Friday, 31 May 2013

St Kilda Film Festival's Youth Short Film Competition


St Kilda Film Festival from Cindy He on Vimeo.

This was filmed on the night of 29th May.

No, I did not use a tripod.

To be honest, I sound like a 10 year old kid.  A 10 year old Asian kid.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

What makes Australia so great? It definitely isn't the quality of journalism.

As I was about to leave my criminal law lecture today (a lecture which I paid no attention to), I randomly asked the two people sitting on either side of me:

"What do you guys think about Australia?"

"Can you give me a context to that?"

Why yes Peter, I can:

According to the latest OECD Better Life Index, which analyses 34 of the world's developed economies based on categories like income, health, housing, education and life satisfaction, Australia is the happiest nation in the world, a title we've won three times in a row.

In general, Australians are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 84% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc). This figure is higher than the OECD average of 80%.
In addition to this, I told Peter and Alex that when asked what made Australia such a great country, answers generally reflected a shared appreciation of multiculturalism and fairness in our society.  People on Yahoo ASK (because that's a totally reliable site) said:

-          The fair-go attitude and the help-your-mate spirit as well as the relaxed she'll be right way of looking at things.

It is also the most beautiful land.
I was not born here but I call Australia home
The multi-culturalism here is true-blue. (Sure, there are few idiots who ruin it for most ofus - but then again, every country has them.)

Cheers

It is also the most beautiful land. I was not born here but I call Australia home The multi-culturalism here is true-blue. (Sure, there are few idiots who ruin it for most ofus - but then again, every country has them.)
Cheers

  It means a lot to me. Australia is a secular, democratic humane nation where human rights comes first. I am proud to call this great nation my home.
NO MATTER HOW FAR I MAY ROAM, I STILL CALL AUSTRALIA HOME
born in sri lanka and been living in Australia for over 30 years

In my 55 years I have never been hungry.I am educated freely.Should I take ill, medicine and health care is available and free.I am allowed to go where and when I please without hindrance of any kind.I am able to eat 3 times a day , more if I want to.I can vote for my Leaders.I can become one of those Leaders should I so desire.I am FREE.I have always had a roof over my head but should that change, my country will provide for me.I am welcome anywhere in the world, because the wonderful ANZACS that protect me make it so.And I am damn bloody grateful for all that.



With his eyes still firmly glued onto the Google images gallery of a bikini clad Home and Away actress ("Oh my god, Cindy look, she's so hot, homggg"  "Wow she could almost pull off that mixed-race Asian look" "What the heck are you on about?"), Alex simply offered a "no way" before Peter said something like "Really? Wow.  What sort of study is this.  I'm surprised - the Australian media is so racist."

"Racist?"  I asked.

"Yeah - A Current Affairs, Today Tonight?" he looked at me expectantly.

Ahhh yes.  Not since my ignorant days as a socially inept 5 ft 2 year seven student have I watched an ACA or TT program, and thinking it was actual news.  I do miss those subtle thematic jabs of 'yellow peril'/'Asian wave'.  And Tracy Grimshaw's hair.  Always ahead of the soccer mum trend.  I hope no-one forgot about this fiasco:

All-Asian mall?! ACA beat-up exposed by local rag


Qualitaay.

Anyway, the fact that Peter and Alex's immediate reactions were ones of uber scepticism actually surprised me.  I mean, I think Australia's pretty great even compared to Canada (too cold) and New Zealand (too New Zealand and the only thing that makes up for this is Flight of the Conchords).  On the issue of racism, perhaps I haven't taken the Frankston line or hung out with Collingwood supporters enough to see how badly entrenched racism is in some parts of the community.

Personally, I still think the issue of racism in Australia has been fairly exaggerated by the media.  While some subconscious discrimination might still exist among the older generations, I'm sure that by the time my peers have entered the workforce and some of them becoming employers themselves, job candidates won't be rejected simply because they have the surname Wong or Jayasinghe.  Or not be given promotions because Caucasian employers think it's better to have Caucasian faces fronting the company.  If people say 'racism' is still a big problem in Australia, then I think this sort of implicit discrimination is much more prevalent than old women on the trains going "MY GRANDFATHER FOUGHT FOR THIS COUNTRY. NOW YOU FOREIGN FUCKERS HAVE TO COME AND SCREW IT ALL UP."

