Monday, September 17, 2012

Tripping point

Guangzhou had its first tumble into autumn. Temperatures dropped finally to the comfortable range of 20 to 30 degrees. Guangzhou also tumbled into protest for the second time since I came to China. The Senkaku / Diaoyu Island dispute flared up. The roads around my office became choked with people, police and barricades. Japanese made cars in Tianhe district, as in other cities recently, were vandalised. At least one was set alight. A plume of smoke reached to the sky. Sound like a war-zone? Well, barring all out street battles tomorrow, naturally it is but an image produced is a mere spark in an otherwise dry, normal day. Let's hope the spark burns out.
I've almost always had an apocalyptic streak. Maybe it was a result of watching and reading (well, half of) The Stand in my youth. I sometimes consider what would happen, so far from home, should a real pandemic engulf the world. Or with a economic crisis, China lurches back into revolutionary mode and relive unpleasantness of the Cultural revolution as the foreign influences are blamed. I'm psychologically ready for anything.
Why is damp Guangzhou so dry? Well, the country is a historical tinderbox. Some dates are flashpoints 9.18 (September 18th). With still another day to get to that mark, things could be interesting. Though I'd rather them not be.

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