China

Out of action

It’s no fun being forced to miss work for more than a day or two, as I’ve had to do. I came down with a nasty illness last week that has made me miss several days of work and pay an exorbitant amount for medical treatment and medicine at an international clinic. You’ve probably heard about sticker shock well this was bill shock. I swear I will not get sick again, or at least the next time, I will go to a local clinic and brave whatever chaos or crowds there is. The weird thing is that I had been feeling tired and having mild but annoying headaches in the past two weeks and then just like that I developed a facial rash and an itch in my eye that turned into swelling. When the rash started to spread and redden, the eye swelling got bad enough it made my coworker ask me if somebody hit me and the headache savage enough to feel as my skull was being shattered, I knew it was time to go to the doctor. For a couple of days, just to go to the clinic and the supermarket, I went out with bandages on my face and my cap pulled low whilst steadfastly avoiding looking at people, getting a brief taste of how it must feel to be a fugitive  or a shady character in a movie.

The Malaysia Airlines missing plane saga continues, with the relatives of Chinese passengers traveling to Malaysia to try to force some answers from authorities there, including the prime minister himself. Even though Malaysia officially announced the plane crashed into the ocean without any survivors, many Chinese relatives are not satisfied with this answer and demand actual proof. It’s tough because the Malaysians made this judgement based on calculations using satellite data, and an ongoing search has still not yielded any debris from the plane. I’m of two minds on this – I sympathize with the relatives because Malaysia hasn’t been very forthright in the past few weeks, for instance waiting a whole week to tell the world it had known the plane had changed course. However I think the relatives have been resorting to some unreasonable tactics such as marching on the Malaysian embassy in Beijing en masse, angrily confronting Malaysian officials, and then arriving in Malaysia with a large China flag. I’m not sure there’s no official encouragement with these actions, and this article states some unflattering details about China’s efforts during the search. It’s unfortunate that regional rivalries and mistrust have come to the fore during what seemed like a purposeful multilateral venture, but also that China’s limitations, both in physical capabilities and relationships, are being seen.

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