mom walk

i'll have a beer

So, in the spirit of every weekend since the lockdown began, i went to the 美宜佳. As it is, the local späti clerks understand my alcoholism better than anyone in my work or friends circles.

Hello my name is amw and i am a weekend alcoholic.

I bought me some beer and some baijiu becuase it is 3am Saturday morning and i am on lockdown and what else should you do?

But today i also made doe eyes at a pack of smokes and my teenage night clerk was like yeah sure, here you go. I didn't even need to name a brand. Brother knew.

Buddy, this fucking lockdown is regressing me! I haven't bought a pack of smokes in yonks.

It is a pack of lady smokes. In some countries they don't have this any more, but in heavy smoking countries they do. Lady smokes are thinner than man smokes, but of course they are the same price.

I went up to the rooftop to partake.



It was one of the greatest smokes of my life.

But of course i would say that because i am drunk.

Other hand, it is rare that i ever get to have a rooftop smoke because i quit a long time ago and most apartments i live do not have accessible rooftops.

Here they use the rooftop to dry clothes. Rooftop is elevator level 12. Most of the village buildings are 7 levels. That skyscraper you see in the distance is a 30, 40 storey thingy that's been there for a couple years with no tenants. I am sure some rich motherfuckers are still getting richer off of it because China is a corrupt oligarchy.

Anywho. Because i smoked a cigarette i now feel like vomiting. I don't understand how this was a thing i used to do multiple times a day without feeling like garbage.

Anyone want to buy 19 lady cigarettes?

PS.

HADOUKEN!
mom walk

terra burning

It just occurred to me that every weekend of this lockout i have showed up at the convenience store downstairs to buy alcohol at ridiculous hours of the morning.

It started on January 31 (i think, i'm drunk, fuck, don't make me check my LJ history) when i took my Canadian friend R downstairs on a drunken Skype jaunt around my village. I felt very young back then, vlogging my ass around the village.

A month ago i was still thirtysomething.

The next morning they locked down my town, yo. 28 days later the fences are still up.

All bars in the city are closed, by government order. All KTVs are closed. All 大排档 (dà pái dàng) big outdoor restaurants are closed. All 烧烤 (shāo kǎo) BBQ joints are closed. Hell, all restaurants in my village are closed except for the 肠粉 places that only do business in the morn. The government has started allowing top tier restaurants to open in the major shopping malls, which basically means the shitty, expensive, bourgeois fucking restaurants i would never visit anyways. Working class restaurants are still not allowed to open.

I have distant rave buddies in Japan and South Korea whose gigs have been canceled. Everyone involved in event planning is getting their shit canceled. DJs, musicians, lighting guys, the works.

If the Chinese-style lockouts end up coming to other countries, every working class person is fucked. That's just how it is. No bars, no clubs, no restaurants, no coffee shops. No barbers, no beauty salons, no arenas, no gyms. If you don't work at a hospital or a grocery store or in home delivery, forget it, you are fucked.

I want to give you a song that is one of my favorites from a few years ago, from the days when i lived in Canada and wished i could move to Berlin, and then i did, and then i heard that song live in the fucking late, great Katerholzig nightclub and it was like Jesus himself came down to touch my forehead.


Chymera - Caprica Burning (Lake People Remix)

It was just an old synth nerd in a collared shirt but it was elysium.

I really fucking miss nightclubs. Raving is so important to me.

China did have a little bit o' the techno back in the day, but it was mostly rich people and expats. I kinda thought it was shit, but it was still better than nothing. Now coronavirus has hit, China legit has nothing. Absolutely nothing. Five fucking weeks, man! Nothing open. I am stirring my crazy with swizzle stick of baijiu and napa cabbage.

Anyway. Solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en. Fuck the RCMP. Fuck the unmounted "P" too. Fuck Brexit. Fuck Bojo. Fuck Xi. Fuck the CPC. Etc. I am exhausted.