Then again, I grew up in the suburban sprawl of Monash, which is considered one of the most multicultural areas in, like, the world.  I don't know whether this means my judgment is biased because I've been stuck in this enclave for too long or whether it actually means I'm right, because of Monash being a heightened example of the multiculturalism that already exists across Melbourne.

Regardless of shitty mainstream journalism and Collingwood supporters and racists on the Frankston line, Melbourne is still a pretty awesome place to call home.  Have you guys ever noticed the massive number of artsy festivals we hold here?  We've got the International Coffee Expo that just happened (or is still ongoing, I haven't checked) and the Emerging Writers' Festival and the St Kilda Film Festival happening right now - at the exact same time.

Also, ask any international student what they think about Australia and I'm sure the verdict is usually very positive.  Ask any Chinese international student what they think and it'll be:

- more relaxed, laidback
- clean environment e.g. "WOW I can actually see BLUE SKIES."  "NO PIGS IN DA YARRA. HURDUR."
- greater social mobility
- no toxic baby milk powder
- less homework, school is easy, maths is especially easy :D   No Gaokao craziness
- fairer society
- more considerate community, meaning one that is more willing to help strangers
- crap Chinese food


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

'Chinese-Australian' was mentioned. I find this hilarious.

Click to enlarge.








4chan's taste in film:

Click link to see actual words.

1. Pulp Fiction
2. Fight Club
3. Blade Runner
4. The Big Lebowski
5. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
6. The Dark Knight
7. The Godfather
8. The Shawshank Redemption
9. 2001: A Space Odyssey 
10. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope



Movies: 'The Great Gatsby', 'An Education'


If you haven't seen the trailer already, here it is - it looks pretty amazing.  And the soundtrack - what in the actual fuck.  It's beautiful.  Jay-Z making jazz is like finding out Blue Ivy actually exists.  Okay.  Not really.
Because jazz is music and Blue Ivy is a baby.  And honestly, I don't even care about Blue Ivy.  Perhaps I'd care more about the fact that a couple named their baby Blue Ivy.
She's blue - so she's a melancholy soul.
She's ivy - so she's a woody evergreen Eurasian climbing plant.
So now she's going to grow up and have kids randomly yell out "Melancholy woody evergreen Eurasian climbing plant! LEL!" during class.

Who wouldn't?  Once in a lifetime opportunity to call someone a melancholy woody evergreen Eurasian climbing plant.










Get your shit together news.com.au.

Now I haven't heard very good things about The Great Gatsby.  While it boasts pretty splendiferous visuals and has a cool soundtrack, Bakker says:

Not surprisingly, The Great Gatsby is exceedingly grand (Catherine Martin’s production design and costumes are, as always, spectacular), but there’s something slightly shallow about the whole affair. The sets, particularly Gatsby’s colossal mansion, come off as something from a Disney film, while others appear as if they’ve been stolen from Gone With The Wind. 

There’s a heart and soul that is missing from Gatsby. Where Romeo + Juliet inspired for its innovation and grittiness, and Moulin Rouge for its heart, it’s difficult to connect solidly to any of the characters here.
 
As the mysterious Gatsby, Leonardo DiCaprio is charming enough, but he’s surprisingly one-dimensional, not really delving into the desperate yearning he has for true social acceptance, and the obsessive love that so grips Gatsby for Daisy. At times, DiCaprio even appears a little unsure, as if taking on such an iconic American character is a little much, and he’d rather be back in a Martin Scorsese mob flick with baggy clothes and a bad haircut. 

British actress Carey Mulligan just doesn’t have the charisma that she showed in her breakout role in An Education to make you believe that a man such as Gatsby would crawl over broken glass for her, and she almost becomes something of a background player.

Um, WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT CAREY???!!! *waves fist*

This review disappoints me.  Not because it was a badly written review (perhaps it was), but because two actors I really like just got dissed.

And I can't believe Carey Mulligan lacked charisma - lacked charisma!! - in Gatsby.  This girl was awesome in An Education and her brilliant performance was the main thing that made that movie as good as it was.

An Education, which is one of my all time favourite movies, conveys a message that really strikes a chord with me on a personal level.

Set in the swinging 60s, it's about Jenny, a highly intelligent school girl who suddenly finds herself swept into the arms of a wealthy, sophisticated, glib-tongued playboy, David - who is twice her age.  Soon, she neglects whatever wishes she had for attending Oxford and instead, parties at jazz clubs and jets off to Paris with the mystery man.  All goes splendidly, until the mystery behind the man is finally revealed...

