Returned from a week in Japan on Monday. You can read more about it on my travel blog. Last chance to go overseas before bub!
.: Tibet Anger
I'm very angry and severely disappointed at the actions and words of the Chinese in Australia and the rest of the world who wish to crush those who criticise China. It's not that I hate China, because I don't, nor that I think that Tibet should be independent, because that is a complex issue with no simple solution. What I dislike so much is their hypocrisy, their unthinking acceptance of whatever they are told and their racist attitudes. In many ways they remind me a lot of those stupid, racist rioters at Cronulla. They deign to believe they speak for all those of Chinese ancestry and it's their way or the highway.
There is an unwritten law in Australia, in most western countries, that these pro-Chinese have broken. It is this: you may campaign publicly for greater rights, no matter how silly the cause, but not to restrict rights. The reason is because the street marches to restrict people's rights smells of fascism. That is better left for talkback radio. (Of course there are many decisions made by our government to restrict rights, just look at the criminal and security laws).
The pro-China groups do not speak for all Chinese. Chinese people, especially those outside of China, have many beliefs and opinions. I could use my wife as an example. I have often heard China state that Western countries have no right to interfere in their domestic politics, but they seem to have no problem interfering with groups such as the pro-Tibet lobby and the annoying Falun Gong in other countries.
Looks like we won't be going to Europe via Korea in September/October. Another trip cancelled/delayed. Another time this year? I wonder.
After watching Spirited Away I'm in the mood for Japanese. I cooked teriyaki fish and vegetables with a sesame sauce tonight, from one of the cookbooks we brought home from Japan. On the weekend I did some more work on my Japanese model railway layout. But it is not enough.
We arrived back from our 10 day holiday in Malaysia and Thailand on Friday. Still feeling the effects of the time difference and lack of sleep on the flight back. Slept in until midday yesterday. Kita is happy to see us again and is very clingy. I do think that he enjoyed his time with the other two dogs though.
Brought back a Sony VAIO VGN-CR35G/R notebook computer. So much faster than my Mum's Celeron Acer.
You can read about the trip on my travel blog.
We have decided now to go to Malaysia rather than Europe early next year. The timing and costs for Europe just didn't work out and we found a cheap Jetstar deal for Malaysia. Also thinking of visiting Thailand as part of the trip. I came across a remarkable video of a Thai market located literally on a train line:
Also on YouTube a mini Doctor Who episode, Time Crash, produced for a BBC charity show. I miss Doctor Who - it was the best show on TV this year. Can't wait to buy Murray Gold's soundtrack to Series 3!
My gut tells me that we will not have a change of government after tomorrow's federal elections. At lunch today we discussed hijacking the work Christmas Party cruise and seeking asylum overseas if the Libs are returned.
At this moment six years ago I was on a Qantas 747 en route to Heathrow Airport and thence to Paris for our honeymoon. It was our first of three trips to Europe. Earlier today I put down a deposit on a fourth.
Yesterday Flight Centre held a European Travel Expo at Darling Harbour. This year the days of the week corresponded with those of our wedding and I thought that the event had a nice element of synchronicity about it.
The day before I had looked up in the sky above my head and saw a Qantas 747-400. I wish I could say that it was Qantas that we would be flying with but sadly they were prohibitively expensive. I would like to have picked our holiday out of their European travel booklet, our honeymoon hotel, the Victor Masse was still in there. That we could have flown out the next day would have been even better.
Sadly, we do not have that much freedom. And experience tells us that we can do it much cheaper by researching our own hotels.
I paid instead for flights with Air China, via Shanghai and Beijing. Yes, despite our experiences in China we would fly back through there. It's not that it's a bad country or that there is anything wrong with the airports (except the toilets). In fact, we found the airports very efficient for domestic flights. I would just rather a stopover in somewhere comfortable like Japan, Hong Kong, Seoul or Singapore. We want to visit Thailand as well. Oh well, this might be our chance to visit Suzhou or Huangshan (Yellow Mountain).
In Europe the idea is that we will visit Eastern Europe and France again. I have notions of going to Scandinavia, but who knows?
Then again, we may find the whole trip is called off or greatly delayed. We have a decision point arriving soon and one of the advantages of the Air China fare, apart from its price, is that full payment can be postponed until after that point.