Archive for May, 2011

This, that and everything else

May 31, 2011

Oh poor blog, how I neglect thee so. This time at least I have a fairly good reason – namely the fact that I broke my foot some seven weeks ago, and until present have been hobbling around on crutches. Of course the doctor thought it was just a sprain, so for the first three weeks I limped around on a broken bone until suggesting to the doctor – uh it’s not healing, should I get a CT scan done? How is it that doctors never know what’s wrong with you? Over the years I feel like I have told more doctors what is wrong with me, and could have guessed the medication than vice versa. Hell, armed with Google, I have no doubt I could take on the role myself! Well yeah, maybe not.

Anyhow, my foot has been first and foremost on my mind. Over the weeks there’s been various Chinese items that have caught my interest, some local, some abroad. I began noting them down in my phone as an ongoing reminder, and you never know, I might eventually get around to writing about them. But when I looked at my list…I couldn’t help but chuckle. This in a nutshell is what keeps my interest in all things China. Only in China could you have a list such as this:

1. Exploding melons – In various provinces, there have been large numbers of fruit ‘land mines’, the results of farmers injecting chemicals aimed at increasing the growth speed. Faster growth = more produce = more $$$. I don’t even want to think about what that stuff might do to a humans insides. The Chinese farmers using it sure as hell dont 🙂

2. NAPLAN controversies – This ones home-grown. There’s examinations which have been brought into schools at various levels, used to determine overall education rates. High performing schools are eligible for funding, and results have been made public. This is leading to many schools botching results in order to not tarnish their overall scores, with poor performing students in some cases not even allowed to continue at the school. It rings ridiculously familiar bells of the stories I used to hear of parents rigging results, massive pressure on children and the like, all over China. In particular it amused me to hear of the outrage of one Australian parent when learning of students being forced to study or attend study camps during school holidays. Hah hello…this is the norm in China. The poor Chinese students spend so much time in school or during their limited weekends/holidays, that most will grow up devoid of a childhood. Interesting times ahead.

3. Dog bakery – Yes that’s right, the world’s first (i hope anyway) dog bakery has opened in Beijing. Before you scream doggy murder, no it’s not serving dog bread products – but is catering TO dogs. Yes finally you can buy a bakery range aimed specifically at your mutt – including and not limited to bread cooked in the shape of bones.

4. Which leads me to the One Dog Policy – Shanghai is bringing in a One Dog Policy to limit the number of dogs residents are able to own. China has really taken to dogs, it’s the luxury item of the new generation, and there are _millions_ of them. Considering the Chinese aren’t particularly concerned about their pooches bogging in the streets (or their children for that matter), this is possibly one of the best ideas to hit the two thousandths so far.

5. Suicide Bride – And finally, on a more glum note, there were images floating around of a Chinese bride who had attempted to commit suicide. I’ll likely come back to this one as it deserves going into individually, but to explain it in a nutshell – the husband to be had recently decided to call off the wedding, so the bride, clad in full bridal dress, decided to jump off a building. Some way, some how, a man actually caught the bride BY THE NECK. There are photos showing him actually reaching out the window, catching the bride as she plummets to her would be death. Now this was a pretty freaky story, but unfortunately not particularly uncommon in China. Well I doubt brides leaping from rooves is exactly everyday, but suicide is a real problem in China. It ranks right up there with mining deaths. But I’ll leave both of them for another day.

For now, apologies for the wall of text, but I simply had to get it out of my system.

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