Thursday, 18 September 2008

Rude Awakenings

I was woken up this morning, not by people shouting outside, nor a random knock at the door by policeman, not even the sound of construction work (these are all things that have woken me up before by the way). I was woken up today by an air raid siren. Why? I don't know, and probably will never know.

I was dragged out of sleep and still a bit disorientated so my first thoughts were instantly war related, "Was China finally invading Taiwan and they're retaliating with a bomb attack by plane?". As I stood on my balcony being deafened by the noise, I scanned around the street-level below, "phew", there were people walking around as usual, and the workmen next door were still laying the foundations for a new apartment block (six months it's taken them so far, I don't know what they're doing, barely any progress has been made). There was no panic at all in fact, I saw nobody running to fetch their precious belongings before they escape the city. No planes, no bombs, no biochemical disaster, so why was an air-raid siren going off for almost one hour?

I wouldn't be surprised if nobody knows the reason for this, but probably not many will question it at all. It seems that the way things are here means that civilians just have to sit back and take whatever anybody throws at them, no complaining, no questioning. For example, one day a few weeks ago the government-controlled electric company (The State Grid -- also who Kimi works for) decided to turn off power to the whole area where I live for most of a day. Apparently this was printed in the local paper, but a lot of my neighbours and I obviously didn't have a clue (I could tell by the shouting outside, I didn't need to understand Chinese to get that). The excuse for this was that the company wanted to save electricity in the city (this coming from the highest polluting country in the world). Thanks for the personal letter of warning for that -- we got nothing. But this isn't the way things work in China, "they" say it, you do it.

The State Grid building opposite my home. Their motto: "If we decide to randomly switch off your electricity, deal with it".

Sometimes it really does feel like I'm in a completely foreign country, thousands of miles away from my own.

1 comment:

大眼睛熊 said...

Well,guess u were right,we dont really question much,not until it gets serious!