There was a front-page headline in China Daily yesterday proclaiming China’s Internet was almost fully recovered from the havoc caused by a broken cable off the Taiwan coast. In at most two more weeks, the article said, the Internet here would be 100 percent up and running.
Over the past 24 hours, the change has been dramatic. I can now access my site in seconds from my office (though I would never look at my site while at the office). I can actually watch youtube videos and download files (from home, of course) and open multiple browser windows – things that were unthinkable just a few days ago.
So it’s a shame that I still won’t be able to post for the foreseeable future. Sometimes in life we have to make really painful decisions. This one’s especially painful, since I just got to Beijing and people were expecting lots of first-hand commentary on life here.
I think anyone who has ever worked on a huge PR project with unending deadline pressure can relate to my situation. And since it’s global, I need to be on the phone at the oddest hours of the night and morning; you hardly feel like it’s your own life you’re living. On the other hand….I am really enjoying the work and giving it 100 percent. It’s good to know that you’re really making a difference and making a contribution. In Taiwan I often felt I was just…there. Now at least I am being fully utilized (pardon the jargon) and getting paid for what I like to do most, writing and working with the media.
So rejoice in the China Internet’s resurrection, even though this blog will still be laying relatively low (guest writers, however, have been doing some great stuff here lately). It won’t be forever, but it will be for some months to come.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.