It’s midday Friday in Shanghai, somewhere in the middle of Thursday night in the UK and all of you millions of followers must be wondering what has happened to this blog for a week. The truth is I’ve been unable to access blogspot at all in that time. I managed to get hooked up with internet access in my room and can get wireless here in Costa coffee on Zhenging Lu, but still no blogspot.com. Or Facebook for that matter. It transpires that such free-expression vehicles are totally blocked over here. Opinion varies as to whether it’s to do with the Chinese authorities - who apparently scan every email in and out of the country – or the Russians, who are apparently also blocking certain sites around the world. I suspect it’s the former.
So, as my week in Shanghai comes to an end I’m putting this report together in Word, ready to paste in on my return. I’m having to try and summarise a pretty full-on week, which I was hoping not to have to do, as blogging should in essence provide the opportunity to be brief and instant. Many of my initial impressions and experiences have now blended into familiarity and history but I shall endeavour to convey them as best I can. The days' events may appear somewhat sporadically . . .