There are two things I really loved about the movie.

First, apart from the age gap, being swept into a whirlwind adventure of love and lust by an utterly charming stranger - and dancing in the streets of Paris, visiting little book shops on the corner, discovering hidden coffee shops and being given lots of expensive gifts - isn't that every girl/woman's (subconscious) fantasy?  This movie was appealing because it gave women the chance to see how this fantasy would play out.  It's fun, exciting, and most of all - intriguing in an almost suspenseful way - because David's background is always shrouded in dark secrecy.  The fact that he's much older and Jenny is a schoolgirl makes things a bit naughtier too.  I like it naughty hurhur.  And yes, some women really dig that sense of not knowing what they're getting into, especially with an older man who can take you into a whole new world of riches.

I, personally, prefer getting chased around sprinklers in the city by my leading man during the night time, in slow motion, with lots of close ups and rapid 360 degree shots.
So. Romantic.
Amirite.

Secondly, Mulligan plays a very young and existentially naive school girl, yet still managed to channel a sense of (false) maturity into her character with the way she confidently manoeuvred herself among the adult crowd, charming everyone with her refined manners, knowledge of the arts and cultural sophistication (dat penchant for jazz and French cigarettes).   Deep down, she was still a child.

I really enjoyed that dichotomy - because it showed that a girl can act like a woman, but not yet be one.  It also showed that an educated mind does not necessarily mean a mature one - you can be book smart but you can be life dumb.  Yeah.

The notion of 'true love', which has been overly perpetuated in chick flicks as the one thing you can sacrifice everything else for, is not as beautiful and simple as it first seems - and it can turn ugly very quickly.

*SPOILER*

In the end, Jenny gets burned and her dream of going to Oxford is shattered.  When David leaves her, her life cruelly falls apart.  This was the watershed moment for me.  Throughout the entire movie, it seemed that David and Jenny truly fell for each other - their personalities matched and they shared all the same passions and interests.  They were perfect.  And yet, his shady past could not make up for their love.  And though Jenny, who was already his fiancée, had given David another chance to explain himself - despite EVERYTHING he had hidden from her, he left her because he could not face up to the shame and embarrassment.

He loses.  She loses everything.  No one wins.

This is until she begs her teacher (cos the school rejected her) to teach her again and repeats a year of schooling, aces her exams and...
Gets into Oxford.  Like a boss.

So yes, in a corny way, she neglected one education for another - a life lesson.

That's why I loved this movie.  There was no sugar-coated lovey-dovey happy ending.  There was no "I SACRIFICED EVERYTHING TO BE WITH HIM" sort of shit.

Honestly, as a student, screwing up my education (which is usually the pathway to success) is probably my biggest fear.  Ever.

So this movie had a pretty deep meaning to me.  It was realist.  It doesn't tell you to not love; it tells you to be careful about what decisions you make - to empower yourself and be independent.  To value your opportunities to further yourself.

I don't care what bitchez say about this movie being uber conservative or whatever.  I don't even think it is.  Idek.

The movie also has some lol moments.  Which is... gr8.

4 stars for An Education.

Monday, 20 May 2013

All singing shows

Host: "I'm sorry...but..."

No smile.
Sad faec.
Poignant look in eyes.
Uber long dramatic pause.
Dead silence.

Crowd fav contestant tears up.
Starts to crai.
Clutches edge of armchair cos 2painful.
Knows it's over.
It's over.
Lifelong dream crushed in 2 seconds.
Heart breaks to pieces.
World falling apart.
Wants to die.
Is dying.

Host: "But..."

Contestant sobs. 
Wails.
Given up on lyf.
Onset of a heart attack.
Asthma playing up.
Can't breathe.
Clutching chest.

Host: "But... you can't see your family yet because YOU MADE IT TO THE NEXT ROUND, CONGRATZ!!!"

Contestant: "OMG OMG OMG YISSSSS IM SO FKN HAPPY I COULD DIE RIGHT -"

Coughs. Splutters. Falls to floor. 
Heaving. Spits out blood. One last gasp. Smiles.
Groans.
Dies.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The only time I've ever listened to myself speak for CRI was when I copied those links to this blog.
Two things stand out immediately:
- I ramble on a lot
- WHY IS MY VOICE SO HIGH WHY WHY omg I'm an anime girl.

