October 20, 2008

Freedom of Nothing

So China is a communist country... but it hasn't drastically changed my lifestyle in any way. Living in Shanghai, for the most part, feels just like living in a dirtier, darker version of New York City, maybe. But then you think about living in America, and how many people actually "feel" the liberties of living in a democratic country on a daily basis? Other than the one day every four+ years (or never in my case) that you go to vote at the polls, do you really notice? Probably not unless you work in the government or do a lot of rallying or something and go out of your way to exercise your constitutional rights.

While it doesn't seem all that different living here than in America on a grand scale, I'm still reminded every day through the little things that I used to take for granted. Take the internet for example. We have access to google bytes of information through this amazing thing called the world wide web and it's all free-- but not to everyone. While I can still access most websites I would normally be viewing, there are a lot of sites that are blocked in China. I can't even see my sorority's national website from here. A lot of sorority websites actually seem to be blocked. I also can't access www.thepiratebay.org, a torrent site. And it's not just whole websites. Sometimes, specific parts/videos/articles aren't accessible. For example, I found an article about a Japanese restaurant that has monkey servers (like real monkeys), and they get tipped in soybeans. There was a video clip associate with the article, but I couldn't watch it on youtube. If I tried to watch, the site wouldn't load at all.

Another thing is movies! At theaters here, there are maybe 3 movies, at the most, playing at any given time. If 3 movies are playing, two are Chinese. So what about all those American films? Well, they don't make it into the country... not even a lot of the big ones, like Dark Knight. When I first arrived here 6-7 weeks ago, Garfield was the one American movie playing here. Yea... Garfield. And since then, the only US film to be released here has been Mummy 3, and that one features Chinese actors and is set in China. When I go to Korea this winter, I'm going to watch a movie every day to make up for all the movies I won't be seeing here in China.


sahary said...


dude that movie situation sucks. i was annoyed when dark knight came out in korea like 2 months after amurrica

and omg i wish i was gonna be in korea this winter DAHH!

I MISS U <3 surriously fo sho

J said...

aww! yes go crazy with the movies. i should d/l a bunch and send them to you!! haha. love hearing about your stories, keep em coming! :) & thanks for the banner babe!