June 15 seems like the magical date for Europe.
We had an all-hands today where we got some top secret travel data that i will reveal some of here. From our data mining peeps, it seems that some countries are more interested in traveling domestic post-corona, and other countries are more interested in traveling international. It's almost certainly no surprise that people outside of Europe have very little interest in traveling internationally, whereas people inside Europe are raring to go.
I guess some of that is geographic - Europe has a ton of small countries packed into a close space, so why wouldn't people there want to travel international? Just Guangdong province is bigger than Greece, it's bigger than Czech and Austria put together, it's a double Benelux.
But it also struck close to home, sitting in this room full of Chinese who even at the best of times are afraid of traveling internationally. I was like "the fuck yes i want to travel, i want to travel anywhere!" and they're looking at me like i'm nuts.
It made me realize that although obviously, by blood, i am European... Culturally, more than anything, i am European too. We're all evil imperialists! Muahaha!
Or maybe we're just wanderers. Some of us, anyway.
I really want to walk the camino santiago.
I don't have time for that while i am working.
If i went to Europe, even if i had to quarantine for 2 weeks, quarantine in some seaside spot with a balcony and view, i can do that. Add another couple weeks, all my holiday is used up, but ... lordy it would be nice to be somewhere with free internet, free press, free speech. Even i would do the same thing in quarantine there as i would here...
I could watch YouTube without VPN.
Europe: bad food, good freedom.
I do like food. A lot. But i think i like freedom more.
I didn't get any foods tattooed on me, yet.
Maybe i should get a tofu tattoo. The only knuckle tattoos i have ever considered are ACAB and TOFU.
But of course a much better tofu tattoo would be the Chinese character for bean: 豆
I mean, it even looks like a tofu.
Anyway. Pearl River Delta has been exploding in electrical storms the past few days. It's epic. It's also very wet, if you are stupid enough to bike everywhere without an umbrella or rain suit, which of course i am.
VPNs are being the fuck blocked again because the Two Meetings (annual CPC circle jerk) is happening. Hong Kong is about to get their "one country two systems" smacked the fuck down to "one country one system". The jackboot of the party is strong, and corona has just made it stronger.
Last week i went to dinner with a colleague. She took me out to 请 (treat) me, and she took me to a vegetarian restaurant where a single dish cost more than an entire week's worth of food from any of my usual plastic stool restaurants. Not gonna lie, it was awesome to eat those badass Chinese temple foods, all fake meats and weird mushrooms and tofus and bamboos. If y'all ever had a can of bamboo shoots and some flop champignons and bland foreigner tofu, don't even. This was nothing like that. It was a full-blown meaty-ass feast of vegan goodness. And so, so expensive. But she 请ed me. I felt guilty, but such is the Chinese way.
She also comes from small town. She just bought a house back there because that's what you are supposed to do once you start earning money in China. No interest in traveling overseas. No interest in staying in Shenzhen long term. She is only in the city for the money. She said she went on holiday to Sichuan once, to some town that was the most beautiful place she ever saw. I said why didn't you buy a house there instead of in your boring Guangdong village? She said that never even occurred to her. I said in the west affluent people choose to buy their holiday homes or retirement properties in beautiful places, not in their hometowns. She said that was weird.
I get it, i get it, i get it. I get all of those people in Taiwan who said Chinese people only care about earning money. Nobody is shy about it, they all say the only reason they are in Shenzhen is to earn money. None of them trust the so-called socialist government to look after them when they are old. All of them want to earn as much as possible while they are still young and able, marry, kids, buy a property, leave.
It is the worst possible life.
It makes Shenzhen a boring city, outside of the glitzy bubble of the ultra-rich.
Well, at least we have thunderstorms and emergency cigarettes.