Today I had my Chinese oral presentation and my friend, Martin, said "shit" twice during his speech.  He also made a facetious one liner':
"I like schools with a good environment, where I can feel the softness of healthy green grass in the school yards and watch butterflies flutter around the hedges."
*he pauses to let us laugh*
...
...
...
*nobody laughs*

I was laughing on the inside.

Then he finished up, not with a "thanks for listening" but "YEAHHHH".

And then.

"Thanks for listening."


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Movie: Perfect Blue

A psychological thriller that has a live action movie
plot.  Genuinely fascinating but a bit OTT. 
Disclaimer:  I don't do proper reviews.  I'm just a ranter.


Time included the film on its top 5 anime DVD list.
Perfect Blue ranked #25 on Total Film's all-time animated films.
It also made the list for Entertainment Weekly's best movies never seen from 1991-2011.


If I had to sum this movie up in three words, it would be:

What the fuck.

This isn't to say I disliked it.  I liked it, overall.  But again, even if the movie is pretty great, there is only so much high-pitched whining and screaming from female anime characters that I can humanly tolerate before my ears start bleeding Niagara falls.  

At times, I feel like I'm just watching Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Pikachu get pissed at something for 90 minutes - weirdly cute, really annoying and yet strangely compelling.

Anyway.  

My 'wtf' verdict isn't because the movie was really inexplicably weird like those McDonald's ads in Japan or lul Fudoh: The Next Generation - a Japanese gangster movie which had schoolgirl assassins shooting poisoned needles out of their vaginas.  Yes, you sure read that right.

It was 'what the fuck' because it felt like the director, Satoshi Kon, conveniently made everyone in this movie absolutely fucking crazy.  So at the end, when you try and process which characters were the real crazies, you're just like...."wait - no - but they're ALL crazy! HAR HAR HAR OHHH SATOSHI YOU JOKER!"


Kasey Chamber's singing voice: Am I naht pretty enough???

Here's the plot summary:

Mima was a pop idol, worshipped by the masses until fashion dictated otherwise. In order to salvage her career, she is advised to drop music and pursue acting. A soap opera role is offered but Mima's character is less clean cut than desired. Regardless, she agrees and events take a turn for the worse. She begins to feel reality slip, that her life is not her own. She discovers (imagines) her identical twin, a mirror image that hasn't given up singing. Internet sites appear describing every intimate detail of her life and a figure stalks her from the shadows. Her friends and associates are threatened (and killed) as Mima descends into a dangerous world of paranoid delusion. She fears for her life and must unravel fact from illusion in order to stay alive. Perfect Blue represents a major change from traditional anime subject matter, analysing the pop icon phenomenon, fame and its psychological impact on the performer.



Sounds freakin' deep.  And I guess the film is, for touching on a lot of taboo topics like mental illness (?) and rape and unsavoury pop industry practices - but dammit, I laughed a bit harder than I should when I read all the comments on IMDB, which went along the lines of:

Guyz, I'm confused. Whut's happening.  Plz explain the ending to me cos I thought they were ALL crazy.  How can that be?   How can it be THAT coincidental?  HOW?

LUL OMGAD SAME THING I THOUGHT! CYBER HAI FIVE.


Is this even from Perfect Blue? wtf. 

What made Perfect Blue a good movie was how it unravelled.  Like an Alfred Hitchcock film, it kept me on the edge of my seat (for most of the movie at least, until I had to walk away at one point because she was screaming like a fucked up beta version of Hatsune Miku).  


The truth is highly elusive -  what's real, what's not? The movie keeps you guessing all the time.  You have no idea what direction the movie will take next.  It's like a roller coaster ride and you can't see the tracks.  You're hovering in space and letting some unknown force swing you into unforeseen cliffhangers.  So that was really fun.

Kon is really good at blurring the lines between fantasy, delusion and reality.  He is really a legend in the sense that loads of other movies have ripped off his ones.  
e.g.
Christopher Nolan ripped off Paprika for Inception (but he admitted it lul) and Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan were also total rips heavily influenced by Perfect Blue.

I also liked it because it was an anime with huge shock value.  I thought its depiction of rape was brave in that it was quite brutal (or. Kon: THIS WILL GET ME FANBOYZ! *CHUCKS A RAPE SCENE IN THERE*) and I also wondered about how much awareness this movie raised for people suffering from mental disorders, seeing as this is usually a taboo topic, especially among Asian societies.  Praise for that.  

