Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Water-Lieu: Day 1

I really wish I had posted last night now, as I've been informed by a Blogger in Arms (check out Adventures in Twenty Something on the side bar) via email this morning that not only has the Harbin water stoppage become an international news story, but that the government has changed its own record of the account.

As of yesterday afternoon, the official government word was that the water was being turned off for "routine maintenance." Now, ask anybody on the street and they'd tell you any one of a number of stories: a chemical plant exploded polluting the river, an earthquake broke the lines, and earthquake was going to happen and this was to prevent breaking the lines, etc. The chemical plant take was by far the most popular, denied by the government, but also the most reasonable. Turns out that was the truth, andnow its the official, PRC sponsored truth.

Here is a pic of the offended Song Hua River:

The sad part of all this is that I've been forced to lose a bit of respect for one of the small handful of people around here I've given carte blanche status, this being my Chinese teacher. We discussed the entire situation in class yesterday and in the end he told me he agreed with the party line, and whether that was an honest answer or not, he still said it. I know I have a lot more to learn about living/growing up in a place like the People's Republic, but...

Anyways, I'm not sure if everything is really "calm." Public schools are now shut down. (Chances that private schools will follow suit: slim to none, there is money to be made! Sanitation be damned!) Last night I witnessed two fist fights break out in my favorite neighborhood meat-on-a-stick joint, one over who got to use the bathroom next! Before that, I don't think I'd ever seen a fight break out here. Admittedly, it was hysterical to watch.

What does this all mean for me? Well, I'm pretty much shutting myself off from the tangible outside world (I'll still be on the internet!) as much as possible for the next few days. Seriously, I only plan on leaving my apartment now when forced to teach and for special exemption. Tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I consider that a special exemption, even if it means paying a ridiculously high price just to get some turkey and stuffing at the local Holiday Inn and even if I'm going to be eating it alone. Water stoppage, rampant pestilence, other people; be ye all damned before I miss my Thanksgiving Dinner!


At 10:35 PM, Blogger Mataz said...

Heard about your little water debacle on NPR today - they were reporting the chemical plant story.


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