I haven’t written much in a while. There have been no great upheavals, or grand adventures, just pretty mundane, busy day to day stuff. Work, eat, sleep, watch TV, read a book, and follow the news is pretty much it. However, I am doing this in China and that is exotic, or at least I keep telling myself that—a mundane lifestyle in an exotic environment.
There have been a couple of big government changes in a couple of major superpowers this month. The President of the US has been given another four years to employ his curious agenda of bank coddling, press avoidance, and reluctant politicking. He was given a few more politicians in his party in the House and Senate to give him some “political capital” and a mandate from the voters for him to dodge as best he can. Either that or he will impose draconian Muslim/Communist, Sharia Laws, heralding in a thousand years of Darkness. It depends on who you get your news from.
Over here there has been a new leadership group of dyed hair, black suited old guys to replace the group of dyed hair, black suited older guys that ran the place for the last 10 years. Instead of 2 years of open political campaigning for votes of the masses like America has, they have been engaging in a lifetime of behind the scenes wheelings and dealings that ultimately got them where they are. We don’t know what is involved, but that hasn't stopped the Pundits of the World from doing what they do best: engaging in highly inaccurate speculating.
We’ll see what comes of all this. I’m not going to speculate, even though I may have a better vantage than whatever beltway think tank these ignorant bloviators observe from.
What is going on here in my city is rapid development and change. We are in the first year of a Five Year Economic Development Plan. There is an insane amount of construction. Everywhere you go you see new apartment buildings, and more, going up. You have a lot more time to view these buildings too, since traffic has gotten much worse. This does give you the advantage of being able to sit in a clot of creeping vehicles and take in the spectacle of massive construction projects without the inconvenience of a fast moving vehicle moving you away from your view before you have had a chance to take it all in.
Lots of money is being spent and made, both over and under the “table”. Already a vice mayor has been booted for getting a little too greedy.
What is missing in this great development boom is some competent traffic engineers and street construction contractors. Main thoroughfares have been torn up for half a year. Flaggers, and any kind of traffic control around street projects is non existent. No new traffic signals have gone up. However, there is a new crew of traffic police, who actually insert themselves into some busy intersections during peak traffic time, so that is some progress.
I mostly walk, ride the bus, take a taxi, or a “sanmo” when I need to get about. However, a friend of mine likes to thrill me with rides on her electric motorbike, often taking me on errands when time is short and convenience trumps prudence.