Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Youtube blocked again... and more.

After editing a few videos this morning I have been frustrated by the lack of access to Youtube. It seems that every few weeks the Chinese Government blocks the site - perhaps until some type of "sensaitve" material is taken off the front page.

Overall, the net seems to function quite well in China, aside from the stark lack of information on contraversial topics. The fact that I am able to access blogspot, with its immense diversity of content, is a bit of a surprise to me.

Things are progressing nicely thus far. I have been enjoying teaching English at Aston and also having a great time getting more familiar with this little city of Dandong. It has its glaring faults, as well as its charms.

I had the chance to spend about 2 hours driving around the outskirts of the city a few days ago and found that in east (as I predicted from studying google earth) the countryside is quite pleasant. To the north, on the other hand, it's a depressing combination of utter disregard for sanitation, poverty and pollution. I hope to take further excursions as I have more days off and the weather improves. There are some pretty massive mountains not too far from here as well as an area where the Yalu opens up and looks more like a lake than a river.

Speaking of the Yalu, the picture attached with this post is a shot from my bedroom window across the river into the DPRK. I've heard all kinds of rumors about what goes on over there - from the execution of those who attempt to cross the border - to the fact that the average North Korean doesn't every get to experience being full. I'm not really sure what to believe at this point. I do hope that I will get the chance to take a tour or at least get a little closer on one of the tourist boats that pass quite close to the southern bank.

So much has been happening and there really is much to tell. For today, I will stop here. I send my best regards to all those back in the States. As spring rolls (NPI) on around, I hope you are all happy and healthy and enjoying life.

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