The main character - her growing frustration, her attempts to convince herself that she did the right thing, her overwhelming guilt, her fear and her eventual self-hatred - that was pretty well depicted e.g. the train scene where she's getting off and starts getting paranoid about a possible stalker.  However, if this movie were live action - it would have been MUCH more effective and heart-breaking.  I also think there would be no need for corny voice-overs and unnecessary scenes where the 'illusion' version of herself is flying everywhere like fucking Mary Poppins.  

The artwork was not exceptional, although I still very much enjoyed it and its circa 1995 milieu e.g. "Wut is computer?"

It was bad because the ending was a sort of cop out, imo.  For reasons already mentioned.  

Overall. 3.5 stars.  Would have given 4 were it not for DAT ANIME VOICE.


2013 QS World University rankings for law: Melbourne University 5th, Monash University 13th

Because rankings mean everything - amirite?
EVERYTHING.


Congratulations UoM, you beat Stanford and Columbia. 
Congratulations Monash Uni, ANU sucks our dick now.
Congratulations Victoria University law school, you aren't listed. 


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

My weekly radio segment with China Radio International:

I say the word "interesting" way too much.
Way way too much.
I also need to stop going "glad to be on the show" and "thanks for having me" every single time he welcomes me or when I sign off.  I sound like a Betty Draper robot.

For those who don't know, I do a small weekly segment with John Artman from China Radio International in Beijing.  As their Melbourne correspondent, he calls me and we do a short light-hearted discussion on a local news story or event here in Australia.  Our segment is aired every Sunday afternoon at 1pm Beijing time - which is 3pm here in Melbourne.

Topics could range from things like the Queen visiting to the Moomba Festival to omgpeoplearecolouringtheirdogsredtolooklikeClifford??!?!  


China Radio International was founded on December 3, 1941.  It's a state-owned radio station which has links with 30 other bureaus around the world.  They have shows focused on issues all around the globe as a way of promoting connections with China and showing mutual understanding of global issues.  

John is an American expat living in Beijing.  He also writes frequently for one of my favourite sites - www.beijingcream.com which is pretty much Beijing's version of Gawker.  




^ Beijing.
If you have never seen a map before. Which should be unlikely,
because even if you live in a basement under your parents'
house, you could still access the internet.
#gonzojournalismftw

I've actually been doing this show for a while but I've never posted anything about it until now.  Because now I have a nice new blog that isn't filled with 1000 word rants about how Bruno Mars is the antichrist + lots of sixteen year old teenage angst.  Ugh. 

Anyway.  Here's a few interviews I did recently - have a listen 
Also the rest of the program have really good topics as well.  If you're studying Asian studies or really interested in contemporary Chinese society, then.... WHY ARE YOU NOT DOWNLOADING THE PODCASTS ALREADY?

To all my friends who have known about my stint with CRI, sorry to keep you waiting - you can finally listen to my voice all day erryday:

5/5/2013:  Queensland Minister for Transport Scott Emerson legalises the use of segways on footpaths and roads - even when it's banned in other countries for being too unsafe:
(Oh good old Queensland, doing things for the lulz)

Yes, Queensland, that is your minister of transport.
Oozes.  Cool.

21/4/2013:  New study by Curtin University finds that young Australians who are shown CGI images illustrating the effects of smoking on their appearances later in life are more successful in quitting.  

14/4/2013: Freak winds in Melbourne causes a heritage listed wall to crumble and crush three people to death - Melbourne reacts strongly - how could it be allowed to happen? Who's responsible??? 

31/3/2013: Permission given by Melbourne City Council to build the Southern Hemisphere's tallest (LUXURY RESIDENTIAL) building (WITH A 6 STAR HOTEL) - Australia 108 - but there are claims this building will cast a shadow over the Shrine of Remembrance.  WHAT DO??!?!

Why did I even caps.

Yeah.

Dat feel.

Photos from my trip to China: Beijing, Tianjin, Foshan, Guangzhou, HongKong, Macau

 I still have a very ambivalent approach to this blog.  Should I keep my posts relatively tame and politically correct or just be the facetious douchebag that I usually am? 

If Gawker's Caity Weaver can write like a pretentious hotshot social commentator and still get a coolish job while sounding like someone you want to be best friends with, then mayhaps - there is still a future for me.

