Monday, June 29, 2009
After five weeks crisscrossing China – I touched down in Chicago on Friday night. I had intended to blog while away, but discovered that Blogger.com was hidden behind the Great Firewall. With the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square only few weeks ago, on June 4th, the government cracked down on western media, networking sites and Internet forums with renewed vigor.
In fact, they flipped a switch shortly after I arrived in Xi’an. While watching the BBC in my dorm room, as well as a pair of azure-winged magpies out the window from the corner of my eye, the picture suddenly flickered and dissolved into static. I clicked to CNN, Deutsche Welle, a few Spanish language networks – static. China Central TV clicked on, as obnoxious and nasal as ever. It remained that way for my duration in the country. I never heard any mention of the so-called June 4th incident.
On my way to pick up Elaine yesterday, my friend had a 45 day old jerkin bouncing around the house. He’s a mellow, playful, ungainly creature, with tufts of down swaying on his head and a taste for killing socks and shoes. Over the weekend, while readjusting to the thirteen-hour time change and reflecting on the trip, I took to socializing the alternately excited and exhausted falcon. As I gather my thoughts - I'll start posting on the meanderings of my class through Xi'an, Kunming, Lijiang, Bejing and Shanghai.