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September 10th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,China (Anhui)

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I am in Hefei Metropolis, about 400km away from Shanghai. 

So…it appears that instead of outright blocking access to certain websites, the Chinese gov*ernment is just capping the download rate of certain websites. Or something like that. Because I am having great difficulty in signing into my Flickr account, which had all my photos sitting patiently waiting to be displayed in the ten or so days worth of blog posts that I have not been able to write.

Is this a way of the Chinese gov*ernment getting around criticism that they are being too harsh on cen*soring information coming into the country?

“No, we are not blocking access to websites,” they could legitimately argue. What they won’t tell you, is that they have made access to certain websites so infuriatingly slow, that no one will bother waiting for the information to load.



The last two weeks have had their ups and downs. Notable highlights include:

  • Amazing southeast-asia-feel scenery in south west Henan province (water buffalo, rice, rice drying on the side of the road).
  • Rice harvest time!
  • The food portions are getting noticably smaller. I am often having to buy two servings of noodles etc.
  • I stormed out of a restaurant half way through my bowl of noodle soup because people were staring at me (through the window too) bombarding me with (the same) questions, and generally not respecting my personal space.
  • I yelled at a guy who was trailing me on his motorbike to sod off, and felt bad afterwards because he was just a curious local. But there are 1.3 billion curious locals in China. And that can get on your nerves after a (very) short while.
  • Headwinds for a week. Headwinds are the breath of the devil himself.
  • It is hot. Very hot.
  • Um…generally getting over China. It is time to get out. Too many people in this small space that is eastern China.

Anyway…here are some photos.

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    Permanent Link     Comments (10)

Comment by Uncle Peter — September 10, 2008 @ 8:50 pm | post a comment

Can we read between the lines and guess you'll be in Shanghai sooner than expected and perhaps make an earlier exit for home?

Comment by Aunty Les — September 11, 2008 @ 1:54 pm | post a comment

Do those Chinese people themselves have a personal space? Must be pretty difficult surrounded by so many other people. The concept of being 'alone' would be very foreign to them, I think.

By the way, did you manage to eat all that mountain of noodles?

Comment by brian — September 11, 2008 @ 6:25 pm | post a comment

What is that on the side of the road in the top photo? It must be dirt, but it looks like sawdust.

Comment by Rob Thomson — September 11, 2008 @ 8:37 pm | post a comment

Uncle Peter, I was on schedule to arrive in Shanghai earlier than expected, but my body is not cooperating. I'm still here in Hefei after spending two days in bed with a fever. My visa runs out in two days, so I'll have to apply for the extension here. That means that despite my hope to fly home sooner than planned, I'll still be arriving in New Zealand on the 8th of October. My goodness how wonderful it will be to land in a country and have the knowledge that I have no time limit…can't wait.

Comment by Rob Thomson — September 11, 2008 @ 8:38 pm | post a comment

Brian, the stuff on the side of the road is rice. Check out the photos in the photo gallery for more info.

Comment by Rob Thomson — September 11, 2008 @ 8:42 pm | post a comment

Aunty Les, I did indeed finish the mammoth pile of noodles. I tried to take a time-lapse film of it to proove it, but the batteries on my camera ran out half way through!

Comment by Lee — September 12, 2008 @ 6:32 am | post a comment

Rob! Hello from East Africa (Tanzania at the moment). I can't visit (virtually, that is) nearly as often any more but often wish I could 'pop in' and see where things are at. Sorry to hear about the grating nature of curiosity. I wear (or at least take) sunglasses in town for kind of that reason; makes me feel a bit more distance between me and the starting masses.

May you be provided with peace and stability beyond your own means.



Comment by Marija — September 12, 2008 @ 6:35 am | post a comment

GO.GO.GO – JIA YOU – GANBATTE as they would say on the east.

I enjoyed the photos and understood every single word from update. China :) It is time. :)

Hope you get some good rest before last stretch. Almost there…

Comment by ChrisJ — September 12, 2008 @ 9:34 am | post a comment

Hi Rob,

Sorry to hear about your internet troubles.

You "only" have 400km to go, so maybe you can complete your journey and be on your way home before your good memories of China get buried in the more recent frustrations.

Lots of people out here wishing you luck and smooth roads until Shanghai.

Comment by Andy Solaini — September 12, 2008 @ 6:44 pm | post a comment

Rob I wish you a trouble free and speedy run into Shanghai. I hope the troubles are behind you and you will enjoy the last bit of the trip.

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