to those who get poor marks.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it. The changes on Youtube pissed me off. It used to be that you could get your total video count every time you logged into the site. With the latest supposive user friendlier changes, the one feature I really appreciated has been eliminated.
Friday, June 15, 2007
The real important question of the great Wuxi Water crisis of 2007 is not how many millions of people will die from drinking the toxic and malodorous water, and whether it would result in a revolution that could see the toppling of yet another Chinese dynasty. The most pressing question that geo-strategists are concerned with is how the water crisis is affecting the King of Wuxi's bread intake.
The King of Wuxi is the guru of bread. His statement "I like Bread" compares favorably with the "Let them eat Bread" attributed to some less enlightened royal personage way back when. So the question of bread is very important.
Interviewed from his palace in Wuxi's New District, the King says he has stopped eating bread altogether because the price he is paying for water is draining his royal vaults of liquidity. However that is not stopping him from eating packages of flour, yeast, eggs and margarine. Said the King: Not actually baking bread is a way of giving me more time to practice the lazy and indolent lifestyle of royalty. As well, the flour sticking to my skin gives me the pasty made-up look of late 17th century French Royalty or whoever it was that liked to wear lots of makeup. It was the French wasn't it?....
Here is a report about a water sample taken from Wuxi on the 3rd of June 2007:
According to the EU-potable water guidelines Wuxi water clearly exceeds the limits. It does not meet European standards for domestic use. The water should not be used for cooking nor should it be ingested.
The water is unfit for human consumption.
Allowing the water to boil for some time will kill the germs but won't reduce the presence of other foreign compounds.
In the kitchen, using bottled water is recommended, which hopefully is of better quality.
For bathing the water can be used with soap as long as you don't have any cuts or open wounds. Still it would be best to boil it beforehand.
Please ensure that you only use water from reliable sources for drinking and cooking.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I got up at six. I left Hong Hong's house at 7am. I took the subway to get to the train station to catch the 802 train to Wuxi. Back in Wuxi, I went straight to work. I have a busy day. And so I will write more anon.
The wife will be back in Wuxi on the 2oth!!!
Hello facebook users!!!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Three nights in Nanjing this week. Students say wife should come home. There is a Gorilla at the Wuxi Zoo. The King of Wuxi: apologist for the regime?
I will be spending three nights in Nanjing this week because I will be catching a train there after work Tuesday night. I will probably catch a train Friday morning back to Wuxi. So do the math and you may figure out that I will in fact spend three days in Nanjing.
I went to the Renmin road ticket office at Monday at noon and could not timed it worse. I arrived at 1133 to see a sign, saying 1130 - 1200 and probably saying, in Chinese, that they were gone for lunch, in the ticket window. I went to a nearby McDonalds for something to eat and returned to the train ticket office at 1158 to see a lineup of 20 people waiting to buy tickets. And so at about 1220, I was finally able to get my ticket.
While waiting I noticed this one man who seemed to be either watching people buy tickets or was hoping to bud in line. For ten minutes he was standing near to the ticket window practically crowding out the person whose turn it was to buy a ticket.. He then went to sit down for five minutes before returning to his position beside the ticket window. For some reason, seeing me in line caused him to want to get even closer to the ticket window. As it became my turn to buy a ticket, I had my elbows ready to shove him out of the way.
The wife is complaining about swelling in her ankles. Quick research on the Internet revealed that this is a normal symptom of pregnancy in the third trimester.
The wife's friend is letting Jenny stay at her home in Nanjing made a strange request. She wants a stick of underarm deodorant. She had never seen it used before till last week. The wife has told me to give her friend a stick from my personal stash.
At a Speaker's Corner, I polled the students on the question of whether my wife should return to Wuxi for the rest of her pregnancy. Two thirds of the students said my wife should return. Most of them said that the wife and I need to be together for the rest of the pregnancy. The ones saying she should not return to Wuxi said that the water was going to be bad over the summer. One man said I should wait four months. I think I will side with the minority. The majority can be wrong and is often wrong (for example, the majority don't support the war in Iraq). The Chinese are still too trusting of the government it would seem to me.
During the Wuxi water crisis, the King of Wuxi has been an apologist for the regime. He is saying my wife should come back to Wuxi. He thinks the powers here that be would be crazy to let the people be poisoned. But then how does he explain the Cultural Revolution, a period that the students say was a time when the country just went insane?
There is a gorilla at the Wuxi zoo. That is for certain. The story I was told about Wen Jaibao coming to Wuxi has been heard by other students but most of the students at the Speakers' Corner said it was a rumor. One student said lots of rumors were circulating about Wuxi water including 100 times the safe level of toxicity.
If Barak Obama does not become President it will be because America is racist. Everyone knows this. He will also not win because the dumb Americans won't vote for a man with a Arab sounding name (how many Arabs or Muslims have been beheaded by Americans since 9/11? None, but don't let facts get in the way of a prejudice. America actually went out of its way to say anything bad about Arab-Americans after 9/11 like a battered wife not wanting to press charges against her husband. America hopefully never elects a Socialist regardless of the color of his or her skin. Hello!!! America is not racist. It is racialist and mostly on the left democratic party side.)
