Bird Flu in Beijing

Beijing West Station
April 4 2004

After I took the train from Shenzhen to Beijing (a dreadfully boring 24 hour ride) I found these wonderfully informative signs in the lobby. Take special note of the crying bird in the lower-right section of the second photograph. I can read quite a lot of the words in this sign, but I don’t know nearly enough about the actual grammar of Chinese to do more than a dodgy and innacurate translation, so I won’t even try, aside to say the obvious, that it warns against birds that have not been disinfected and explains the nature of bird flu.


Office Building Face in Shenzhen
March 3 2004
Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China

Construction visible from Shezhen University.
China has a reputation as being constantly under construction and from what I saw this is more visible in Shenzhen than anywhere else. Here we actually see five identical large buildings in a row in the same stage of construction.

Shenzhen University Dorm Room
Standing in the middle of the room is my friend Henry, who studied here at Ritsumeikan University in Japan for a year. This is the room he lived in before he studied abroad in Japan; he now lives in a much roomier room actually intended for foreign students, which he got into because he works part time for the international office.

Filipino Workers in Hong Kong

Filipino Domestic Workers Gather on Sunday

February 28th, 2004
If you go to the area between the main Hong Kong train station and the waterfront on a Sunday evening this is all you see, everywhere you turn. Hong Kong employs about 100,000 Filipino domestics, and being Catholic they all have Sunday as their fixed and un-alterable vacation day, upon which they take over the entire district to socialize. Despite the fact that a Hong Kong work visa, even for this job, requires some amount of higher education women with college degrees and perfect command of English are often still willing to work as maids and nanny’s for a salary higher than they could easily make at home.

Back to Japan

Since the last update Ashle, I and both Chads took a plane to Urumqi, met up with Ablajan (who was the guide of Chris and I last year) and went with him to Turpan and back, then Ashle and I left the Chads in Xinjiang while we took a 24 hour bus ride to Kazakhastan, spent a week in Almaty, and flew back first to Urumqi and then to Beijing. Now all three of the them have left Japan, Ashle and one Chad back to Japan (although Ashle is leaving there for the US shortly) and the other Chad back to Canada while I finish my time here in China. Before they left we went on a trip to the Great Wall, and after they left I finally went to the Forbidden City by myself yesterday. I’m taking a sleeper train to Shanghai tonight and then on the 30th boarding the Osaka bound ferry.

I have a lot of journals, information and photos to post, but that’ll all wait until I get back to Japan when I’ll start doing so gradually. It’s been a good trip, but I’m tired and feeling about ready to go home.

Arrival in Beijing

It’s now March 5 9:45pm in Beijing. I got here earlier today at about 1pm after a 24 hour train ride from Shenzhen. I had meant to try to update this every couple of days but I got off to a pretty bad start, between being busy all day, tired all night, and then the one day I really felt like I had energy, the internet in my friend Rondy’s apartment, where I was staying in Hong Kong, suddenly stopped working about five minutes after I started to type. On the train I had a lot of time to write in my notebook, so I’m going to just start typing pages from there and posting them as online journal entries. Right now I’m using the hostel computer and the internet connection is extremely slow, so I’m not going to try to deal at all with photos, but hopefully I’ll be able to post a few tomorrow.