Unfortunately, nobody really cares.

Listen to the song, it basically says everything i want to about the end of the world.
mom walk

What does freedom mean to you?

On January 29, i posted an entry called humans are trash about how this virus is turning people into the ugliest versions of themselves.

Perhaps a more accurate reading is it's reverting people to their comfortable biases.

This weekend i poked my head out in a few internet forums to talk about how i feel about the severity of the lockdowns and containment policies, and i was smacked the fuck down by foreigners accusing me of being selfish because my attitude is going to kill tens of millions of babies and old people. Apparently i need to shut up and stop complaining because the current situation in China is merely an "inconvenience" for the greater good.

Of course, it is one hell of a fucking privilege to be living in a country or working in an industry where these lockdowns are not affecting you whatsoever.

If anyone reading is thinking "wow, that amw sure is selfish", please consider what it would be like to spend this much time essentially confined to your home, all public events canceled, no bars open, no restaurants open, no coffee shops open, nothing open except for a few grocery stores. Sure, people can still order pretty much anything from Taobao, in theory. But how much would you be ordering if you hadn't seen a paycheck in 5 weeks? What would be the state of your mental health if you went to visit your in-laws for the holidays and ended up stuck there for over a month?

Imagine what it's like to have to pass through multiple checkpoints just to get to the shops, or to your job. Think about what it feels like to stand in line and see people arguing with the police and being denied entrance to their own villages, or even quarantined due to a bad temperature reading. You know what it feels like to go through customs in a foreign country? Yeah, now imagine doing that several times a day.

Terrified foreigners are suddenly hauling out quasi-socialist rhetoric to try justify their defense of authoritarianism. The whole thing of "it is you who must endure right now, so that the world doesn't suffer in the future", smug as can be, like they are some kind of righteous climate activists or something. Close the borders! Ban Chinese! Ban anyone who even went to China! Quarantine everybody! Blast them with disinfectant! Check their temperatures! Masks! Masks! Masks! Don't complain, you selfish ingrates! The safety of the world is at stake!

But, of course, that attitude is not limited to foreigners. Here in China there are plenty of terrified people, which is why the lockdowns are so severe in the first place. People have become distrustful of outsiders, of their neighbors, of everyone. People fearful to even get on public transport, opting to drive private vehicles instead. Ah yes, those true socialists, making the great sacrifice of driving private vehicles for the good of the masses! I don't see a lot of those people, because they tend toward the rich and upper middle class, and most of my neighborhood is not that.

Most of my office is.

On the other hand, there is a grain of truth in the claim that i am being selfish. I consider myself fairly left-wing politically, but the words that keep going through my head lately are "live free or die".

When i was young, like most ignorant young people with privilege, i was drawn to libertarianism. In international politics i was onboard with neocon interventionism - hell yes, let's liberate the world! But through it all, i also felt that the hawkish pursuit of freedom needed to be coupled with a safety net. I was a migrant, and a raver, and trans, and gay... I hung out with women and indigenous folk and transients and drug addicts. Over the years i found myself increasingly disgusted by the pull yourself up by the bootstaps rhetoric coming from people who were born on third base. Eventually i settled into an idealistic base of punkish green anarchism and (more pragmatically) hard left politics with a fierce internationalist bent.

Yet here i am, in a time of crisis, going back to "live free or die". And the bourgeoisie, notorious nimbys at the best of times, are preaching that "we must all sacrifice for the greater good". Were they secretly socialists all along? Am i actually still a libertarian douchebag?

Probably a little, yes.

-o-

Anyway, a follow-up on the mask situation from that post of January 29 - today the local pharmacy finally said that they had facemasks again. Boxes of 50. I was like, sure i'll get a box. Then she said they're being sold individually - 5.8元 (bit a under a dollar/euro) each. That probably doesn't sound like much, but think about how many people have zero income right now. 6 kuai can get you a 肠粉. 6 kuai can get you enough tofu for 3 meals. I bought 10, because i know i need to wear this as a performance to get through the checkpoints, but left the rest of the box because i also know there is still a shortage. The Shenzhen COVID-19 task force has set up a lottery for people to win boxes of masks. All you have to do is subscribe to their WeChat group and submit your personal information.

Life free or die.

Here are some important articles from the last week.

mom walk

our company has been approved to go back to work

I don't want to go back to work.

We had a Shenzhen all hands at 4.30pm today where they announced over Zoom that we have received government approval to come back to the office on Monday, February 24th. Hooray! That's good, right?

Wrong.

Immediately after announcing that we were to be coming back to the office, they said that on Monday nobody was allowed back to the office except for the coronavirus task force. The task force will be doing all the prep that is required to ensure the office meets whatever arbitrary "back to work" standards the government is enforcing.

This includes. People will be split up into separate work units. They must rotate one day on, one day off. To minimize cross-infection, there is to be absolutely no switching of shifts or coming in on the wrong day. There is to be no family, friends or any external people whatsoever allowed into the office at any time. If you are returning from anywhere outside of Guangdong province, does not matter where, there is a mandatory 2 week self-isolation policy - work from home. Every time you enter and exit the building there is a mandatory temperature check. Every employee must also self-check their temperature twice a day. Any employee who goes over temperature must immediately go into a quarantine space and wait for the authorities to pick them up. Every employee must wear a facemask at all times. All employees must go to mandatory coronavirus health trainings before being allowed back into the office.

THE FUCKING JESUS.

As they were reading out these rules and regulations, my heart just dropped to the floor. I felt physically ill. I literally could not believe what i was hearing. What the fucking fuck is this? This is worse than being an inpatient in a fucking psychiatric emergency ward. I know. I've been there, done that. This is worse than pretty much any hospital ward, i think. This is worse than prison, except i suppose at least you can quit work and you can't quit prison.

I just... i was shocked, absolutely shocked and appalled. Then up came the questions on Slido (one of the tools we use to allow employees to ask questions at all-hands meetings). "Can the company give us free parking, since public transport is not safe?" "Can the company please give a detailed report of their daily disinfection policy?" "Tencent are staying closed till March, we should stay closed too!" etc etc. My supposedly highly-educated colleagues are scared witless of this virus. They are looking at this completely fucking fascist totalitarian bullshit and saying "please sir, may i have some more?"

FUCK THIS SHIT. Who are these people?

There are only 400 cases in this entire city of over 10 million people. Even if there were 40,000 cases, who fucking cares? That would still be less than 0.5% of the people. With 200 employees in Shenzhen, maybe one would be sick. And that's assuming the real situation is two orders of magnitude worse than reported!

I am just... i can't even express my dismay. I am utterly, utterly appalled that our office is not only implementing the performative nonsense that the government mandates, but that they're going even further with it. It makes me physically sick.

I sent a very angry email to HR - my second one this week.

Did i already tell y'all that on Tuesday every employee was asked to fill out a form detailing all of their travel from the last month, everyone who they have had contact with, plus answer health-related questions like "did you have diarrhea", "did you have a dry cough" etc? I was fuming at the outrageous breach of privacy, but given i had to go through almost the exact same fucking bullshit with the local government just to be allowed into my own village i figure these shitheads know everything about me anyway.

So yeah, this week i have been very, very angry. I am not naïve. I know i am living in an authoritarian country. I know my company has to bow down and kiss the feet of the party because they have no choice in the matter. But i still expect my workplace to be a safe space. And that means i am expecting that all of the police state bullshit that the government has implemented to restrict people's movements out on the streets doesn't follow me into the office.

I mean, what's the point of going back to the office if i am basically in a fucking Xinjiang-style labor camp?

Anyway, after that meeting i turned off my video feed and started crying. I normally consider myself a pretty tough person. I don't cry much. But the shock of hearing all of this shit, it just broke me.

I am still shaking and it's 4 hours later. I just can't believe it. I can't believe people aren't as outraged as i am. This is the fucking worst.
mom walk

village market grocery haul

Saturday night i got pretty drunk.

At some ridiculous hour of the morning i stumbled downstairs to the 美宜佳 to buy more alcohol, and i bought a mickey of 二锅头 ("two pot head") which is a type of Chinese 白酒 (white liquor, or baijiu). Baijiu is notoriously some of the strongest stuff out there. This one was 56%. So of course i thought it'd be a great mixer with Tsingtao beer. It's the Chinese stoli bolli, darling!

Surprisingly i did not injure myself or do anything more stupid than blacking out and apparently writing a vaguely amusing post on LiveJournal.

The next morning i had a very bad hangover. I also realized i had lost my facemask. Yep, same one i had been miserably reusing for a couple of weeks.

I dream that what happened is during my blackout i raged around the village cursing at Xi's fascist administration, then sat down in front of the police station, poured baijiu on the mask and set fire to it while chanting 光复深圳,时代革命 (liberate Shenzhen, revolution of our times!)

I think what actually happened is that i took it off, left the front door open to get some fresh air, then a big gust of wind came through the apartment and blew it away.

Which is all a very long way round to saying i don't have a facemask any more so according to regulations i am not supposed to go outside.

To quote The Prodigy: fuck 'em and their law!

Hey, we came right back round to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.

Anyway, i still need to buy food so instead of risking a kerfuffle at the checkpoint, this morning i decided to put on my bandana and do all of my shopping at the market.



Yeah, that's the size of my entire kitchen.

On the way to the market i got a 肠粉 for breakfast. The fact that pretty much the only restaurants open are 肠粉 places reveals the true nature of this village as a traditional home for Cantonese people. When all the migrant workers are allowed back in (assuming they ever are), the Sichuan and Hunan and Dongbei (north east) joints will likely reopen too.

The locals may be native Cantonese speakers, but they can still speak enough Mandarin to sell their wares.

Friends, this is my haul.



Clockwise from the top - 馍 or pita breads from the halal restaurant up the road, jasmine green tea from a corner shop, silky tofu and youxian tofu from the bean stall in the wet market, mangos from the fruit shop, peanut oil from the drygoods stall and 王老吉 herbal tea from the corner shop. In the middle where you can't see is also some peanuts from the drygoods guy.



All of these things are from the vegetable stall at the wet market: napa cabbage, carrots, cilantro, spring onion, garlic, ginger, chilis, gai lan, king oyster mushroom, ong choy.

I didn't actually buy the spring onion and cilantro, but i think because i have been going regularly they decided to toss in some for free to add a bit of different flavors to my food. To be honest, i love both of those ingredients and they are definitely a huge part of modern Chinese cuisine, but the reason i don't buy them normally is because they are not very hardy compared to garlic, ginger and chilis.

Thinking about it, if i start going to the market for my groceries, what i should really do is instead of buying 3 days worth of food at a time (this is 3 days worth of food, btw) i should just buy one day at a time.

It does throw a wrench in my mornings, though. I have a Zoom meeting in 10 minutes so i guess i better post this quick.
mom walk

Sunday 3AM (till i come)

HELLOW DRUNKEN FRIENDS.

YOU ARE RPOBABLY NOT DRUNK>>>

BUT THAT IS ONLY BECAUSE YOU DO NOT LIVE IN A FASCIST STATE WITH A CORONAVIRUS>

OUR VIRUS IS BEST VIRUS BECAUSE IT IS ALREADY CROWNED 👑

HELLO WORLD< I AM DURNK

In other news, i am reminiscing on the whole London thing.

When i was a kid, London was the place that had Big Ben and the Cutty Sark.

