Tag Archives: Tianjin

Streets of Rural Beijing

Ausländer im eigenen Inland? Why Beijing’s New Traffic Rules Compound Problems

The city of Beijing is promulgating two new regulations on the roads:—

  • Only cars with Beijing plates, as well as authorised, registered cars from elsewhere, may enter Beijing inside the 6th Ring Road (although they may use the 6th Ring itself, mainly for transit);
  • Long-term licences for cars from outside of Beijing will no longer be issued.

Its rationale: We need to keep the city to ourselves… we need to give Beijing cars priority in Beijing… so there!

And to that new rule I say: #FAIL. This is the typical knee-jerk reaction one expects from .gov.anywhere… EU citizens “overpopulate” Switzerland (are they not afforded “freedom of movement”?), so the Swiss go to the polls and literally votes them out (killer immigrant quotas to come); Beijing’s traffic gets awful, so City Hall goes and starts hurrying non-Beijing cars away from the centre of town.

Never before were you an alien in one’s own country. Or as the German would say, Ausländer im eigenen Inland. This is “logic” that defies logic.

It’s probably no secret much of the planet isn’t having its best days as of late. But rather than to exclude, we can elect to include

Include Tianjin and Hebei, nearby cities / provinces to Beijing, when you grow. Now the “CCP old guard” way to grow is to chuck the surrounding provinces all heavy industry. Great, so their people are polluted way further. (The next bit, then, is to throw them out to He’nan — a province already badly strangled in China when it comes to the image / inhabitants — He’nan people are on a lot of people’s “s**tlist” just for being He’nan people.) The new way, then, would be to dismantle or redo heavy industry, and spread them to parts near you (but outside of the Jing) so that they can both exist and no-one’s really gonna get hurt in all this.

Include the immigrants in your society and let them become you. If foreigners must be “foreign criminals”, that’s a Swiss fault as much as it is a foreign fault. The new way, then, would be to educate them better. Invest in the education of their home countries, so that they already know how to be better civilised before they move in.

To randomly exclude and to discriminate only makes an already bad situation worse. To be more inclusive towards all would make things much better.

Tianjin and Beijing…

…looks like a very crazy combination indeed:—

  • Geopolitically speaking, since they’re all municipalities under the control of China’s central government, they’re strong, politically and particularly economically. Guangzhou and Shanghai, on the other hand, are just dealing with “mere provinces” around them (although Guangzhou also has the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region interested). So that’d make the pair look a bit like Germany and France — both powerhouses in Europe, or probably the US and Canada.
  • Quality-wise speaking, if we deliberately choose to ignore high speed rail and what it did to Tianjin, we are looking at something a little poorer — a little like Switzerland and France, and at times, even Switzerland and Italy.
  • If we look at “how they are willing to zhuang bi, or to pretentiously “make up” to the stronger brother” (that’s Beijing), that’s just outright hilarious. It’s Apple and Samsung or even Apple and eMachines (remember these guys?).
  • If we look at the attitudes to life, though, it’s a little bit like German-speaking northern Switzerland versus the Italian-speaking Ticino in the south. One’s more serious; the other is way more relaxed.

But it’s the quality bit that hit me (rather, the lack of it). Whilst getting my hair done lately, I’ve been a little _____ enough to have watched Tianjin TV’s late-night news at 23:00. These guys ran something like ten ads that were the same in something like a 30-minute period. (They were ads that looked royalesque and featured supposedly an Italian (must’ve been the generic “cheap expat we can use for about a few thousand yuan for a fake ad” — I’ve heard of horror stories like that from the expat Twitterati in China) doing an ad for — out of all things — a light switch. Out of all things!) In Switzerland if you had a 30-second “main ad” by Advertiser A, followed by a 30-seconder by Advertiser B, then followed by another 10-seconder by Advertiser A, you’d feel ratty at Advertiser A already. In China, you’d wish they gave you America’s Second Amendment, as the pure repetitiveness of the ads are probably too scary. It’s a little bit extreme to, well, shoot yourself because of these ads, but you’d at least fair well feel like banging your head into the wall.

Just before the 23:00 news show, I ran into one of these “design-my-house-right” reality shows which I hated. Never mind that a bank I knew from the show was, well, “familiar to me” (although I know no real staff inside the thing). No, it was more a case that they decided to use “canned applause”, with even a little bit of the whistling effect. You can hear that they’re the same canned sound clip from around the second time they run it. I caught the “rhythm” the second time they used that canned clip. Again, a little wishful thinking of what might happen next to me if they gave us the Second Amendment. OK, I’ll let go of that. But seriously, don’t you feel like shoving your head into the fridge when all you hear on TV are like a thousand repeats of the same canned audio clip — featuring fake applause?

Whilst I’m sure I’d be banned from Tianjin for life (well, not actually) if I called it a little bit like a Shanzhai Beijing in the making, we do have to be real, folks, and face up to reality. HSR is probably one of the biggest blessings to hit the Jin — seriously. Train-wise, I’m also happy about their old Metro Line 1, but the signage on new lines look too much like Beijing. Different, though, is their accent (that spoken accent really stands out!), and their crazy road layout, and probably the road signs… and in fact I wish they’d keep that different.

Tianjin has something better to do than to mimic neighbouring Beijing — ultimately to the extent that they might want to incorporate themselves into Beijing altogether… I’d be sad when that would happen. I’d no longer have the “real life” (as in “unbureaucratic”) port city to rush to every week or so, when the Jing throws too much on me…

Tianjin Satellite TV: The 199 Yuan Phone That’s a Scam

Tracy was watching Young Bao Qing Tian lately on Tianjin Satellite TV. You’d probably that a centrally-governed municipality that’s about 30 minutes away from the capital by HSR is yet another world-class piece of art, so that Tianjin TV, too, must not suck.

But you’d be fatally mistaken. These guys get rid of lazy afternoons by — airing ten-minute long telemarketing infomercials that force you to buy a cheap, CNY 199.— shanzhai (rip-off) mobile phone. Forget Apple’s iPhone’s tinge of silver on the sides; this is supposedly gold plated. And, oh, its voice recognition system is so good that it knows what you want to do before you finish, if you watched the whole 10 minute spamvertisement in full.

Most incredible is how they try to be “covert” (if at all) about it. Instead of denouncing Apple, they brainwashed the audience with the phone’s copycat features and that “199” thing. Of course, for 199 yuan, one gets a sub-optimal makeshift (make-believe, even) phone. That old adage — “you get what you paid for!” — more than applies here.

I’m just shocked that Tianjin TV has OKed the infomercial. I’m more annoyed that the local company behind the spamvertisement (called “Real” — get real!) decided to use primitive methods at cheating (or attempting to cheat) the audience: by repeating stuff a hundred times or more. They must be fanboys of the notion that lies, repeated a thousand times, become the truth. I’m telling ya, the US does the whole thing much better — even Peking does this better (at times). When you try to manipulate minds by repeating the same thing a thousand times, you’re showing people your lack of confidence and lack of expertise in “propaganda-nomics” or “propaganda-ology” (take your pick).

My end, I’m not going to buy that fake ripoff. I’ve got my iPhones and I’m happy with ’em already.

PS: Onto something else: Anyone else know why on earth my iPhone 4 keeps having the hotspot (even if connected via USB) drop off by itself?…