What is up with commies and their crackdowns? China loves to ignore the enforcement of various laws almost year round except for brief spurts of frantic ticket giving , fining , and confiscations.

Usually these crackdowns have no effects on me considering they are usually directed at various brothels , motorbikes with illegal plates , unregistered dogs , street vendors , etc. Ignore the people driving around on improper license plates , taking 2 weeks to confiscate and fine the riders , and then over the 2 weeks completely ignoring the problem again.

However , the new big thing going around now is directed against foreigners.  Now they are cracking down against the “three bigs”.

1. Illegal Entry ( More aimed at Southeastern Asians sneaking in looking for work and North Koreans escaping hell.)

2. Overstaying Visas

3. Illegal Employment.

I have nothing to worry about since I fall into none of those categories but it means dealing with carrying around a copy of passport and visa at all times. Dealing with potential spot checks near popular foreigner hot spot hangouts , maybe a knock on my door looking at residence registration , and an overall atmosphere of paranoia and checking over your shoulder for the man. The mix of Shanghai’s summer humidity and oppressive paranoia wouldn’t make a pretty mix.

Last week the authorities (around 50 cops) showed up to Yongkang Lu and a bar called The Apartment . Both super hot spot for foreigners (and near my house) to check for papers. They have a passport/visa number checker machine and if the indicator light turns green you are good to go if red it’s trouble.

Two recent events most likely influenced this crackdown. That of a Russian cellist (formerly) working for the Beijing Symphonic Orchestra and his verbal abuse of a fellow Chinese train rider and that of a drunken British tourist trying to sexually assault a Chinese girl and then Chinese guys beating the hell out of the Brit.

Screw both of these assholes. These things are horrible enough to do in your own countries and when they are done in foreign countries it does much to ruin international respectability and is a great loss of face. The Chinese government knows its populace is maddened at the events and they turn this anger outward towards the foreigners wanting to turn the attention away from themselves and how badly they can treat their own population. This attention also is turned outward on everyone. Not just the Russians or the British it becomes an against them (foreigners). You know , us 1.3 billion people versus them 5.7 billion people.

I wish “the man” would be man enough and own up to the cause of this being these two events instead of side stepping the issues , claiming the crackdown is completely unrelated , all while bringing up the calls to kick out the foreign trash.

Okay enough , please don’t block or re-block, or crack down on roomaomao just trying to teach the little kids and enjoy a brew.

Moment of the Day – “Fast Food”

Whether it be on the streets, tucked into an alley, or clustered together on the corner ,Shanghai starts to fill up with stands and mobile street carts plying a wide variety of foods at night. Fried rice , skewers of meat and veggies , soups , you got it. Some of these vendors have the proper permits   and many . many, do not.

Some nights , due to police or city management, areas which are hot spots for late night eats can be totally deserted.

Last week,   while waiting for my girlfriend to get out of her company dinner I was standing on the corner of Fuxing Zhong Rd. and Xiangyang Nan Rd. drinking a beer and watching people go by.

A lady had set up a little fried-rice cart in the bike lane on Xiangyang Nan Rd (21:45ish so the street wasn’t busy) and was busy frying up some rice in her wok. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that all of a sudden she started to pack away her cart , grab all the things to secure them on the table , cut the propane tank’s gas , turn the cart around , dash maybe twenty meters down the street , and then turn into a little alleyway to lay low. After maybe about 40 minutes , with no city workers or police coming by, she emerged from the alley , and re-setup show in the exact location she was in before. My guess is that a friend / fellow vendor called her with a warning that city workers/police had been seen somewhere around and she booked it until another call told her it was safe.

Stay in China long enough and you will see this scene plenty of times or maybe even catch the city management harassing some of the vendors.

I witnessed a particularly funny scene in Nanjing near the Confucius temple. An old lady and little boy approached a pineapple vendor who cut the pineapples up and served them skewered up. While the lady was trying to decide the vendor noticed cops making their way over. He urged the lady to hurry up and that he had to go . She fumbled around in her purse looking for coins in the slow way old ladies do things and the guy rode off leaving the lady still looking for change.  Haha.