The Ultimate Paradox
Mar. 2nd, 2010
01:24 am - YES
Government bureaucrat: "Why don't you report any REAL news? There are lots of scandals in the government that I know about."
Reporter: "OK, I'll do it. What are they?"
Bureaucrat: "I can’t tell you. I'd get fired."
<3 overheard in the newsroom.
Nov. 23rd, 2009
04:00 pm - Nobody likes you when you're 23
Today is my birthday. Hurrah.
Nov. 21st, 2009
01:00 am - Adventures in China part 1
OK so I'm back in Perth. I was too busy to update while I was in China so here's some retrospective recaps of what happened. I'll divide it up because I know your attention spans aren't what they could be. Tonight is me getting to Chengdu, tomorrow I'll write about the event and later this week about the few days I spent in Hong Kong on the way back.
Once I landed in Macau early in the morning I had several hours to look around. It has a heritage trail on the western side of the main island, away from all the casinos. As you follow the trail you’re pretty aware of the gap between rich and poor, most of the cityscape is pretty depressing and it set the tone for much of the rest of the trip. On the trail are temples, churches from Portuguese times, fortifications and to cap it off the ruins of a massive cathedral – only the façade remains. Some areas have a pretty epic number of tourists but other lower profile sites are much quieter. I saw the skyline on the way from the airport from one of the three massive bridges across the bay. Spectacular.
Journey to Chengdu
From then it was on to Guangzhou to get my train to Chengdu. I’m not a massive fan of Guangzhou, it doesn’t have much to recommend itself. It’s kind of what I used it for – a gateway to more interesting places. It has a pretty decent metro though, probably for this reason. I met a German guy on the bus who when we arrived introduced me to his Chinese friends who spoke decent English and helped me get my ticket sorted out. As I knew was a risk, the train was sold out so I had to get one in the morning. I got a hotel near the station for 230RMB which was actually pretty good.
The train wasn’t overly fun. My bed was the third bunk and dangerously high in the air with a pretty basic ladder to get up there. It was also hard. Asians for some reason seem to like their beds very hard, even in decent hotels. I don’t understand. It was more than 28hrs too so I spent most of my time sleeping, reading or trying to sleep and failing. They turn out the lights after 10pm so you really have nothing to do unless you bring a torch. I had some food and the crew laughed at my wrong yet effective chopsticks technique and asked me questions in the little English they have. Everyone in China loves Australia, it’s an instant doorway into their good books.
General thoughts about China
I’m not a massive fan, to be honest. On the plus side, everything is cheap so you can afford to do things you wouldn’t normally and you can get 580ml of beer for about A35c (seriously). But it’s a pretty depressing place in some ways. The pollution is just terrible. China seriously needs to STFU about being made to bear the same burdens as the West in ETS negotiations, the smog is fucking appalling and if the rest of us need to be forced to go along with this climate change stuff then so do they. Screw their emerging economy. Honestly even on a clear day visibility of the horizon and even closer isn’t great. They also seem to place no value on hygiene or cleanliness of toilets and back areas. In basically every establishment the front will look nice or at least ok but if you try to go to the toilet or if you walk past a back room or staff area or something it will be in a terrible, even gag-inducing state. Even at the convention centre. WTF China? Also it needs labour unions for construction workers desperately. They don’t use real scaffolding, they use a bamboo lattice and often no ropes or harnesses, just a helmet, maybe. Conditions aren’t great either.
Nov. 11th, 2009
Time to get the internet to work: 2 days.
Time to get around the Great Firewall of China: 12 seconds.
Nov. 4th, 2009
02:39 am - The French are better than you
Out of 168 battles fought since 387 BC, France has won 109, lost 49 and drawn 10. How's that for a bunch of supposed cheese-eating surrender monkeys?
Told you the French were awesome.
Sep. 27th, 2009
01:54 am - Burn the blasphemers
Anyone who does not like our glorious national game of AFL should STFU or turn in their citizenships.
That is all.
Aug. 17th, 2009
The publicly charming but rather dense ex-actor who liked to pretend he that was a cowboy and the world was his horse." - Robert Sherrill on Ronald Reagan.
Aug. 5th, 2009
Jul. 1st, 2009
12:10 pm - "Women can't write about sex"
I thought some readers of this LJ might have something to say about this.
Jun. 29th, 2009
So the apartment has had no hot water for more than two days now. I'm very unimpressed.