I’ve never celebrated this holiday in China, but I have in Korea – a country that also follows the traditions.
One month until Christmas! I’m going to be decorating and wrapping things next weekend…
An author in China has just been sentenced to over a decade in prison for writing a book with homosexual scenes. You can read more HERE, and I’ve shared a few paragraphs of the story below.
Chinese censorship is extreme. You can’t even access basic sites like Google, Instagram, Facebook – or even Goodreads! – over there. Heaven forbid someone learns something not approved by the government.
The most frustrating thing about travelling in China is the absolute ignorance of social issues the tourists bring with them. It’s one thing to wonder at the Forbidden City, and another thing entirely to be oblivious to the hammer and sickle symbols everywhere, and to not think there’s anything odd about the denial of the massacre in Tiananmen Square (and don’t get me started on what’s happening with Interpol – the whole world should be worried).
Chinese writer sentenced to 10 years’ jail over book with homoerotic sex scenes
A Chinese author of erotic fiction has been sentenced to more than 10 years in jail for writing and selling a novel that featured gay sex scenes.
The female writer, who uses the pen name Tianyi but was identified in state media by her surname Liu, published the book Occupy in 2017, and sold it through Chinese online shopping site Taobao.
Local media reported police arrested Liu in November last year, and that she confessed to writing the book.
A court in China’s Anhui province sentenced her to 10 years and six months in jail for the crime of making and selling obscene articles for profit.
Some pictures from the Great Wall near Beijing, Jinan, and the Zibo district in China last week.
These past few months have been crazy. From winter to like-winter weather in Europe, to warm weather, to a heatwave in Canberra, to freezing China, to another heatwave in Canberra. I’m so confused where I am and what season it is! Now I’ve done my Christmas shopping (just in case things didn’t arrive in time), I sort of feel like it’s time for the year to end!
(Post from Friday night):
I was going to start this post with some flippant comment, but instead, I left Canberra for Sydney this morning, only to discover that a massive bushfire is about to hit my part of town (much like in 2003), along with a severe heatwave and huge winds. After I arrived in Sydney I heard from my father that houses in my own suburb have had trees fall on and crush them. Other – massive – trees have fallen and blocked major roads. The fire is still out of control, and getting closer.
It’s raining in Sydney. I wish they’d send some of their rain to us.
I am flying to China in a few hours, so I guess I just hope for the best…
But – hey – climate change doesn’t exist, right?
Halloween indoors because it was too hot outside!
On Wednesday we booked tickets to travel to a few countries next year. I’m going back to Ukraine for several weeks, and then on to Romania (I’ve been to the border on the Ukrainian side before, but never actually to Romania!), and to Georgia. So: to two of the countries currently being invaded by Russia, and one neighbour!
I’m flying to Beijing tomorrow, and will be gone about a week. Some posts should continue going up, but I might not be around to see them!
Sunny spring days in Canberra.
This week started out gorgeous, had some weird weather in the middle, and involved a trip to the city to pick up my passport for my next trip!
Plus, there was a gorgeous (and very sweet) royal wedding to watch on Friday night (our time). I’m not into the royals usually, but this one…
How is October already half over? It’s nearly time to start thinking about Christmas!
Most of my posts this week were about sexual assault, and how the topic is handled (or dismissed in some quarters) in romance publishing. I’m utterly disgusted by recent events in the United States, and by how these things have an effect on women the world over.
Breaking up my week-long coverage of anti-sexual assault books…
Today we picked up our passports with our shiny new Chinese visas in them. Life is SO much easier when you live in Canberra – the capital city – and no embassy is more than a fifteen-minute drive away! I’ve seen some very stressed people from interstate FLY in to try and sort out their visas. It seems like a nightmare (the poor man from Adelaide I saw last week…).
Am I apprehensive about some aspects of this trip (at the beginning of November)? Yes. Do I have political things to say? Yes, but I think it’s better to stay quiet until then.
My visit to China won’t be long. And I’ll be sharing rooms with my brother. Hopefully they don’t do what they always do, and assume we’re a couple on our honeymoon! Once, in Thailand, they upgraded us to this fantastic, swim-in-swim-out honeymoon suite, and we had to turn it down!
Australian Parliament on Saturday afternoon.
Winter in Canberra
Yesterday we finally made it to the National Gallery for the Cartier exhibition. I’ll do a post about it next week, but – WOW. This wasn’t just random stuff; it was Kate Middleton’s wedding tiara, and some of the Queen’s favourite jewellery, and Grace Kelly’s tiara, and Elizabeth Taylor’s necklace, and tiaras belonging to Queen Victoria’s daughters, and a clock belonging to a US president…
Followed up with lunch at Canberra’s oldest Italian restaurant – good start to the weekend.
In a spur-of-the-moment thing, I am now booked on a trip to China for November. It’s going to be a bit of a rush, as I’m not back from England until October and China requires a visa (which begins the moment it’s issued, so you cannot get it too early).
It’s a good thing I live in Canberra, where the absolutely massive Chinese embassy is (above).
I have some certain ethical issues about the trip that I’m grappling with… It’s hypocritical of me to say things about Russia, but not care about other world issues.
It will only be a short trip there and back, into Beijing and out of Qingdao.
Even though I lived and worked in nearby Korea, I have never been to China before – unless you count a thousand trips through Hong Kong International Airport!