David Cameron is in town, hard on the heels of his friends George and Boris, and the Embassy staff seem busy. On this visit DC literally means business, sharing his plane with more than 100 suits from the world of British enterprise, and even opening an account on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter. His optimism prompted a tabloid here, owned by a paper controlled by the Communist Party, to insist that China won’t “fall for Cameron’s ‘sincerity.'”
But in our house, with DD a full-time language student until he starts his post at the Embassy next year, we only catch glimpses of this headline-grabbing event, and at times it seems the Chinese authorities would have it so. A recent report on BBC World News about DC’s visit was cut mid-flow when it mentioned a certain contested region that begins and ends with T and has ‘ibe’ in the middle, and the TV channel only switched back on when it had moved on to another topic. In fact, the media reports that DC is hoping his visit will soothe China’s anger over his recent meeting with DL, the spiritual leader of said contested region.
Meanwhile, DD shuffles to and from the language school in jeans and hoodie, lugging a rucksack full of textbooks and muttering about the difference between “zhe” and “zhi” and “xiao” and “shao”. He’s also recently been preoccupied by his arse, or his ‘pigu’ as it’s called in Chinese, which has emerged the biggest victim in our ambition to go to the gym since the air quality doesn’t allow “walking around” to be a legitimate alternative. In his first session DD discovered that his personal trainer, a friendly Malaysian-Australian, has a slight sadistic edge, and “Tommy’s wrecked my pigu…” has been his sad cry for days. A matter that might not be of much concern to our prime minister as he sets up camp at the Embassy, but a few streets away in our humble home, DD’s broken pigu demands a lot of attention and sympathy, and much delicate handling.
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