Friday, April 25, 2008

No Mentally Impaired Allowed

On Wednesday I took a cab home after going up town for dinner and a drink. It was probably 11:00pm and when we turned into my neighborhood, the driver found that the street was closed off by the police, for an accident I presumed. I walked the short distance to my residence, and was surprised to find that not just a side street was closed off, but the entire boulevard running along the river was taped off. One person I asked said that it was closed off for a race. I crossed the street to my complex and anxiously waited to see if some runner, bicyclists or speeding cars would come racing 11 at night. After a while I got impatient and asked one of the policemen what was going on. He shrugged as if he didn't understand me. When I asked him a couple of more times, he still refused to answer. Must be some big officials coming by! Receiving a non-answer in situations like this is pretty common in China regarding official motorcades and anything else that is deemed so important that not even the answer "I can't tell you" is considered confidential information.

I arrived at my house and asked a couple what was going on, I finally got my answer, preparations for the Olympic torch relay next month. Cool! It's coming right by my house.

Friday when I came home from work, I found the following notice wedged into the outside door of my apartment. I think item #2 is especially interesting.

Resident Notice


To ensure the smooth operation of the "Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay Event", we request that each resident be aware and cooperate with the public security for each of the following tasks:

1. Each resident needs to perform a self-check (check that your electricity use, oil use, fire use and gas use is safe). From your balcony, sun deck and window, please collect any flower pots, poles, trash and any clothes hanging out to dry. This is to avoid any high altitude, heavy falling objects that might hurt pedestrians below.

2. Families with members that have a mental disorder or members that are unable to restrain themselves need to contact the neighborhood or public security bureau. They will be forced to live in the hospital for treatment or be kept away until the event concludes.

3. During the event, do not climb on the balcony, guard rails, roof or tree lattice. Setting off firecrackers is strictly forbidden. To the best of one's ability do not invite family, friends or colleagues to your house to watch.

4. Heighten your vigilence, prevent against anything that might sabotage the event. If you discover suspicious situations or suspicious people, please immediately make an official report to the public security bureau.

Haizhu District People's Government Chigang Street Office
Haizhu Public Security Chigang Street Police Station
April 20, 2008


尊敬的各位居民住户: 您们好! 为确保“北京2008年奥运会火炬接力活动”传递的顺利进行,请各位居民住户自觉配合公安部门做好以下工作:





Whew! Nothing about hanging a gigantic banner with streamers of Tibetan flags against a backdrop of Falun Gong symbols juxtaposed against a "Taiwan Independence" sticker on the forehead of a caricature of Mao Zedong off my sun deck. I guess I'm in the clear!

No comments: