Did anyone see us on TV during the Olympic 3m mens diving? We saw ourselves on CCTV, trying to keep a stony silence while a bunch of Russians cheered their diver as loudly as they could.
Some other highlights of our recent travels: - a guy chucking his bronze medal onto the floor and storm off the podium in disgust (that's right, 3rd place is 2nd loser!) - seeing the Lakeside Pavillion of Washing the Tassle of My Official Hat in the Master of the Nets Garden! - seeing 24 pandas: 2% of the world's population! - 100 dumplings in 48 hours!!! - this awesome song!
(P.S. If you don't think it's awesome, play it 49 more times in the next 8 hours.)
Some things you should consider visiting while in Asia:
http://siamniramit.com/ An awesomely cheesy musical dance show featuring all of Thailand's history and culture, featuring a live elephant (which you can ride before the show) and green deities with two foot crowns flying across the dry ice-filled stage.
Vietnamese water puppets: cheesy goodness at one fifteenth the price of Siam Niramit:
Possibly to avoid is the Petronas Twin Towers observation deck, which at floor 41 of 88 floors, is slightly higher than the lunch room at my office.
Today I took out Red China Blues by Jan Wong from the westmount library, and I've read about three quarters of it already. It's the story of Wong's life starting from when she travels to China as a Mao enthused radical in the 70's, and stretches through her disillusionment with the Chinese system of the time and her eventual return as a reporter years later. It's a captivating tale, and has also helped fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge about China's modern history. I haven't finished it yet, but I can already recommend it.
The first-hand account of the June 4th, 1989 Tiananmen Square Protest/Massacre was particularly chilling. This BBC article (and the video that accompanies it) published right afterwards provides an account of the governments military attack on the civilian populace. The wikipedia provides more extensive background on the events.
What particularly upsets me is that even now, over 15 years later, the Chinese government refuses to own up to the truth of what happened that day. China also censors the news available to its citizens, including the 'great firewall of China' that blocks numerous internet sites. I'll bet that the links in this post won't work in China. Maybe this post won't even show up there, it's pretty easy to detect "Tiananmen+Square+Massacre" in content. Only unofficial accounts would use the word massacre, of course. I can only imagine what the official version of events taught in China is. Maybe it isn't even mentioned in history classes.
I think that we should do everything we can to ensure that the entire people of the world have access to a truthful account of history. The internet was supposed to help do that, but China maintains a tight control over the contents that enter their networks. I think that Canada and all other countries should continue to push China (and any other countries that censor and/or revise their history) as much as possible to admit the truth.
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It was definitely clean and orderly (and expensive) compared to the rest of Asia I saw! I loved Little India. And I think, clean + orderly compared to the rest of the world around there.