Sunday, September 06, 2015

Writing Postcards

On a dreary day in Shuhe (束河), the all-day drizzle turned heavy; it was time to look for shelter for an hour or so. Found a not-too-crowded cafe that does decent coffee, sells postcards, and even posting them out for customers. Yay. Didn't even need to hunt down a post office. Whether the postcards would reach their eventual destinations, would be another matter altogether. But mind-boggled that this can operate as a mini-business. There were many of such cafes around town, offering different postcards and stuff for customers.

Wrote a bunch of postcards in Zhongdian. But didn't have time to go to the post office to get stamps. Didn't bother troubling anyone else to help me out either. I would do all these errands in Lijiang. Sat down to write random lines to friends. Yeah, there's whatsapp, wechat, email and all that. But I still like to read notes off hardcopy paper, and in China, you're lucky if whatsapp and email (except Gmail) work promptly.

Without the social media platforms I'm familiar with, this can literally be another world. I've since stopped caring about Singapore's #GE2015, who-said-what and all the mud-slinging.

Kind annoyed that I have to vote, rather than settling for the walkover like how it has been for the past 50 years. Gotta at least to exercise brain cells to plough through all opinions and comments before casting an educated vote. UGH. I'd rather be editing photos and dreaming about mountains and horses. Glad that election news, Facebook and all that aren't quite accessible here. Whewww.

Anyway, The Great Firewall seems to have become more powerful this year. It's getting more difficult to scale over. Switching servers can't seem to resolve the lack of VPN access on some days. It's generally a given if you can't even latch on to an external server. None of us is carrying a BlackBerry or signed up with home telcos' data-roam services. So can't compare ease of access. Pointedly ignored all news outside of Yunnan and Beijing, and set my homepage to Xinhua (新华网) and search engine to Baidu (百度).


D said...

nice yunnan trip you have there! reminds me of ours almost 8 yrs ago. we couldn't do much as it wasn't easy with a heavier-than-normal 1 yr old child sitting on A1's backpack child carrier. if i remember correctly, we were staying near shu he and loved it. we did the super easy tiger gorge half day walk too. in Lijiang at that time, though we were hassled by many people near the entrance of old town, it was quite ok once we walked in away from the entrance area. as much as it was already quite commercialised even then, i remember we enjoyed lijiang too for the liveliness with more people, more attractions, more traditional shops, more teahouses, restaurants, etc etc. something different from the quieter shuhe.

imp said...

Glad you went when you did. Shuhe now is exactly like Old Town 8 years ago. And Old Town now, is 5x crazier. I couldn't take either venue exactly for the noise and bustle. UGH. So I escape out to the villages. Heh.