Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Metropolitan Red

The capital is getting ready for a grand celebration. City workers are decorating specific neighbourhoods in a variety of decorations. One street near my office that goes by the People's Daily is awash with colourful frantic but gaudy lights at night.

Other areas near there have banners congratulating the country for celebrating 60 years of Communist rule.

Some shops are whipping out Chinese flags and more red lanterns, and even giant Chinese knots made of thick red ribbon, making the city awash with red.

In the meantime seniors are spending their days looking sharp in their 60th anniversary volunteer watchdog yellow shirts complete with Olympics-esque passes. They are posted every few metres from each other, a group of at least two or more sitting on tiny stools, apparently on the lookout for skirmishes, but really it's a social event for them to hang out in the neighbourhood all day.

What's interesting though is that despite all these security measures, they haven't really been able to stop serious incidents, like a knifing attack that happened near Qianmen, where two died and 12 were injured.

My friend told me of two fist fights that broke out in recent days that he saw. One was in Carrefour and another in a restaurant across the street from where he lived.

Perhaps all the frustration of having been told to be on their best behaviour in the run-up to the October 1 festivities is starting to bubble over and people can't take it anymore.

T-minus 8 days to go...

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