You remember how joyful i was Wednesday night when they took the fences away? Well i should've tried walking a hundred meters up the road before celebrating because they absolutely fucking did not end the lockdown. Instead, they removed the fences from around the village, but kept all the alleyways blocked off. What that means is that the only buildings free of lockdown are the buildings on the outside, i.e. where i live.
Where i live is the most gentrified, because the buildings on the outside of the village have enough space that tenants can see the sky from their windows instead of seeing into the apartment of the person a few feet across (hence the term "handshake buildings"). Our apartments go from 2000 to 3000 per month instead of 1000 to 2000 on the inside. But even the most expensive apartments here are cheaper than studio apartments in gated communities.
So basically what the city has done is lock the poorest people in and let the slightly better off ones go back to work without having to cross a checkpoint. That also means that those of us on the outside are cut off from our own community.
All the restaurants that are open are in the village. The wet market is in the village. The local pharmacies are in the village. The hardware stores, all inside. I guess people like me are supposed to shop at the mall instead of in the village but fuck fucking that fucking bullshit excuse my French.
I only go to malls in the direst of emergencies, and i'm not about to go give all those shitty chain stores money when local people literally only just in the last two weeks have started reopening their small businesses. What the fucking fuck, China?
I can't help but feel like this is just a performative measure to make it look like the village is free of lockdown to bourgeois folks who drive past outside it, when in reality the poor are still penned in, out of sight, out of mind.
Needless to say i was fucking fuming when i discovered this. I could not believe the audacity. I walked around the outside of the village (where - let me stress - still has no restaurants or shops open except a convenience store and fruit shop) to the checkpoint which, y'all, is still a fucking checkpoint, and i let rip on the poor young cop manning his post.
This is the first time in China i've had a shouting match with a cop. It's actually a fairly common thing amongst locals, although i have never seen a foreigner do it. There is a certain level of anger that you can get away with expressing in public and it's sort of understood to just be letting off steam, but it's a very fine line between that level of anger and getting hauled down to the station. Usually it's grumpy 大爷 and 大妈 (older men and women) who do it, which i suppose since i'm 40 now i almost qualify.
I think the guy was a bit bemused, and so were the people around me, especially because in my rage i forgot the word for "fence" and just pointed at the fence and said "呢个，呢个，那些东西呀，你们几天以前把呢个拖到那边，我不能进去啊what the fuck啊我只想去市场啊!" Which, translated, is just me pointing at shit and yelling "that, that, that stuff, some days ago you move it over there, i can't get in, i just want to go to the market", plus an English expression that all Chinese understand.
Anyway, he asked me to show my 通行证 travel pass and i was allowed inside to do my shopping. So i did my shopping, and i sat down to eat dumplings at a shop not 50 meters from my house, which is now 1km walk away, and seethed.
When i got back to my building i asked the management what the fuck is up with that, and they're like 没办法 the famous Chinese saying for "what can you do?" Government does what the government wants. And right now government still wants villages to be cut off from one another.
I am so annoyed. I was actually thinking of going back to work next week now that the facemask regulations have been dropped to "recommended" as opposed to "mandatory", but this shit has just sent my anger level right back to what it was in February. How dare they? Who the fuck do they think they are, keeping us all penned in like this when there have only been a handful of new cases for so long? The whole of mainland China (allegedly) had no new local cases for several days, i mean, come on! You can't get papers across the whole world publishing feel-good stories about how China is reopening its movie theaters when we still have to go through checkpoints to do the shopping, for fuck's sake.
And that is my Sunday rant. I am going to eat a mango and watch Star Trek. Goddamnit.