Monday, March 24, 2008


In only my second or third full week of teaching here in China, I got one of my first tastes of "the Chinese way of doing things" in educational institutions (i.e. complete cock-up).

I had been looking forward to a morning off, because both of my classes were supposed to be attending some kind of "opening ceremony" to mark the beginning of the new academic year. I had only found this out by chance (an overheard conversation in the faculty office); nobody would ever tell you about this kind of thing in a Chinese school or University!

At this stage of my career here, I was still trying to be nice and accommodating and.... all those things I've now rather given up on. So, I double-checked. I went to the faculty office the day before and asked the director's secretary if I had classes the next day. "Oh, no. Your classes are cancelled. The students will go to the opening ceremony."

I treble-checked. "Well, thank you, Angela. But would you mind asking the director for me now, just to be absolutely sure. It seems that most of my colleagues have classes as normal, so I wonder why only my classes are cancelled." Yep, the boss confirmed it - no classes for me on Thursday. Whoopee!

I quadruple-checked. I was in the faculty office early the next morning doing some printing, and bumped into my teaching assistant. "So, no classes for me today, Diana?" "No, class is cancelled."

An hour or so later, I was heading out into the city to enjoy my unexpected day of freedom..... when I bumped into one of my British teaching colleagues. He said, "Diana is looking for you. She says your class has been 'uncancelled'."

We both laughed.

Then I said, "You ain't seen me, right?" and left on my walk.

Ah, those far-off days of innocence!

I did rather enjoy that wonderful non-word: a rare instance of Chinglish being usefully inventive - 'uncancelled'.

And hence, that anecdote was all preamble to announcing that my blog is now unbanned again.

I think, in fact, it was only 'down' for a day or two - but once you've taken to using proxies to evade a block, you don't easily find out when the block is lifted again. I imagine it was probably an automatic sanction, perhaps imposed because I had injudiciously linked to a couple of China-based blog sites that had been blocked already.

Even better news - YouTube is also back!! Heck, the Chinese Internet seems to be pretty much back to 'normal'.

Does that mean the Tibetan crisis is blowing over? Or does it mean that the Chinese leadership has started taking my advice??

No, it's probably just that the hopeless assclowns can't make up their minds.


Anonymous said...

Haha. That's a good story. Uncancelled.

Froog said...

Good to hear from you again, OMG.

You must let us know when you get a chance to use the word yourself. Perhaps you could write a post about it on your blog.