Tuesday, 14 April 2015


I am visiting my son Daniel who lives in Shanghai, China. I've been here 10 days and now have some time to attempt to do a blog post. What a mission! Google does not work in China without a VPN, they blocked it recently. This is of no concern to the Chinese as they have their own alternatives and are very IT savvy but for a Kiwi used to 24/7 Google it's a whole new world. Apple works (iCloud - China likes Apple I suppose because it's all made here - nearly every young trendy has a iPhone 6+) so you spend your time turning the VPN off and on depending on what you are trying to do. And then Google notices you are suddenly logging in in China on a random computer and their security kicks into gear and you have to answer so many questions to identify yourself - they know more about me than I do! - and they want to verify you using your cell phone number but you have a new one cause you can't use Vodafone in China........get the idea? I spent all of yesterday just trying to get my stuff to work. What does work is Mega - thank you Kim Dotcom - so I can upload my images (Flickr, Picassa, Instagram all need the VPN on and that slows things down). It has been an exercise is problem solving. Thank goodness I am already a proficient user of Wechat, China's alternative to most social media and a wonderful app. Go China!
This image is not a 'pretty' photo but it kind of sums up my first impressions of Shanghai - an eclectic mix of old and new, east and west, grimy and luxury.

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