AS LONG AS YOU are not a member of the “terrorist” Tibetan Buddhist claque, described as serial leafletters in The China Daily earlier this week, the country is in many ways freer than the Stalinist gang who seem to “rule” Britain with the consent of the Queen’s subjects. We will have our chance to vote them out, no doubt.
They appear to have forgetten they “rule” with our consent.
For example, although Rupert Goodwins seemed to believe that it was possible the charming middle aged guy who engaged me in conversation in the Old City six days ago was checking me out. I think he was just a charming middle aged guy who was interested in telling me more about the Old City.
This, by the way, is a marked contrast from Taiwan. We first visited it a year after martial law had stopped, and a goon from the CIA accompanied us almost everywhere we went. It’s true he didn’t follow us into the bog, like an IBM goon once tried to do at its PC manufacturing plant in Greenock once, but having a Taiwanese CIA man tracking you was an unnerving experience.
It’s true that the traffic police here are a little more assiduous in their duties than in the UK too. They picked up many people for violations while Rupes and myself were strolling around. If there’s CCTV, I couldn’t spot any. Shanghai Pudong airport is as efficient entering and leaving the country as Beijing was last year.
There are lots of lights in Shanghai, as you can see from the skyline of the Sofitel Pudong. But at the stroke of 1AM, the neon goes off, to be replaced with what appear to be synchronised “Bladerunner” like strobes. We presume either it’s a way of avoiding aircraft hitting high buildings, or a kind of semaphore telling you to go to bed.
We never got a chance to go on the Maglev, but it definitely sped past us while traffic slowed to a halt on our way back.
Perhaps as long as you don’t openly flout regulations, you can live what’s rest of your life in China to the full. Or as long as you obey the rule below – pic kindly sent to us by an Intel member also on the trip – that’s the chip company, not the “Intel” who work for the country. ♥