Sunday, June 20, 2004


I'm currently in the library, because I've already used enough of my internet account today and last night - I need to make it last until the end of the week!

This afternoon after lunch I walked into Civic just to have a look around. I had vague ideas about going to the National Museum or the Gallery, but it all seemed too hard, what with the bus there and the bus back and checking my bag in... So I just wandered around the shops for a few hours, with my sort-of objective being to finally find a winter coat. Of course I didn't find one (damn rowing and my abnormally wide shoulders!) but I did have a pleasant wander. On the way back I bought a baguette from a bakery because I've been missing decent bread, and a latte from The Capitalist Machine, because I've been missing decent coffee.

I took my camera with me and took some pretty cool pictures along the way, which I'll upload this evening sometime.

When I got into town there was this demonstration going on in the central square on the treatment of the followers of Falun Gong in China. There were your normal speeches and banners and supportive crowds. In addition to these though were live 'demonstrations' of the torture methods employed by the Chinese government against Falun Gong practitioners. People had dressed up, complete with wounds on their faces and blood on their clothes, and were being 'tortured' by others dressed in Chinese military uniforms. There was a woman locked in a cage that had nails pointing in at her on every side; a man with his arms and legs chained to a board; a tiny metal cage with a handcuffed woman inside, all looked over by the 'guards'.

It was pretty impossible not to be disturbed by it all - while I knew in my mind that it was all a demonstration, there was still a clear contrast between the looks on the faces of the 'prisoners' and on the faces of the 'guards'. Pretty powerful stuff. I would've taken photos, but it didn't really seem appropriate.

But apart from that rather disturbing beginning, all in all a very nice afternoon. Even if the man with whom I have a 'blossoming romance' wasn't able to join me! :p

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