Facetious douchebag it is - here's a gratuitous smiley

^_^

I've never posted photos of myself on my previous blog.  I've had Facebook since the start of 2011 and I think last week was the first time I actually uploaded a photo album.

Point is.
I hate taking photos.
I hate seeing myself in photos.
What if I write something really offensive and 10 years later, my boss finds it and sees my photo and is like "WTF YOU'RE FIRED!"

#yolo
amirite.

My mum likes to clandestinely sneak up on me and snap a few - which is enough to put me in a physical malaise for the rest of the week when she goes "Oh honey, I just sent my friends in China a photo of you because they wanted to see what you look like!"  "Which...one?"  "Oh, just the one where you've just woken up and your hair looks like a cadaverous piece of shit."

THANKS MUM.

However. 
I'm going to try and change all this because lul pictures are worth a thousand words (even if my hair looks like roadkill).  Nothing is more powerful than visual stimuli (even if my hair looks like roadkill). 

So, here goes.

Edit: I totally regret this post (guess I WILL be keeping this blog a lot cleaner than my old)

CHINA 中国


After 14 years of stringent isolationist policies ranging from NO FRIENDS OVER to OVERSEAS TRAVEL? OK TASMANIA, my parents finally decided it was time to take me back to my motherland.  It was an overdue trip because I'm actually a really special kid.

I actually really wanted to go back to China.
I was so excited.
And.
I loved China. 
I loved China so much, that in the feedback I got for my first Asian studies assignment, my lecturer said:

"These arguments would only be put forward by a Chinese nationalist."

And from then on, I semi-proudly-semi-facetiously introduced myself to new peeps as that Chinese patriot who grew up all her life in Melbourne, Australia AKA a consummate weirdo.

(This is a big thing for me guys. Posting pics of myself. Somehow, this feels REALLY WRONG.)

Tianhe mall in Guangzhou. All the coloured sticky notes behind me are
notes left by people declaring their undying love on Chinese Valentine's day.

I'M COOL.

I look like such an investigative reporter here at a local street market in Foshan.
Look at me.
My shoes are made of melons.
Consummate swag.

Outside a seafood restaurant in Foshan.
There are small vulnerable children in that van.
#investigativereporter - live at the scene.
Why am I so obsessed with China?  Why do I feel so strongly about a country that until the start of this year, I hadn't been back to since I was four years old?  I'm sure the answer to this trenchant question has enamoured each and every one of you for a long time.  

Well folks, I was actually born in Foshan, China.  I came over here when I was two years old when human traffickers decided to sell me to two really hot Aussie lesbians  my parents decided to migrate to Australia and have another child.  They gave up great jobs to come here.  My mum worked as a radio DJ and my dad for the government.


Outside my aunt's apartment - Foshan.


After settling in Australia, my mum was fortunate enough to find a job at a nascent Melbourne Chinese radio station.  Being a radio DJ and a part time journalist, she gets to attend tonnes of events and parties and concerts.  But all of these events were of course, super Asian.  

Ever since I was young, I'd been taken along to countless concerts featuring Chinese opera and traditional dance.  At first, I thought they were kind of weird but I unconsciously began to develop a really deep appreciation for that sort of cultural stuff that none of the other kids liked e.g. no other ABC (Australian born Chinese [even tho I ain't even Australian born]) would know who Yang Liping is.

I also watched loads of classic Chinese dramas like The Return of the Pearl Princess and Journey to the West = my childhood.



MASSIVE FAIL.
Beijing pics now.

We went to Beijing the week during New Years'.
Also the COLDEST PERIOD in Winter.
Also the COLDEST WINTER that Beijing had experienced for the past
few years.
DIED.

BADASSERY: Falungong at Tiananmen outside the The Great Hall of the People
 (I think that's the one).
AI WEIWEI ARE YOU PROUD OF ME?

Now before I go on - let me reassure you that I am usually sane, reasonable and logical.  I am open to new ideas and I don't like being close minded.  And I am A CHANGED PERSON.

When I was younger though, my parents watched so many Chinese propaganda war movies and told me all about the Rape of Nanking.  They are as Chinese as you can get.

This is going to sound fucked up but I was that kid who got really excited when the history teacher was like "okay year tens, the next in class assessment is an essay on whether you think the atomic bombings were justified."  YUP. No prizes for guessing which side of the debate I chose.

