It’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here. This is because I got lazy although I could have easily blamed the heightened levels of media censoring the state government are getting up to these days. Yesterday was the perfect storm for a good old censoring, what with the Nobel Peace Prize (not sure if the ‘peace’ and the ‘prize’ earn a capital letter but just in case) being presented to a Chinese dissident, it being National Human Rights Day (again with the ‘day’) and the small matter of WikiLeaks lifting the skirt of global diplomacy on a daily basis. So, on top of facebook and youtube being banned, every international news site has been blocked including the BBC, the Guardian and any other newspaper you care to mention. And of course, this blog. But anyway, where there’s a will there’s a way, so here I am.

I gave one of my classes a test this week where one of the questions was, “What does your grandmother look like?” Answers were varied and mostly to the point. “My grandmother looks like a farmer.” Wrote Bob diplomatically. The truth is she probably was a farmer back in the day. “My grandmother looks like an old bag.” Wrote Mary Chu, unaware we actually use this as a genuine granny-based insult. Poor old Sam didn’t quite grasp the concept of the simile, writing neatly, “My grandmother looks like a slide.” Even upon translation into his native tongue he still thought this was a perfectly legitimate answer. Other answers compared their dear nans to frogs, cows and my personal favourite, “A smart man.”

Met another strange Shanghai local this week, not far removed from the ladyboy mentioned previously. He was dressed in a zebra print jacket, more bangles than Prince and shoes he nicked from Flash Gordon. To top it all off he was sporting a peaked green Robin Hood hat that Robin Hood would’ve been bullied for wearing. He began amiably enough, approaching me and some American friends with the opening, “Hello, nice to meet you, kiss my hand!” Upon refusal he shrieked, “Well fuck you then!” Upon hostility he replied, “Oh, I’m sorry, I apologise, please kiss my hand.” Upon refusal he returned to the second line. This conversation ended with us running down the road chanting “Ruffio! Ruffio!” while he stood on the street corner shaking his fists and screaming. It was very, very strange.

Finally, my flatmate and I manned up and bought a Wii. Obviously because we’re in China it came with a hard drive loaded with forty games (very legal) and new ones can be uploaded for the princely sum of 50p. Our favourite game? Mario Strikers. Fifa can suck on a chain chomp, this game is the nuts!


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