Sunday, June 10, 2007
A student told me that Wen Jiabao is paying a visit to Wuxi and Lake Taihu because of the water crisis. So the local government is using all its resources to clean the area around Taihu for the visit.
I have seen Wen Jiabao on numerous occasions on Chinese television. His shtick, which surely must come from the playbook of Bill Clinton, is go to some place in China where there is a crisis, and pose for photo-ops with average citizens to show that he and the Chinese government care, feel their pain and are working on solutions to the problem. He takes on the appearance of a elderly and caring grandfather.
A few weeks ago there was a crisis because of the rising price of pork. So Premier Wen was photographed in a supermarket with shoppers talking about pork prices.
Seeing this picture just before the Water Crisis, I did later wonder when Premier Wen would come to Wuxi to talk about the water. I wonder now why he did not come sooner.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
The wife is in Nanjing. I am in Wuxi. It is Saturday night. What am I going to do? Stay home and play on the computer. I will download Firefox. A reader of my blog at www.andiskaulinsinchina.blogspot.com told me how I can use proxy servers to get to blocked websites in China. After doing that I will edit a pregnancy update video and upload it to youtube.
Thank you to Anonymous for your instructions about using firefox. I can now get to sites like Andis Kaulins in China at blogspot and Wikipedia.
I overheard the anecdote about the general secretary at Southern Yangtze University drinking the water at the meeting. The story I told in the previous blog entry was true. However, the drinker was a 20 year old general secretary of the Student's Union I learned today. The Water in Wuxi is bad. Of that there can be no doubt.
Friday, June 8, 2007
This happened at Wuxi's Southern Yangtze University. The student and staff refused to drink the water. So the General Secretary of the University drank a glass of water before them to show he was confident the water was drinkable. The next day the General Secretary was taken to hospital.
The first tests by the Germans of Wuxi Water show that Wuxi water is very bad tap water but it does not show it to be dangerous. However, final results are not in. Also, it is suspected that the samples were tampered with.
The Wuxi Sheraton is making contingency plans for the summer. The problem of the blue algae could flare up again when the temperatures rise to near 40 degrees Celsius.
I had one lady tell me she does her laundry out of town. A long time Wuxi resident she does not believe the government.
It turned out that the Anaheim Ducks team that won the Stanley Cup had more Canadians in their lineup than the Ottawa Senators did. So much for my being disloyal by cheering against the Senators. And it also proved my point that Ottawa does not represent Canada anyway.
The coach of the Ducks was a former Winnipeg Jets player. Randy Carlyle played in the west of Canada. Yeah!!!
Thursday, June 7, 2007
I am back in Wuxi. I spent two days in Nanjing where I saw a lot of the wife and little of Nanjing. I did take video which I will plop together to make a youtube video.
I can't see this blog site right now. But it is not stopping me from publishing it. Is the Chinese government clamping down on the free speech that has been exhibited in the past week?
I was expecting the King of Wuxi to learn his expat subjects in this water crisis in the manner of which he had helped to liberate Hans Island from the Danes. Instead, what do I learn? He has gone to Taiwan. So instead of Churchill, we get a WH Auden. The shame.
But seriously, he had to go there on business.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Someone has taken a sample of Wuxi water to Germany for analysis. Many Wuxi expats are waiting for the results which will come either late Thursday or Friday.
One of my students told me that Wuxi water is like beer. When I asked him to explain what he meant. He said that Wuxi water looks like beer and tastes like it as well. Tastes like it? I asked. The student said that he hated beer.
It has been said by those in the know that Wuxi tap water is not safe to even shower or wash clothes with. One of our trainers said he had crystals on his skin after taking a shower in the water.
WuxiLife is full of debate verging on political about the water crisis. Chinese and foreigners are getting involved. I wonder how long the debate will last before the site is shut down.
I am going to Nanjing at 847 am tomorrow.
I am going to Nanjing tomorrow morning to see my wife. I may not be able to blog for two days. Hopefully, the King of Wuxi can pinch hit for me.
Monday, June 4, 2007
I have been told that those who know something about the Wuxi Water crisis are very upset these days. They say that all the government has done is use chemicals to remove the bad smell of the water, and that the odor-reducing chemicals are just as toxic as ones that could be smelled. This person in the know has a two year old daughter and is planning to get her out of Wuxi. She advises to not use the water for anything but flushing the toilet.
My wife won't be in Wuxi for the rest of the summer. I just don't have any confidence in anything the government here says.
My blogs have been linked in a Wuxilife posting.
But the King of Wuxi says this could all be hysteria.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
I saw Patterson wear a leather jacket last night. Why? He has a summer cold.
