The enigmatically delayed, ever-so hush-hush National Party Congress is finally taking place in Beijing this week. I believe the official start date is Thursday 8th, but there'll probably be some kind of welcome shindig on the 7th, and various preliminary meetings even before that. The delegates are already starting to roll in from all around the country.
A hotel a few doors down from me is usually used to house quite a few of the less important delegates for meetings like this; so, my street is likely to be swarming with armed police for the next week. And - of course - the Internet is being filtered to hell, and is slow, slow, SLOW.
It is an excellent time to NOT be in Beijing. And, as luck would have it, a stack of different pretexts to be elsewhere all presented themselves in quick succession - so, I'm going to be off on a little 'southern tour' of my own for the next three weeks. [And, oh boy, did my VPN get crashed a lot of times when I was looking for that link! The Kafka Boys are outdoing themselves at the moment.]
I have tried to pre-bake a few posts to maintain the semblance of my still being here at my keyboard daily, but in fact.... well, I haven't decided if I'll even bother to take a laptop with me, and I'm not expecting to have very regular Internet access, or to be using it if I do. I'm on holiday, after all.
Have fun without me.
By the by, if martial law is declared in Beijing this week - you heard it here first. And if it isn't, I was joking.
[And - oh god! - Beijing is now reeling from an early onset of winter, beset by snow, ice, and fog over the last three days. There is a dangerously high probability that my flight out of Beijing will get cancelled. Oh, woe!]