Hey everyone. Well, I am back from China; I am healthier, I lost 4 lbs. I feel surprisingly good now that the jet lag has finally worn away. I know you are all sitting on the edges of your chairs waiting for the blow-by-blow. I would have done it from China -- but guess what. There's no blogger in China.
I am sure you'll all agree that it's pretty obvious that I am a dissident, inciting unrest in China from my lounger in America with my limited citizen Journalist powers. It's pretty obvious after all, because I am an American. Which is why the Chinese government's censorship, or the failing of the Google Empire to secure righteous placement in China for my blog, has left me powerless to speak to the Chinese people from America, or even something as innocuous as showing my American friends what I ate in China via blogger from the lobby of the Global Hotel in Anshan, China, where it appears ... there is absolutely nothing to spy on. I couldn't find a single military installation, or even a police officer, or anyone official, of which to try to take pictures. Not only that -- but it was pretty flooded, so I couldn't even try to sneak in to North Korea. I've already been censored, which has never happened before (I can't send my new 14 year old friend links to my blog to show him about myself). Seriously, in my imaginative mind, I fear even the slightest bit of criticism of the Chinese government's policy towards internet censorship, could result in my being denied entry, which for me, would be a tragedy. As you will see, I had a great time and I will want to go back.
This is not a joking matter actually. I did get interrogated a bit by hotel security the day after I uploaded a few hundred megs of vacation photos to my flickr account. There is no facebook in China. No blogger. I did detect signs of opinion, righteous indignation, even. I also saw a lot of the symptoms of personal affluence ... and you know where that leads. It leads to having an opinion. I was able to post to facebook and get all of my communication using my Blackberry, and my international data plan, and read whatever I liked. But not write to my blog. So if you want to be a spy ...
I had a remarkably good time. Eating was very popular, and as you all know, I love to eat. I think I fell in love in China, in love with an ancient, spirited place, filled with welcome and care, and filled with splendid hosts. I met remarkable people -- like the 14 year old boy who spoke English and wanted my to be his pen pal in America. Or the young man I met on the trail, who invited me to join him to visit his home in Harbin. Or the various people who eagerly join my friend and excellent host to take me around, take me out onto the streets, to clubs, take me to National Parks and share their homes and lives with me. It is a challenging and exciting place.
"When will you visit China again?" was a popular question I was asked; If I am invited, I definitely will come back.