Hello. This is an update post, therefore I have no relevant photos. Instead, I have wildly (wildly) over-indulged in my secret obsession with cheesy gifs. You have been fairly warned.
My blog uploading has been awful over the past month, which I’ll mostly attribute to three weeks in Myanmar with horrendously unreliable internet connections. I’m sorry! It’s down to all the photos, really. But a picture speaks a thousand words, and since I myself write several thousand words per blog, imagine how long they’d be if I left out the visual aids.
Anyway, today Peter and I will be taking a train from Hong Kong to China, where it transpires the Great Firewall prevents access to . . . well, all the fun stuff, basically.
Social media is out, completely. No Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (devastated). Gmail is a no-no. I may or may not be able to moderate comments on this blog. Oh yeah, and all the major news websites, Wikipedia, and pretty much everything that Google has ever touched.
This is particularly worrying for me since my laptop is a Chromebook and everything (literally everything) is saved only in Google’s cloud – which I won’t be able to access. I have no idea if my computer will even work since it requires a Google log-in to actually turn on. We’ll find out.
WordPress-hosted sites are also no-gos but this is a self-hosted site using WordPress as a platform which is supposedly fine. So I think I’ll be able to access it, and therefore maybe even write posts, but it does rather depend on whether I can log in on my computer in the first place, and I likely won’t be able to upload photos since the bandwidth in China is notoriously limited. I guess I can always add them in retrospectively!
Important: if you need to get in touch with me, please don’t use my Gmail account, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, or Twitter. (Also, um, don’t text or call me; I’ve had my phone on aeroplane mode for the past five months).
However WhatsApp is reportedly fine: please do contact me that way!
Hotmail seems to be sporadically available, but not reliably so. For old times’ sake I’ve resurrected the address I used when living in China 12 years ago: red_red_robyn [at] hotmail [dot] com. Memories! We’ll see how that goes.
I keep trying not to imagine China as it was, since if any country has changed beyond recognition in a decade, it’s this one. Nonetheless, memories of sitting hunched over glacial desktop computers in hostels, trying unsuccessfully to log in to Hotmail, may prove unfortunately accurate.
In early April, provided we can get visas, we’ll be heading to Mongolia. If not, then we’ll go straight to Kazakhstan. We’re crossing our fingers that internet access in both countries will be both freer and faster, although I fear we may be sorely disappointed.
See you on the other side . . .
(Bonus fact: other websites I frantically checked re: blocking included Nationwide, booking.com, Airbnb . . . and Pinterest. These things matter).