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秋春粉墨

若兰的上海生活

 
 
 

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大战?戦争?War?  

2012-09-21 01:00:03|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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So after much idling, I decided to continue this blog.  I was going to start a new Shanghai blog for my life, but I decided to stop being so fickle and indecisive and stuck with this one.  I think I did a find job of describing China on this blog, plus the name is nice and the layout aint half bad.

Unless you're living under a rock, you probably know that China and Japan are pretty much at each other's throats concerning an island the size of my toilet (and in China, that's a pretty small toilet).  But we all know that this goes far deeper than a small dispute between who owns an island or not.  It goes back to WW2 when Japan did horrible things to Nanjing, it jumps to the Japanese mindset that they're better than every other country in Asia.  I don't think any country is right or wrong, but I do think this diaoyudao (or senkakushutou, depending on whether you're Chinese or Japanese the island has different names) is not only causing political tension, but economical ones as well.

Seems like China set their ships in yesterday to warn Japan, "fuck off, it's ours."  Either way, it was seen as a threat.  My newspaper this morning even quoted Chinese people saying, "Japan should revere us.  It's ours."



Oooo scawee China ships.

So my Chinese boyfriend in Japan was called to the manager's office for a special "meeting."  Manager warned my boyfriend that the Japanese don't exactly love the Chinese now, so if possible DO NOT leave home and, for god's sake, don't let people know you're Chinese.  Just shut up when you're outside, or speak the best Japanese that you can manage.  And to quote his words,
"We'll know next week whether there will be war or not."

These words felt like a punch to the gut.  It's the first time I've heard the word "war" since my high school WW2 history class.  We have two of the world's major powers pissing each other off, and America just doesn't know what to do.  Obviously the US has to support Japan (we stripped them of an army), but the US doesn't exactly want to fight China, either.

There are over 100 anti-Japanese demonstrations going on in China now.  Some Japanese convenience stores (like Family Mart) have been terrorized or vandalized, and the consulate in various provinces have had ongoing threats.  Chinese workers in Japanese factories are rioting and protesting, so 100% of the car manufacturers in Japan have no choice but shut down their operations in China.  Japan gets most of its parts assembled and made in China, so shutting down operations for one week = BIG LOSSES.  According to the "Globe Times" (my trusty newspaper), this anti-Japan strike in China is causing more damage to the Japanese economy than the Sendai earthquake.

To protect employees, Japan shut down not only factories but all of its subsidiaries here in Shanghai.  My friend Yoko said she had the day off because of the strikes and invited me out to lunch.  Hearing all this scary news made me a bit nervous, too.  When I meet Yoko, should we speak Japanese like usual?  Or is it dangerous?  Would it be ok, since I'm obviously not Japanese?

When I met her at the restaurant, she stood up and in her high-pitched, cute voice screamed out to me:

"メアリー!!!ここにいるよ!!!久しぶり!!!!!!!!!”
Mary!!  I'm over here!!  Long time no see!

When I asked if she was afraid, she shrugged her shoulders and said, "nah."  At that moment I realized that I was just being sucked into the media.  We were speaking full blown Japanese and in a crowded Chinese restaurant, and no one gave a flying shit.  So, that's that.

She did tell me, though, that in Japan someone poured boiling hot ramen over a Chinese person's head in Tokyo. 

"Now that's just ridiculous," she said.  "Why ramen?  Ramen???  Wha?  I'm just in shock.  Don't act so stupid."

Either way, that's the current situation.  We're all hoping it will blow over, and I'm pretty sure it will.  In the end, however, this has seriously damaged relations between Japan and China (which were already goddamn terrible to begin with). 

In other more light-heartening news, I received a full ride government scholarship to Shanghai International Studies University to get a masters degree in simultaneous conference interpretation.  Basically, I'm getting the highest level of proficiency in a foreign language ever attainable.  When this program is over, I should be a UN qualified translator and can do work for the government--but we'll see.  First thing's first:  Signing up for classes.

So far the school administration is atrocious.  It's sloppy, unprofessional and slow.  I don't know when classes start, I'm not sure how we select classes, and after three weeks of sitting idle in Shanghai I still don't have the faintest idea of what the upcoming semester will bring me.  I'm losing my mind, and if classes don't start next Monday I'm going to into the administration office frothing at the mouth, turn green, lose my sanity and throw desks and chairs and scream Chinese obscenities.  Making me wait one week is another thing, but three weeks is rigoddamndiculus.

My scholarship provides free dorm, free tuition, free insurance and a monthly stipend.  Here is the view from my dorm:

 
 

 
 
Not much, but I thought the sky was pretty.  And there is even a little view of waitan..
 
 
Of course, no visit to Shanghai is worth it without going to Le French Concession.  I had to go to my favorite area (near Shanghai Library) and enjoy a good glass of wine with my best friend in Shanghai.

 
 
 And that's that!

Until next time....
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