On Saturday, we were warned of a power outage that might occur in our hotel
between 9pm and 3am. How annoying, I thought. And how do they know in
advance about a power outage? When it came, it lasted but a few moments –
and blacked out just in time for a CNN report on the shooting of several
protestors in the Chinese province of…. (I don’t know. The power went out).
There are a number of reporters here from the Chinese media, and I was keen
to find out how free they feel to write what they like, when they like. They
seem confused when I ask about this, which I am not sure is a result of a
cultural or language barrier or legitimate confusion about the notion that
they might be restricted. Then again almost all of the Chinese press here
are very young, for some reason – perhaps not old enough yet to have
developed a hard-nosed sense of cynicism.
PS – I pushed an ominous-looking button on my hotel bedside table today that
simply says ‘do not’ (I have been wondering all week what this would do, but
have been too afraid to try till the last day…). Sadly the answer is
rather mundane – but quite clever. It turns on a little red ‘do not disturb’
light outside my front door. Ohhh…
That’s it from me. See you at the next meeting.