OK, I'm not sure why I put this picture in. I came across it while surfing for photos to use in my power point idiom lessons. And it allows me to segue into this first news item:
Mad weasel gulag leader, Kim Jong Il paid a surreptitious visit to Beijing last week to seek some love. The visit was kept quiet by the Chinese media, and he left sooner than expected, possibly picking a few teeth out of his butt, but at least getting a little allowance for his sorry assed experiment in government depravity.
It's been raining a bunch where the drought has been, as much as a meter in some places. We have had nicely moderate stuff ourselves, the usual sub tropical downpours, although today was a nice steady showering for most of the day. Wet is good.
The government has announced that it will ban smoking in public places in 2011, which will be largely ignored by anyone outside of Beijing. Remember that 60% of doctors smoke here, including in the hospitals. I don't think the sidewalks are large enough to accommodate the massive number of guys needing to get their fixes.
China may start levying a carbon tax!! No, really! Could this happen before the US gets their poop in group to do the same thing? Of course there are lots of actions that could be taken here that would go a long way to achieve a cleaner environment, such as banning smoking in public places.
The Expo in Shanghai is going on now. I went to a World's Fair in Montreal in 1967 and my strongest memory of it is waiting in lines. Since everything in China is big, I expect some serious queues.
One of my early lessons of living here, is that if you try to politely wait in line for things like getting on the bus you will be the last person to get on every time. I don't think the phrase "After you," exists. Since I have a long ride to and from work, I want a seat, so I have become very Chinese in my efforts to get on, and can do it as rudely as anybody, with only a small twinge of guilt.
Some efforts have been made in some businesses, such as McDonald's and supermarkets to stop the pushy old bags (they are the worst) from cutting in front of others, so maybe the Expo bosses have some proper queue control. It will help that you can still smoke in line.