Foiled by the great firewall

22 Jan

I had great plans  for blog posts this weekend.  The ideas were flowing and I even had a photo that would make you laugh.

Instead I spent two hours (or maybe a little more) trying to get that photo to upload.  Which ultimately didn’t work and leaves me with a very busy week at work and not very much time.

The Chinese government has really been cracking down on the Internet lately.  Part of it is likely the change in leadership that happened at the end of last year and part is that the Internet is a voice of truth among the censorship that once open is very difficult to put back in “Pandora’s box.”

It seems to me between the weather, my office construction (more updates to come on that in the future – there has been progress!), and my recent internet issues I have a case of the January blahs.  Luckily I soon have a business trip coming up to the relative warmth and calm of Singapore.  Never have I welcomed two days of training each capped by a five hour flight quite so warmly.

The January blahs are unique to western culture because in China there is still the excitement and family and friends for Chinese New Year to look forward to.  It is quite odd to have the January blahs by yourself, but I’m hoping that will make me overcome them more quickly.  I also don’t remember being hit by them quite this hard last year or the year before, but that may be a selective memory.

So I ask, what do you do to fight the blahs?  I am continuing to do my yoga on a very regular basis, I am staying connected with friends, I am crossing things off my to do list (new pillows from IKEA), cooking some more at home and doing all the “right” things.  Any additional tips?

Please share (and if I’m late in posting the next few days, it’s not me – it’s the firewall).


20 Responses to “Foiled by the great firewall”

  1. ladyofthecakes January 22, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    As you probably know (from my blog), I’ve gone off to spend a couple of weeks in Key West, visiting some good friends of mine. And it’s working a treat!!!
    Your upcoming Singapore trip will help 🙂 Can’t wait for that photo….

    • gkm2011 January 22, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

      I need it as well. Leave for Singapore soon. Counting the hours now! Hopefully the photo will live up to expectations, finally got it to load.

  2. sarahinguangzhou January 22, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Oh I so vividly remember the frustration of wasting 2 hours trying to get pictures to upload. Of switching on the computer and getting the ‘unable to show’ screen on FB and WP because they’ve blocked your VPN again. Then you waste time looking for a new one. I used to travel to HK with a whole mountain of stuff to get done on the internet.

    • gkm2011 January 22, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

      It’s funny how “necessary” the internet is. A trip to Hong Kong would likely break the bank, but I am looking forward to Singapore! Soon… (see the UK does have some advantages!)

  3. Sam January 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    I don’t know all the ins and outs of Chinese internet policies, but would Witopia work for you? It costs hardly anything and we love it…and being able to watch Netflix definitely helps with the winter blues!

    • gkm2011 January 22, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

      I haven’t heard of Witopia. Will need to do some research. I have some friends who have a slingbox, but to do that you need a TV in the US. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Jeanette January 23, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    Being overseas can be a pain sometimes…. During those times, I try to re-focus on all the positive things about wherever I am. Then, when that doesn’t work–like the day it takes a whole box of matches to light my stove and the water is out for 8 hours (from lunch right past dinner)–I try to re-focus on how much I used to take for granted…. It will get better:-)

    • gkm2011 January 23, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

      I know and agree and am feeling more balanced now, but at the time it really felt like the world was out to get me!

      • Jeanette January 24, 2013 at 4:48 am #

        I feel your pain:-) and am just glad to know you’re feeling better!

      • gkm2011 January 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

        Thanks, sometimes only time away from the issue makes it bearable.

      • Jeanette January 25, 2013 at 2:10 am #

        Very true! 🙂

  5. roomaomao January 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    No! It’s hit you too! Argh, the pain! I hope this resolves quickly for you! You have any plans for Chinese New Year? It’s the winter blahs for me too, until I set off for Thailand on the 9th!

    • gkm2011 January 23, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

      We just booked tickets, but the place shall remain nameless for the moment! I am psyched.

      • roomaomao January 24, 2013 at 9:24 am #

        Is it CNY yet?

      • gkm2011 January 24, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

        Still another two full weeks. Hang in there!

      • roomaomao January 25, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

        We can do it! 加油加油!

  6. expatlingo January 23, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    Sorry to hear your banging your head against the Great Firewall of China. When you already have the blahs, not being able to do something you enjoy (blog) can be extra frustrating.

    No real advice. Only sympathy.

    • gkm2011 January 23, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

      Thanks for the sympathy, I appreciate it. Li has the tough end of the bargain because when those moments hit it really can be rough. Looking up now from gorgeous Singapore!


  1. Chinese voicemail – Weixin (微信) « 中国 Jumble - February 3, 2013

    […] has its own version of many of the popular programs in other countries.  Because of the great firewall, using the Chinese version is often much more convenient.  So instead of Twitter, people use Weibo […]

  2. Relearning Shanghai | 中国 Jumble - March 9, 2014

    […] make you unaware of my whereabouts.  When I got back to China, my VPN was down, making scaling the Great Firewall impossible  – and I had all of those other “life” things I needed to take care […]

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