Saturday, April 30, 2005

Finished working

My project was finished before my parents got here and it seems like I'm won't be involved in that project no more, at least in the short run. I'm not sure that I will be offered a more permanent position at the company or if this was the end of it. My plan for now is to go home during the summer to work and to write my last exams at my university in Göteborg (I'm studying Physics Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology). After that I will most likely write my thesis. If that will be in China or somewhere else is yet to be decided.

KMT at Beida

This Thursday the KMT party leader LianZhen came to Beida. The KMT (国民堂) is the opposition party in Taiwan. They were the former rulers of mainland China and fled to Taiwan when the communists took over. This is the first time in 60 years a KMT representative has entered the mainland. This is of course a plot by the CCP, the Chinese Communist Party and KMT to isolate the current government in Taiwan, which is much more pro-independence. So, foreign affairs to influence the domestic audiences, business as usual in other words.

Since I couldn't get in I stood outside and watched the spectacle. Students and journalists elbowing each other to get to see the suits passing by.

I managed to see some of the delegation, but unfortunately I wouldn't recognize any of the people except Mr. LianZhen, who quickly disappeared into a black car.

Phoenix television conducting interviews afterwards.

The Phoenix news channel, based in Hong Kong, is the best TV news the students can get, and they recognize the hosts. When the reporter had finished her interviews the students stormed in and were trying to take a picture with her. She kept talking on the phone and with her crew, ignoring the fact that dozens of people quickly, one-by-one, got their picture taken with her.



This is the place outside my building where I dump my trash. The recycling system is based on a constant stream of poor people that go through the trash in search of plastic bottles and other useful things. The unrecycling part is... for things that have been recycled and then needs to be unrecycled?

Anyway, people are throwing in the same stuff in both places. If they don't throw it on the street that is.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Way to go Beida

I have been trying to figure out the venue for the Beijing International Gay and Lesbian Movie Festival that was to be held at Peking University. When walking on the campus I couldn't find any trace of it though. I also sent an email and gave them several phone calls. Yesterday I finally came through but then they just told me that it was already over.

Turns out that the festival had moved out of the campus on a very short notice. A deputy director of the hall is quoted in the SCMP as saying (article republished here):

What is problematic is the theme, which clashes with the current requirements of our country. We cannot afford the responsibility of hosting the festival

What's more, the content does not fit in with campus culture. The goal of our hall is to spread classic culture among students.
The festival have now updated their website and they will show the movies again from 1-7th May, free of charge, from 19.00 and 00.00. Right now they only have this info when reading the Chinese version of the website. The English is not yet updated.
电话: 010 - 64848083
Another festival that has disappeared is the Peking University International Culture Festival. I participated in this last year (pictures) and it was a great success, though the university managed to piss off a lot of people with a lot of empty promises. This year it seems like they pissed even more people off by canceling the whole thing a week before it was supposed to take place. The official reason is that it would be too close to the May holiday. My guess would be that it would be too sensitive to let Japanese promote their culture on campus right now, too sensitive to ask only Japanese students not to participate, and therefore they cancelled the whole thing wasting a lot of people's time and effort. I suggestion would be to consult with the Japanese students and see if they wanted to participate at all. If, that would have been a brave act, if not, quite understandable.

Guess letting people do things that doesn't hurt anyone else or limits someone else's freedom (like being gay) and let students promote their countries is too much for a such a backwards place as China's best university... and sadly a whole lot of other places too.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Day 8: Off they go

Just got back from the airport after bringing them there. Now I will rest after a truly great week!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Day 7:Summer palace and Xidan

Going by bus to the Summer Palace.


This was the clearest day I can remember.



Sommer Palace coffee break number 2.

My mum doing Xidan.
Last dinner in this town. A bunch of classics. Mapodoufu - spicy tofu, Gongbaojiding - chicken dices with peanuts, Disanxian - eggplant, potatoe, green pepper and Helandou - beans...
...Basipingguo - suger coated apples.

Day 6: Aquarium, shopping, and Xinjiang food

My mum shoving in dumplings.


Since my dad really like fish we decided to go to the Beijing Blue Zoo.

Turned out to be pretty cool. ZhangFan accompanied us this day.


Our daily shopping. Mum unhappy with the fit.

Xinjiang food at Yuyanxueyuan.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Day 6: Shopping, acrobatics, and hotpot

Mum is digging in. Most of it was probably sliding back into the bowl though. Most important is to have fun, right!

Most of the day was actually spend shopping. In Carrefour. We wanted to return the suitcase we bought and which broke on when leaving the store! Unfortunately, that time the store had already closed. Luckily they gave back the money without any fuzz. Then my parents spend most of the afternoon continuing shopping in there.

Group picture. My mum, my dad, Mr. Zhang, Mr. Liu, Mrs. Wang, Mr Li, Ms. Huang, Mr. Wu... I know, haha, I'm so funny.

Since I couldn't come up with anything else to do with my parents (I really don't want to go to more parks, museums, or temples!!), we went to an acrobatic show (yeah.. I didn't want to go to no Peking opera either...). What do you do when you have to entertain your parents for a whole week?? Well, it seemed to have worked. They really seemed to like it.

Since there seem to be so many people in this country doing things they don't want to, I don't think these children really choose to do these torturous acts entirely because they love it. That makes me feel it wasn't all that great.

The funny 'dogs', as my mum called them. They are actually Chinese lions.

By night it was very windy and rather cold, so we went for... finally!... hotpot!! Since the killer-hotpot I made at home has become legendary, it was nice to show them the real thing.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Day 5: Tiantan and birthday dinner

My mum and dad woke me up singing the birthday song and had coffee and leftovers from yesterday.

We had a slow start of the day. I had to do some work and we went to the post office to send off some postcard and dad got some of his clothes washed one of the laundry place just below my building.

When we finally got away we went to Tiantan to have a pick nick. When I finally had begged the folks at the souvenir shop for some hot water, I discovered that I had forgotten the coffee back home. Horror, such horror.

Singing dudes at one of the pavilions.

Some guys skillfully playing music on traditional Chinese instruments.

Dinner at the 花家怡园 [huājiāyíyuán] at Guijie. Me and my dad ate until we could hardly move, but I don't think my mum liked it that much, particularly not the 香辣发财鱼 [xiānglàfācáiyú] (69 RMB) which was my favorite.

花家八爷烤鸭套[huājiābāyékǎoyātào](69 RMB) is a tasty version of the in this town so famous roasted duck.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Day 4: Birthday party

I'm turning 30 the 18th so I invited some friends for some cake in Peking University's Weiminghu park! All cakes and cookies were made by my mum and brought from Sweden!




Dad cracking some jokes. Man, it is surreal to have them here! Really great!


Day 4: Church Visit





Saturday, April 16, 2005

Day 3: Great Wall

We went to Huanghua Great Wall. I have to say that I was really impressed. It was probably the perfect time with all threes in bloom.