Lately events in far-off lands have been bugging me. There's stuff I want to write about, but this frustration, disgust and anger with events far away which have no direct impact on my life and which, of course, I have absolutely no control over, has made it difficult to focus on what I'd rather be spending my time doing.
The best I can do is to remove the link to the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand from the blogroll. It's annoying. I think we need the Greens in parliament for their commitment to the environment and sustainability. Trouble is that their recent support for a movement employing blatantly racist violence and their childish, one-dimensional, knee-jerk response to the word "China" has meant that I can do nothing but remove any sympathy and support I ever had for them. And their opposition to the FTA? Well, they dress it up in their "principles", but that response of theirs to the word "China" suggests maybe it has more to do with plain old-fashioned xenophobia. The emperor is wearing clothes; trouble is, his clothes are transparent.
Anyway, Saturday morning I started writing a big, long rant about all that's bugging me. Then at lunchtime I went round to the KFC on Wusheng Lu to meet lzh, who had spent the morning on a fruitless search for suitable prescription sunglasses at the Panjiayuan optometry markets. Then we took the 34 round to Tiyuguanxi, thence to the subway Line 5 Tiantan Dongmen station, then rode the subway to Tiananmen East, then walked up Nanchizi and Beichizi then round to the east gate of Jingshan Park.
And I got all that ranting out of my system with no need to post any of it here. Or anywhere. Or to even finish writing that rant.
And that trip to Jingshan, along with Friday afternoon's wander around Longtan Park, provided a much needed escape from the frustration with the mad, sick circus the world seems determined to become this year.
And yesterday afternoon, while lzh was out at ErWai hanging out with friends and former classmates, I went on a blowout with a few friends and colleagues.
And all is right with the world again. Mental blocks have been relieved; frustrations vented. The weather is warm and pleasant, and poplar fluff is blowing around like a mid-spring blizzard.
Alright, so yesterday's blowout means I lost this morning, and so I'm once again behind on my marking, but hey, I can fix that easily enough.
See, one of the things that has kept me sane in all these years in China is parks. Sure, Chinese parks can be just as noisy and crowded and chaotic as the rest of the country, but always, without fail, if you look carefully and notice that one little path leading up the back away from the crowds and follow that, you can find peace and calm and serenity. The beauty of Longtan is that, apart from during Spring Festival's temple fair, there's no need to search for that path out the back. The whole park is calm and peaceful and serene. Jingshan, unfortunately, attracts a lot of tourists and all the scum who prey on tourists, but the tourists only go there for two things, and are therefore easily avoided. And both parks are cheap, at only two kuai to get in, and populated by locals out getting some fresh air and exercise or socialising or taking the kid or (more commonly) grandkid out for a run around. It's precisely that normality that makes those parks so calm.
And right now, serenity is what I need.
The world has gone mad, and I need to withdraw from it because I don't want to join the insanity. I'll re-emerge sometime post-Olympics when everybody's calmed down again.
Oh, no, don't take that literally. I'll still be here. I mean, for the sake of my own sanity, I need to mentally withdraw, create a gap between me and the news I read. I won't be disappearing, although I am serious about spending August in Yanqing.