When i was in my 20s and early 30s, London was the place that was the home of squatter parties, the place that hosted orbital raves, the place where ravers proclaimed: NO! SLEEP! TO HACKNEY!

I never went to a London squatter party.

I have "FUCKING TECHNO" tattooed on my arm because fucking techno. "FUCKING TECHNO" is an inside joke of the Melbourne techno scene, but it also works as a joke tattoo in Berlin, and London, and all over the world.

I hate the pretentious fucks who gatekeep techno as a genre.

Anyway, when i lived in Australia, every Queen's Birthday i would go hard on the London acid techno, because that was the only thing i cared about that was British.

I had several internet friends from the London acid scene who i have lost touch with. The fact i lost touch with them makes me sad. Acid techno is the only thing that kept me connected to my "home country" when i lived in the Commonwealth.

Anyway, i suppose i should say something about the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act or something.

NO YOU MOTHERFUCKERS>>> I AM DURNK SO WHO CAREZ?

Kirsty Cried.

LONDON
ACID
CITY

...

SHENZHEN
LOCKDOWN
CITY

...

Fuck i wish i had some internet right now so i could link y'all a YouTube.

MAD. COWS. ON ACID.
mom walk

The Friday Five for 14 February 2020: On Saturday!

1. What is your favorite game?

It's definitely Deus Ex. There are other games i have played that had such a memorable aesthetic or emotional impact that they stuck with me years later (Mirror's Edge, NORTH and more), but Deus Ex is a game that i keep going back to play again and again. It just does so many things right.

Deus Ex came out pre-9/11, but it predicted the war on terror and how it would be used to expand the surveillance state and militarize the police force. You play a counter-terrorism agent who starts questioning the value of the oligarchy he is employed to protect. Being a cyberpunk game, it also turns the conspiracy up to 11, so every wacky shit from Robert Anton Wilson to the X-Files is part of the neon-drenched soup. The protagonist is doggedly earnest, and the exchange about why he wears sunglasses at night remains one of the most hilarious in any media.

Subsequent games got a new protagonist who was a more traditional "tough guy" and were far less interesting for it.

Deus Ex is frequently mentioned in "Greatest Of All Time" lists, so i suppose this isn't a very interesting choice. On Kotaku UK you can read you can read someone else pontificating about the presience of the game: https://www.kotaku.co.uk/2014/08/05/deus-ex-predicted-future

2. What is your earliest memory?

Being on the beach in Folkestone, while my father and his army colleagues piled up sandbags to defend against a storm. It must have been the early 1980s, around the time of the Falklands War.

3. If you could have one wish fulfilled, what would it be?

Freedom of movement for all people, anywhere in the world.

4. Have you ever lost something that is important to you? Were you able to find it?

I am sure i have lost things that seemed important to me at the time, but apparently none were important enough that i remember them now.

5. Would you rather go scuba diving or rock climbing? Why?

Rock climbing. I am not particularly interested in hanging off the side of a mountain, but i think i'd feel more comfortable in an environment where i can see for miles and don't have a gauge counting down the minutes of life i have left.
mom walk

turning the screws

So, our lockdown has gotten worse.

About two weeks ago when the checkpoint was first introduced, indignant 大爷 and 大妈 (older men and women) raged at the cops and the most persistent were allowed through despite the regulations. I played the role of dumb foreigner and was able to blag my way through too.

Since then - contrary to the propaganda implying that things are improving - the checks have only gotten stricter. Today when i was coming back from the supermarket (which, to be clear, is literally a few steps outside the checkpoint), i was bustled into a different line, even after i told the cop i lived here. He said "i know you live here, but if you don't have 通行证 (a pass), you cannot enter". The other line was full of angry people, several of whom tried to argue their way in, but the police were resolute. I had to show my passport and sign up on a form that included time of entry and departure.