I think I was the only kid to get an outstanding on that test.  I knew all my dates.  Got a little bit passionate.   Got a little bit scary.  

But I've matured since then.



This is embarrassing but fortunately I have very high self esteem.

Outside that swimming pool place they used for the '08 Olympics.
That's my bro. He's highly un-photogenic.
Not intended to be an insult.

SHE MUST BE FREEZING.
Dis newlywed.
But yeah. Photobombed dat sheet. Can't find the pic tho.

  I'm definitely not a nationalist in the conventional sense.  I can't even be regarded as a real patriot.

I mean, I love China in a way that's almost inexplicable.  I (have to) speak Cantonese at home and my parents are very much entrenched in the Melbourne Chinese community circle.  Apart from lifelong exposure to Chinese culture and being given the rare opportunities to see all these big wonderful cultural concerts - I had my own realisations.

Reading about the milk scandals, the toxic rivers, dying children, families in poverty, corrupt officials and most of all, the social injustice that seemed to be everywhere in the country - DAMN.

I was already pretty passionate about human rights but reading about all this abuse in China made me so desperately want to do something to help.  While I grew up in Australia, I felt that I had an ability to make a difference if I went back.

CORNY I KNOW.  And a very generic diaspora story at that.

Outside the gates to the Summer Palace.



But that's me - idealistic. 
And a bit machiavellian, as I like to think.



Hai gentlemen.

It's like I'm addicted to uploading photos of myself now.
Jezuz.
It's me kissing the Great Wall.

In Italian Town in Tianjin.

Random Beijing pic - near Tiantan. 

Macau pics:

Inside the Casino. But not in the actual gambling areas cos lul
21yrs + bitchez.

Outside Casino Lisboa. Centre of Macau.
Bro: What am I doing here.

A golden hotel. Better take a picture.

Hugeass golden building.  Better take a picture.


Shiny buildings. Better take a picture.

Bro: Get me the fuck out.

Who is this qt?

I enjoy architectural design = not pleb
Portuguese influences cos if you live under a rock,
Macau was a Portuguese colony. 

I'M FABULOUS.
Park in Macau. With lots of blue rubbish bins.

Bro: Okay fineeeeee I'll do the stupid hip thing. *duckface*
Why is he not the most popular kid in school already?
- Old streets of Macau at night.

The iconic St Paul's Cathedral. Built in 1602.
Bro: whut. 

Macau was very beautiful. The streets were paved with stone slabs and there was a heavy European feel to the city because of Macau's history.


Hong Kong:

Bro: Get me out. plz.
- Times Square, Hong Kong

Ughhhhh.

Bro: Fk lyf.


Both of us: CAN WE GO BACK NOW?!
(legit)




I'M COOL.


Next James Cameron.
- Hong Kong skyline at Victoria Harbour

Me: STOP SLEEPING.
Bro: Get me the fuck out of here.

Back in Guangzhou, Chimelong Resort Safari Park:





For five bucks, I would've stood up and screamed ANIMAL TORTURE!

Bro: Finally. Fun.


Har har I'm so hilarious.






Outside a local cinema.  We watched that new movie starring Tony Leung
and Zhang Ziyi.  Cbf looking up.

Mum: Come on and smile!
Bro: NO. Instead, I'm going to pretend to pick my nose and immortalise
myself like this forever.  Fk the world.
(If he sees this, he's going to kill me)

A marriage ceremony for 50 couples in Foshan.

Bro: Eughhhhhhh.
Massive movie set in Nanhai: that building is an imitation of the imperial palace!
Inside, there are many different locations where films like
Hawthorn Tree Forever and Ip Man: The prequel were filmed. 


Imitation of Suzhou.


An imitation of old buildings in Macau.


Where they filmed scenes in Ip Man.


A couple taking wedding pictures.
Photobomb opportunity not exploited.


Also, when we went, it was already really late and they were about to close.
In this massive movie park thing, only my mum and I were left wandering around.
It was surreal.




Outside a posh villa/country club/restaurant we ate at on our last night.

There were many memorable things about China.  I've blogged about them before so I may as well copy and paste it from my old blog if I really wanted to tell you what snake meat tastes like.

But the most memorable definitely had to be karaoke with these two qts:



AM I A PARTY ANIMAL OR AM I A PARTY ANIMAL?

Fyi yes. They are midgets. Dwarves. Whatever they want to be called.