Thursday, 29 May 2014

a thought

A Chinese man told me one day the following:

“In fact, China is very simple country. There are five rules to follow:
The government is ALWAYS right       
Respect you leader (= is ALWAYS right)
Look after your children as they are OUR future
Money TALKS…”

and… forgot the last one.

Met this Chinese girl the other day; quite westernised with a good command of English. She described me her trip to Hong Kong and added ‘That may surprise you, but we need a special permission to go to HK, even though it’s a part of China. It’s a special autonomic region, you see’. Then I asked her if she had a passport. ‘No’ – she replied.

Me, maybe in a bit not politically correct manner, continued my exposition and asked – I read in The Economist that only 5% of Chinese population has a passport (still, it’s around 70 million people), is it really difficult to get one? 

- Erm, it is quite difficult, but possible… and you need to fill out a lot of papers. 

(no criticism of the government intended).

Right… Well, then why is there any needless paperwork at first place? Shouldn’t it be just a filled out application form, a pass photo and some administrative fee? Or maybe… what if your government doesn’t want you to go abroad?

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

London, I don’t miss you.

I don't long for the streets I know inside-out, I don't miss all these rainy days when you were treating me like shit, making me fall off my bike and scratch my arms. But I do miss what you offer: gourmet coffee in Soho, relative freedom and cultural melting pot, and most importantly, my own places in your bewildering labyrinth of streets, roads, lanes and courtyards.
We've been having this long-lasting, love-&-hate relationship that I can't take anymore sometimes . My days in Beijing are coming to an end a vision of seeing you makes me... worried? Whenever I fling back into your arms, you are taken aback and need extra time to get use to me again.

All right, let's cut this poetic crap. I've got three weeks left, 7 lessons to go with my students and many sights to explore. Beijing has a lot to offer, including numerous museums (e.g.bizarre-sounding Beijing Museum of Tap Water), evergreen parks, temples and, of course, kilometers of hutongs

I wouldn't say I look forward to going back to London, however my cat is there (♥), my good ol' company and courier fam', even though I am of the opinion that most of the contacts I've made through couriering is rather shallow and irrelevant. Still, I made few friends who remember about me staying overseas. I value that, thanks guys.

While being here, I often consider moving back to Prague, my beloved, one of a kind mother of cities. At the moment I keep saying I will come back there next spring, but didn't I committed myself to take this step  two years ago, in Japan? I did, and then next year I landed in Indonesia, and now I am in Asia again and singing exactly same mantra. 

We shall see. For now thou, I should make the best use of my time in Beijing, then embark on the plane on 31st of May and calmly await to re-embrace London.