Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful.
It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom.
He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically,
but almost with pleasure.

Aldous Huxley

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So be it; Kashgar I am coming,

So be it! CST game me my money, so I can go play at being reporter for National Geographic this summer in Kashgar, China... Though my plans for traveling with a motorcycle seems to fluster away, as I found out that it is forbidden to own any vehicle in China (unless living there or being Chinese, which I am not). So I won't ride. But I can still travel! And my wishes came true, I got the money, I got the time, I got everything I could wish for, so it's just to do it!
Now the harder will be to stay focused on my studies until the damn semester finishes! And then what? A stopover in Norway to visit Sabrina's family, and then China. I will have 2 months or so, enough time to find interesting travel stories to write about I guess!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A hunt for discrepancies

What I wanna do? Am I really going to be journalist? Me? Am I any good at it? Let send this letter to the gods, who are probably playing pétanque if I guess right. Is that what I really dream of? Maybe. I think so, a least. It would be really cool. Really cool. So let's make a move for it, let's go wholeheartedly, without concerns, full time, and at once. But what should I do first? Maybe look on Wikipedia on “how do I become an awesome journalist?”. I should give it a try. Right now.
Ok, maybe not then. First thing I saw was “bad news: media companies around the world are cutting the number of foreign correspondents”. Ok, so it won't be easy.
But what the heck! What is there to loose, except a dream? Well I believe in the Alchemist's story, even though many would say I'm stupid. “If you set yourself a goal and make your best to achieve it, life's gonna help you...” Doesn't it sound familiar? It's nice to hear. It gives hope. It gives me hope. And that's the only thing I need, hope, and will.
If I get money from CST I'll go to China this summer and write about my travel. 要是CST送给我前,很多前,我就回到中国去录性和些报上。 So if CST gives me money should I consider it a kick in the ass from Life? I'll put my faith in that for now, and we'll see. Hopefully I won't have to wait for too long...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Milk'n Melamine: Unpalatable truths in China's food safety

I found this article from Asia Time Online where the author Kent Ewing report some news from the New Zealand Herald, which are quite interesting in the light of the recent trial of Tian Wenhua, the ex-boss of Sanlu (one of the company found guilty of adding melanine to the milk).

Indeed last month (I think...) Tian Wenhua was jugded on a big show case trial and reportedly pleaded guilty to the "charges of producing and selling fake products and endangering public safety and could be sentenced to death". However, a spokeperson from the New Zealand branch (Fonterra) of the milk company reported that Tian Wenhua never said anything the like.
Now who's saying the truth? Along Tian Wenhua, 3 other top executives were also charged and 17 other random people. In total the China Daily report that over 40 000 people are being investigated... Who said big show? Maybe the Fonterra's spokeperson just tried a public relation move in order to save the Kiwi branch's face. Yet this whole situation is peculiarly similar to what Julia Strauss describe; the public accusation and mass denunciation sessions where random people were found guilty of the horrible crime of being a "rightist opportunist", and the accused were blamed of everyone's problem...
But 60 years have passed since the "golden age" of the CCP, as Julia Strauss wrote, and technology now allow people to comunicate and exchange their ideas. The CCP has to play carefully with its public media apparatus on the one hand, and discrete arrests on the other hand. As Kent Ewing reported, last month some of the victim's families tried to reach Beijing to voice their discontent, but they were quietly arrested on the way... The big shows from the CCP aren't finished yet!

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Eve song...

Yes, it was beautiful, poetic, epic and terrific. All of this. This is even beyond words, beyond comments.