My Sunday morning started rather peculiarly. I was half way through soaping up in the shower when what appeared to be an air-raid siren sounded, rather loudly, across the city. Needless to say I was a little bit taken aback by this phenomenon, never having been in an air-raid before or, in fact, any other kind of situation that has needed an alarm other than a fire drill. I scanned my brain for some useful information; had anyone at work or Uni told me that there would be a city-wide fire-alarm today? Did someone fail to inform me that Nanjing gets earthquakes? Had someone declared war? Had an atomic bomb dropped? Was I going to be blasted to oblivion in my birthday suite and covered in Head and Shoulders?
In the end none of these happened. In 1937 the Japanese invaded the then capital of the Chinese republic, Nanjing. In the following six weeks a slaughter ensued which some estimate left over 300, 000 people dead, tens of thousands of women raped and a city in ruin. This incident is one of the forgotten war crimes of World War II, in the vast majority of the west at least, and was named the Rape of Nanjing. Those sirens that I heard were the same sirens used to warn the citizens of Nanjing of the coming of Japanese bombers during the weeks and months before they finally entered the walls of the city. The event still has resonance in eastern Asia today, especially concerning relations between Japan, who still refuse to accept full responsibility for what happened, and the Chinese. Anyone who is even vaguely interested in this should read the Iris Chang book, The Rape of Nanking (Nanking being the then Romanised name of the city).
On an ever so slightly lighter note, I have exams this week, which is why this blog, as well as JiC and RWO, have been neglected in the past few weeks. My days have consisted of spending hours in what we call ‘the Korean room’ (due to the fact that Koreans are probably the most studious nationality on the face of the planet) and drinking copious amounts of coffee. I had my first one today; God only knows how it went, it was one of those exams where luck plays an important part. I am planning on pulling something close to an all-nighter tonight, or at least until the unholy hours of the morning. I have pretty much sorted out my grammar for reading tomorrow, but vocabulary seems to never find a cosy little corner of my brain in which to nestle, it keeps getting kicked out my random facts about the Pokémon: Johto television series. Damn my wasted youth!
Less has also been written in this blog because I have started a written diary as well, with pages and ink and stuff. It makes me feel really intellectual and has become a major way for me to vent and talk to myself… as if I needed yet another medium in which to indulge my emo tendencies.
I also failed to mention on anywhere other than Twitter that I went to Hong Kong last week with Johnny and Emma. You can read about bits of it here. I had a lovely time, the break that I needed from the squat toilets, constant spitting and lack of Christmas songs on the main-land. Emma also rarely gets up before midday, so I was able to get at least a bit of revision done for this week.
I will let you know how things go… maybe. I have many videos to shoot and edit when I finish if you care.
I am now off to watch some of the weekend’s X-Factor (Stacey should have won) and then start my revision binge. I bid ye good night.