天安门广场 Tiananmen Square

Life-note

It looks like ali-gens.com is properly back online! Apologies for the disappearance, the site was targeted by a malware attack and with finishing up my thesis (on China’s Pre-modern private libraries and what they offer for designing the libraries of the future), taking the HSK Chinese fluency exam (I passed HSK 5 on the first shot), creating a graduation design (which won departmental silver and was included in the selected works graduation exhibition), defending my thesis (in Chinese), graduating, moving, and handling visas, the site ended up on the back-burner. Things are hopefully back on course and I’m preparing for a long journey through Northwestern China, Japan, back to China, Trans-Mongolian Railway and then Europe.

 

天安门广场 Tiān’ānmén Square

The last time I saw Tiān’ānmén I was 12 years old and more than anything I remember an embarrassing incomprehension of its historical significance. Visiting again was bizarre, I had no recollection of the immense scale. Facing Mao’s portrait were huge screens playing colorful images of China’s landscapes and fifty-five minority groups. The level of security was intense: after taking a photo of the congress/parliament’s fleet of black luxury cars, I got followed by a plainclothes policeman. It was also interesting to see that the wide roads that run east-west, interrupting the axial approach of the square/palace.

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