Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Friend Teaching Abroad For Two Years E-Mails

This e-mail was sent to me from China Monday night. I did not put 'China' in the tag line above nor name the city to protect my friends who are under constant surveillance, especially on the Web:

This city of 1 million in Ningxia provence ---which is an "autonomous region" for the Hui Muslim people---heats exclusively with coal - so the air is less than pure!

Some things over here leave me scratching my head. This culture has been conditioned to question nothing. The longer I'm here the more aware I become of the divide between East and West.

Wish I could read your blog - but blogspot - along with most other blog sites - is blocked in China. For some reason Typepad.com is still accessible over here. Any day it could change. Security is really getting tight.


I remember the air quality in China when I was there for a month in the 80's as being horrendous---especially when the already bad air quality was exacerbated by sand blowing in from the Gobi Desert in the fall. As a matter of fact, everyone I was traveling with got bronchitis by the time we returned to Hong Kong. I coughed so hard for weeks in the aftermath of Chinese air pollution after getting back to America, that I got a hernia and had to have major surgery to repair it. The trip that kept on giving.

As for the Chinese blocking Blogspot, I'm certainly not surprised. This is a regime that doesn't value freedom of speech, thought or religion. My friends are brave indeed to be there for the next few years teaching and coughing. Don't think I would live that long there.

Ditto, Istanbul where I got sicker than dirt last year from both the extreme air pollution and Montezuma's revenge after eating a fish dish---or was it that raw fig that some vendor forced into my mouth in the Turkish market?--- that almost did me in. As far as I'm concerned radical Muslims can have Istanbul.

Hui Muslims


Bob said...

Colleen and I have been wondering if the Chinese are laughing at us about all the problems with toys from China. Colleen said, "They are probably laughing in wonderment, saying "they actually eat the toys we make!" However, now, from reading your friend's email, I realize that they probably are not questioning it, since they have been taught not to question anything!


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