I was conducting an Speaker's Corner Sunday afternoon that was briefly interrupted by a fight just outside the main floor window of the classroom I was in. The building, our school is in, is beside a little park and also has a courtyard of sorts with benches on the other side. Both these areas attract loiterers. One particular person who is homeless and mentally deranged has been lurking in both places for a month. He may have one time tried to enter the school but he is harmless. He was involved in a fight just beside where I was doing Speakers' Corner. Another man, possibly another street person, had grabbed and twisted his arm so that he was screaming in pain for two or three minutes. I had to look through the shades of the class room I was in to see the fight. The students on seeing this laughed. Theirs laughs were a little embarrassed and uneasy but they seemed mostly to be the laughs of people directed at others' misfortunes. That is what torture is like I told the students. I continued on with my SPC and a few minutes later looked out the window to see the victim of the arm-twisting throwing bricks, left over from last year's construction of the park, at his tormentor.
The Ottawa Senators won game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. They beat the Anaheim Ducks 5 to 3 in Ottawa. The game was played Sunday morning in Wuxi. The Ducks had a three-two lead before I went to teach a class. When I came back from class, it was to see the game was over and the Ducks had lost.
The Blue Bar showed the game in the evening. Les Dingle had managed to download the game of the Internet and show it on the Bar's big screen which is attached to a lap top. I went but I kept my mouth shut.
My prediction for game 4. I hate to say it but Ottawa 5, Anaheim 1. I would be happy if I am very wrong with this prediction but Ottawa came on strong in the last half of the game. Also, Chris Pronger gave a stupid elbow to one of the Ottawa players that was not caught by the refs but will probably result in a suspension later. Pronger's dirty elbow is a sort of thing that transfers all momentum to the opponents by inspiring them with a thirst for revenge and with moral righteousness.
It is official, the pregnancy update video I did on April 13 is now my most watched video. I have 139 videos on youtube. This blows all the other videos, I have made, away. Why? I don't know. Pregnancy videos are popular must be why it is.
It also got me to thinking. Whose nose is bigger?
The King of Wuxi's
Saturday, June 2, 2007
I have sitemeter provide me with this blog's visitor and pageview stats. One of the most interesting things I can do with sitemeter is see where people are visiting this blog from. In the last few days, I have had visitors from Pakistan, Chile and Iran.
Hey King! Who are your friends in these countries?
I went to the Blue Bar last night. The place was hopping. The people I talked to who are long-term expats in Wuxi seemed to be willing to wait out the water crisis. Some talked optimistically that the problem will be solved.
I feel that the problem is worse that the government likes to say it is. The problem has been around for 3 weeks before most people in Wuxi and the World knew about it.
The water in my apartment still sinks. The flushing out operation does not seem to be helping.
The water at school is not as bad as two days ago but it is still not odorless.
I am glad my pregnant wife is in Nanjing. It was a sad parting we had yesterday morning.
Here is a Youtube video, that is very informative, about the crisis.
There has been talk that the water is better in Wuxi. But this is not so where I live. The water still smells. For a while tonight I had no water and I was hoping that when it came back on that it would smell better. Well, it is on and it still smells. Maybe I have to let the taps run awhile before the water smells better.
It is a good thing that Jenny, my pregnant wife, is out of Wuxi.
I just talked to Steph, the consort of the King of Wuxi. She lives in the New District. She told me her water still smells.
Meanwhile, Luis (http://ponquenet.spaces.live.com) says his water smells Jim Dandy.
Friday, June 1, 2007
My wife is going to Nanjing tomorrow. She is pregnant so too much is at stake for her to stay here. Wuxi TV news is reporting that the Water problem is getting better. I don't believe. My water is still malodorous.
I had a speaker's corner today about guess what? Here are some of the stories the students have told me:
- Many people are not taking baths. There are stories circulating that the water causes rashes.
- Restaurants have already shut down because most people believe they still use tap water. Either that or they just cannot afford to buy bottled water.
- The Chinese are flocking to McDonalds and KFC because they are perceived as using only the best water. Meanwhile, they don't trust Chinese restaurants.
- Instant Noodles are selling out. People don't want to go to restaurants. People don't want to cook at home. A student has told me that he ate instant noodles yesterday for the first time in two years.
- Vendors are coming to Wuxi from Northern Jiangsu and Anhui province selling bottled water.
- Many Wuxi residents are getting their water from wells which are perceived as being clean and uncontaminated.
- The government's official position is that the water is safe for drinking. This is what the students have repeatedly told me.
- One student sees a golden lining in this. He believes this incident will be impetus for the government to seriously act to stop pollution.
- A student who lives by Lake Tahui said he first noticed smelly water about three weeks ago. He lives near Lake Taihu.
- The students believe that the crisis is the fault of the government for allowing foreign companies, especially the Japanese, to come here and pollute.
The Duke of Wuxi had a soda at McDonalds two days ago. He said it tasted putrid.
And of course now McDonalds is only serving pop in cans.
Apple, a student, says that the water situation is getting better because of the rain we have had the last two days. There is a rumor that the rain was artificially induced.