2 Feb

It’s been a while, I know, I know… but it’s not entirely my fault!! I even have a few finished posts that have been sitting idly since October, waiting to be published. And there have actually been a few noteworthy (and maybe a few not-so-noteworthy) adventures!! Like:

  1. My e-bike got stolen and I had my first dealings with the local police.
  2. During National Holiday week I went to Suzhou, the “Venice of China.”
  3. I had a couple of job offers and one horrific job interview.
  4. I went for a lovely “hike” near around a water reservation
  5. A pre-Christmas holiday and visa-run to Hong Kong
  6. Our days of Shanghai expat gluttony that was Christmas and NYE
  7. I bought a 5kg block of cheese.

Unfortunately sometime in October the Great Firewall of China engulfed WordPress, the blogging platform I use and one of the last ones that China hadn’t banned, and hence I haven’t been able to access my own website. I initially thought it might just be temporary because it happened during the national holiday week and the internet generally becomes slower and more restricted around the holidays here but four months later it’s still not accessible. So, you see, not really my fault! Though it is my, or rather our, fault that it took us four months to purchase a VPN.  The actual purchase and installation of it took no more than 30 minutes, which included reading through all sorts-of unnecessary jargon, but the “We should get a VPN” – “Yeah, we definitely need a VPN” – “Which one is good?” – “Dunno, we should ask around” – “Yeah, we should definitely ask around” takes its time. Four months in our case.

Apart from being able access WordPress again, it has opened up so many other doors of the internet world: all the other blogging platforms like blogspot, tumblr, flickr, etc., google maps and images work flawlessly, clicking on sino-unapproved links doesn’t freeze the connection for 5 minutes… We’ve had it two nights and Dave and I have managed to catch up on 2 years of Never Mind the Buzzcocks episodes already. Ah, youtube, it’s good to have you back!

And you might even see me back on facebook… though I’m not making any promises!

I’m glad to be back and I hope  you’ll all come back, too. That’s it for today. I leave you with this video of the Chinese New Year fireworks filmed from our friends’ apartment in Shanghai. Excuse the swearing!



  1. unbravegirl February 3, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    Wahoo! Glad to see you’re back! I can’t believe you’ve survived this long in China without a VPN. I would seriously be a sad, sad person without my VPN… I’d probably also be a really productive person. But who cares about productivity? I have Youtube!

    • miravakily February 3, 2012 at 11:00 am #

      uhm no, i can tell you that no vpn definately does NOT result in being more productive! otherwise i probably would have gotten a vpn a lot sooner!! oh, and facebook already sucked me in, too!! DAMN YOU FB!

      • ellen schuett February 6, 2012 at 4:46 am #

        it sucked you in??? Not nice to catch up with all the messages and pics posted since your absence??? Bisous

  2. Nev February 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    Hi Mira. I’m arriving in China in a few days, but won’t be near your neck of the woods till late March, maybe very early April. I think time might be on our side, in which case we’d definitely hope to visit you in lovely Ningbo. Keep in touch – my email is raderjegx[at]gmail.com in case China’s firewall is rebuilt. Cheers.

    By the way, Burness and I only grow in each other’s affections daily.

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