June 25, 2009. No Internet. Censorship.

Serious Monk
Serious Monk

This morning I can not access Google, gMail, Google Translators or Google Maps. I have been reading that the government of China has a dispute with Google about allowing access to porn. Could this be a result of that dispute?

I looked on the news and social networking sites ad see nothing about the block, so I am not 100% sure it’s the government. Everything else seems to be working.

I got some information about the wedding. The reason Vivian and Martin did not go on a honeymoon was that Martin’s parents came in from the provinces and are staying with them for a while. I am not sure how long. When they leave there will be a honeymoon.

They took in more than 60,000 yuan from the red envelopes at the party. That means the average person gave about 600 yuan, and the average couple gave around 1200 yuan. So my 999 yuan gift was about right. I wanted it to be generous, but not ostentatious. Red envelopes are the only acceptable gift for a Chinese wedding or other gift giving occasions. Things like toasters are never given. I guess that’s why every store sells red envelopes.

I still don’t know exactly how and when they were married in the eyes of the government. Could it be that they have been married a while and just celebrated it? Somehow I thought they were married and was surprised when they announced the party.

I found my thermometer/clock. The temperature outside has been in the high 80s. I find that I am quite comfortable if I set my apartment air conditioner for 80. I think the a/c draws the humidity from the air, and you know that everyone says it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. Well, I agree. I wish my thermometer had a humidity reading. Why not? It does everything else.

I walked through to the market. There was a new fish vendor. He also had lots of smoked meats that smelled great. He had smoked leg and thigh for 5.90 yuan (under $1.00 USD). I almost bought one, but was unsure how to eat it. Like a sucker? Or does it have to be cooked? They were not refrigerated at the market, so I assume it did not need to be cooked. Maybe I’ll go back tomorrow.

Last night I decided to

get out a bit. I went to the Muslim restaurant and has the green salad I have had several times before. I also had gigot. This is leg of lamb sliced very thin. I like lamb, and this was great. It was served with cilantro and raw onions along with a dipping sauce that was good, but I did not recognize the flavor. The cilantro was a good substitute for mint jelly.

On my way home I stopped at the oyster restaurant and had 4 huge grilled oysters. I have described them before. They were good. The main reason I stopped was they had a table outside, and I always like that, even in the heat. After the oysters, I had a couple of beers and watched people walking on the sidewalk. Behind my seat were containers full of live eels and crabs.

I met a woman named Jan and her 10 year old son, Harry. Jan had taken Harry to the oyster place for a special treat. They sat at the table next to me, so I didn’t get a good look at what Harry was eating, but I think they might have been crawfish. I think

I saw little pincers on them. Rubber gloves came with the meal for Harry to wear, and he had them on making it more difficult for me to see what he was eating.

It turns out that Jan has a sister in Washington, DC and is planning a trip to visit her. She has other relatives in California which she will visit too. Both Jan and Harry spoke good English, and were very out going, especially Harry. I guess Chinese are as friendly as any other people when there are no language barriers.

It is 6 or 8 blocks between the Muslim and oyster restaurants. On my way to the oyster place I came across a monk selling jade on the sidewalk. Now that I think about it, I can’t remember seeing another monk in China outside a monastery. I snapped a couple of pictures of him and he gave me such a look that I decided not to try for a better shot. Monks seem to take themselves very seriously.

LATER

Google came back on, and everything seemed to be OK. Then this evening about 20:00 everything went off. I can not even access the

internet. Once again, I don’t know the source of the problem, government blocking, my ISP, or something else. As I write this, I have no idea when it will be posted. If it is posted, you can assume the internet is back on!!

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About Charles Kirtley

Have been living in SE Asia and China since 2007. I have an opinion on most every subject, and don't mind sharing them. Lover and collector of worthless facts.
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