Blogspot, LiveJournal and the BBC’s site are all blocked by the Great Firewall. Flickr’s interface comes through, but the photos themselves don’t. I have no idea if anything I’ve posted to my photo stream are really there or if they’ve all turned into sad-faced cartoon Mao icons (because mocking the central government makes the Baby Mao cry).

What does come through is this New York Times article about China’s pollution crisis. I’ve only been in country a few days, so I can’t attest to the horrific conditions the article talks about. Shanghai has the good fortune of being next to the water, and a strong wind was blowing last night and today when we went out for lunch. But there are noxious smells that pop up out of spaces in the ground, smells worse than anything I can remember from doing plumbing. The clouds of exhaust from diesel trucks and scooters are real, but whether they’re as bad as, say, San Pedro, I can’t tell.

Something else: it’s nothing but Chinese tv in this hotel, but the Samsara in Chengdu had BBC World, which was a pleasant surprise. However, whether it was a feed meant for China (ie free of anything negative about China) or the real McCoy, I couldn’t tell.

Anyway. If you’re on LJ, you can see me, but I can’t see you. Drop a line in the comment section if you’ve got any interesting links to see when I get home.