The 1点点 bubble tea franchise inside my village is closed now. I guess with the checkpoint in place they have lost walk-in trade from people going to the supermarket. Or perhaps the employees can't come in to work because they don't have residence in this village. Several other stores that previously were open have also closed.

On the flip side, one of the fruit shops has opened back up, but they only had about a dozen oranges and two bunches of bananas so i'm not sure how open that is. Also reopened: one of the halal eateries. I am not a big fan of Chinese Muslim food because it tends to be full of beef, lamb and gristle (think Central Asia), but one thing they do bring to the table is bread. Glorious, glorious bread. I bought some 馍 (pitas).

Then i grumbled to my building management about not having a 通行证 and how ridiculous things have gotten. (Now the police stationed along the barricade who were previously checking that noone jumped the fence are also stopping everyone to take their temperature.) He filled out some forms and made me take a photo of them, which apparently i can show together with my ID to be granted entry.

But really now i am just afraid to go out again. Even it's the weekend, the stress of crossing these checkpoints and knowing i will be "stop and frisked" randomly to have my temperature taken... this is a fucked up way to live.

shenzhen_noted mused about how the techniques they are using to control the public here are similar to the "anti-terrorist" measures that were put into place to control movement in Xinjiang province. I guess now the whole country is getting a taste.

We aren't (yet) being forced to install apps on our phones to track our movements, but there is a service that has been set up together with the phone companies that - given a phone number - can identify all of the cities and provinces the person has visited in the past 14 days. I tried it, just for fun, and happily i am approved 100% Shenzhener.

Meanwhile the internet is fucked. Yesterday the most reliable VPN service got clobbered. That means i can't access most western media any more. For a while there i thought the government was going to take it easy on the internet blocks given so many people are working from home, but i guess that didn't last long. The Communist Party of China is absolutely terrified of the people having access to a free press.

I mean, the VPN companies will find a workaround eventually, but in the mean time i am back in the dark with regard to what's happening in this country. God knows you can't trust the local media.

Anyway, good times.
mom walk

food during the lockdown

I don't have much new news on the lockdown. We are in a bit of a holding pattern here.

Yesterday i went out to do groceries, then got stuck at the entrance to the village with a bag full of goodies because the cop hadn't seen me leave just 20 minutes earlier. As a foreigner, i don't have a Chinese ID card, so the standard checks do not work.

There are so few expats in China that the bureaucracy rarely knows what to do with us. Unless you are specifically at a government office that is set up to handle foreigners, the majority of bureaucrats are not familiar with the regulations. They certainly will not be able to speak English, and their Putonghua [Mandarin] may not be very 标准 (standard) either.

Anyway, it was a struggle to negotiate with the cops to get back into my own village. On the way home i stopped in to the community center to see if i could get some kind of special pass to avoid future problems, but that was even less successful due to the clerk most only speaking Cantonese.

This is why i don't particularly want to cross the checkpoint unless i really have to.

One nice thing about being stuck in my apartment and working from home every day is that i can cook a nice lunch (currently my sole meal of the day) and take photos. Normally by the time i get home from work it's after 8pm so there is no natural light in the house.

What are some things i cooked last week?



麻婆豆腐,蒜蓉菜心 - mapo tofu, garlic choy sum

I make my mapo tofu with no meat and with peanuts in it. I also do it the Hunan way instead of the Sichuan way - with fresh chilis instead of dried chilis.



香干炒萝卜,手撕包菜 - smoked tofu fried carrot, hand-torn cabbage

This smoked tofu was the thin, hard kind. The carrot that i used is a local variant that is red colored instead of orange. It tastes pretty much the same but the consistency is a bit harder and it looks prettier in the pan. I am too lazy to hand-tear my cabbage so i chopped it. I doubt many restaurants hand-tear either, despite the name.



蒜蓉空心菜,香葱饼干 - garlic ong choy, spring onion cracker

Ong choy, also known as water spinach, is a weed that grows in the creeks of Guangdong and all over south-east Asia. I think it is my favorite vegetable. Because the stems are hollow they suck up all the sauce and then burst in your mouth. As with all my dishes, i toss in peanuts to add some extra fat and protein.

