Grocery shopping yesterday was relaxing. So I decided to deconstruct what made it nice. I succeeded in being a local member of my community, for a few minutes on a sunny Monday morning. Time to celebrate a small success!
How do I create forward momentum in my life when that provokes physical pain? I don’t know who I am, so I want to do something, but doing makes me sore, and pain stops me doing, which I feel emotional about because who am I if I can’t do anything?? It’s such a vicious cycle.
I cooked a feast of “normal” home cooking style food. This is comfort food for me – the flavours of local Beijing. There was something so special about sharing the taste of home with the people who are my new home. I felt homesick and at home all at once. It’s been a good day.
This latest change allows for each couple to have two children, something most couples were already permitted. It is certainly not a “scrapping” of the policy, as many headlines have screamed. And after decades of the government telling people they really don’t want more than one child, not everyone wants to take advantage of the latest change.
There are several ways in which China’s Family Planning policies are enforced – social welfare benefits, and fines for additional children. IUDs, sterilisations, and abortions are also used liberally to maintain a low birth rate. The big problem comes when officials’ career prospects are tied to minimising births in their jurisdiction – opening the door to abuses of power.
There’s been a lot of press this week about China ending the One Child Policy. The story is more complicated than most people realise. Many couples were never restricted to one child in the first place. In this post I’ll explain the history of the policy, and what it really entails.
I have written about the Great Wall before, but mostly in general. Today I am writing about one particular section of the wall – Badaling. My parents visited in 1983, I first visited in 1999, and most recently in 2012. Comparing the photos is fun!