Saturday, 31 May 2008

Monument to the eight hour day labour movement in Ballarat, Australia

We spent a couple of days in the historic gold mining town of Ballarat in Victoria, Australia. Picking is finished, Jen has returned to Taipei and I fly to Christchurch on monday........

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

All but over

The fruit picking season here is reaching it's damp conclusion. The leaves are falling - some trees are already fully denuded and the pruners have begun their work on them. Jen and I are the only pickers left on the farm, and we can finish what few bins of Sundowner apples are left in around four days. At least we could if it would stop raining, which it has been doing off and on for the past four days. These apples must be completely dry before they can be picked, otherwise they will bruise. The rain is wonderful for everyone here though, the ground has been dry and dusty far too long for any farmers liking, now winter grain crops can be planted and farmers can happily complain about all the weeds which will now germinate and need to be sprayed. Jen flies back to Taiwan at the end of the month, and I'll head to New Zealand for a few weeks before making the journey to Taiwan myself for another stint at the markets and Chinese language school........

Friday, 2 May 2008

China's Goverment and it's people

It's important to differentiate between the chinese government and chinese people, who on the whole are much the same as everybody else save that the chinese "learn by rote" education system has made many of them ignorant and have strong opinions about things which they don't have all the "facts" about, much like americans. They are also loud and love money like americans... but on the whole once you get to know them are really nice, except the ones who think that because you are not a local that it is their duty to try to rip you off, and I'm not just talking about foreigners but also about people from other parts of china!Pollution, it's bad, really bad in China, but the chinese seem to have two main excuses for it 1, lets pollute, get rich and develop technology to fix it later, and 2, the industrialised world has been polluting for 200 years, china does it for 20 and ithe industrialised world gets all indignant while at the same time buying all the stuff that we need to pollute the air to make! I see their point. Human rights - they stink in China, but most Chinese don't know about it because the government censors the internet. They are pretty good at it, so why can't our governments do something about child pornography on the net???Anyway, simply, Chinese people mostly good but a little brainwashed into believing government propaganda, Chinese government mostly a dictatorship good at what it does, still honing it's skills...... Chinese people in Eastern cities subdued by luxury goods and the dream of fantastic wealth (more Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Swiss watches sold in east asia than the rest of world combined), Chinese people in western chinese cities subdued by poverty and propaganda.