Due to the lack of a 锅盔 (roti) guy downstairs and the supermarket not getting any fresh 馍 (pita), i have been buying spring onion crackers as a bread substitute. Spring onion crackers are more common here than plain soda crackers. I use them to scoop up food, or in this case spread peanut butter and then scoop up food.

Please note the coffee press in the background, brewing my second-to-last pot of coffee.

This morning i had to drink Nescafé. It has been so long since i made it, that i did not know how much to put. It appears that you need about an equal heaped spoon of sugar to the heap of coffee to be able to create the right blend. Drinking it reminded me of simpler times. My parents always had a drip coffee machine, but instant coffee makes me think of camping or going to friends' houses or fixing breakfast at motels and rest stops.



攸县香干,娃娃菜,老干妈炒大白菜 - Youxian tofu, baby bok choy, Lao Gan Ma fried napa cabbage

Youxian tofu is a different kind of smoked tofu that comes in thick, square slabs about the size and heft of a home-made burger patty. The inside is creamy, which contrasts with the firm rind. I usually slice it lengthways and make little burgers, but due to the no bread problem it is cut smaller.

Lao Gan Ma is an extremely popular range of chili sauces here. I think they are popular because they are basically not spicy at all. I use the black bean version to give a rich umami flavor to cabbage. My secret ingredient is 山楂 (hawthorn) which is sold in little dried sticks. It has a flavor and consistency similar to dried cranberries, and when combined with Lao Gan Ma and fresh chilis it creates something reminiscent of BBQ sauce.

This meal (minus the bok choy) is the thing i cook when i am craving American-style junk food because the flavor profiles are similar. That 康师傅 brand honey green tea washes it down perfectly.

That brings me to today, where i cooked lunch and realized i had made another mapo tofu and choy sum, so it seems my rotation is about a week.

Tonight, just as i was starting to type this entry, i heard a knock at my door. When i opened it, there was just a package sitting there. Bless our building management, it seems they have taken to collecting packages from the side of the road and bringing them up to us.

This package is my coffee from Yunnan province. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

HR has notified us that we must remain working from home till February 24, earliest.

I'll leave you with this essay, which was written by a Beijing academic who became a vocal part of the Chinese resistance when Xi abolished term limits back in 2018. It's a long read, but worth it if you're interested in China: http://www.chinafile.com/reporting-opinion/viewpoint/viral-alarm-when-fury-overcomes-fear
mom walk

creeping authoritarianism

Today Shenzhen Noted had an excellent concise post called ghosts of the second line. To give a bit of context, "the second line" was an internal border inside Shenzhen that operated until 2010, to separate the outlying boroughs from the boroughs in the special economic zone along the Hong Kong border.

Money quote: The gates of Shenzhen University, for example, became operationalized during the student quarantine, and afterwards the guards continued to control access to the campus. Inspections in the metro became operationalized during the Universidade and continue to structure access in and out of the system. It remains to be seen how many of these extreme measures will be incorporated into our post 2019 n-CoV normal.

This is exactly what i was getting at in my post from Saturday. China's government is quite happy to "temporarily" tighten restrictions on the people and then never loosen them again. Since i have moved here, things have only gotten worse - more internet sites are blocked each month, more apps require real-name registration/photo ID, less public spaces are open to street vendors, more and more things are deemed inappropriate and scrubbed from the media (gay couples, gangster rappers, pop idols with earrings...) How far can they keep pushing people?

Today i worked from home. My concierge knocked on my door around 4pm to take my temperature. They have to take everyone's temperature once a day now, even if we do not even leave the building.

One of my coffees has left the Kunming depot and is en route to Shenzhen.

The other one is hanging in Taobao limbo somewhere in Yunnan province.