Stuart Beaton is back with a follow-up from his last post about the goings-on at his campus in Tianjin, China. You can also catch Stu on his author podcast site at http://rastous.podomatic.com. Here’s Stu!
With first lecture of the new academic year a mere day away, I took off this morning for my usual stroll with a mixture of confidence and bowel churning anxiety.
Luckily for me, my confidence won out, and I was able to complete my meandering in comfort. But not without a little sphincter clenching along the way.
By now I should be getting used to wallies wandering about the campus, acting like fools with weapons, and carelessly wearing bit of camouflage in a cavalier manner.
I really shouldn’t take any notice of these things at all.
However, when you’re confronted with the sight of a particularly impressive wally, sometimes you just can’t help yourself. There he was, right in front of me, bold as brass – Weapons Handling Wally Of The Week.
I’ve been around weapons and explosives a fair bit, and I am fairly au fait with the mode and means of transport of such lethal objects, so to see someone wandering about with two RPG rounds, gently knocking them together with each step, well… it’s enough to put you off your stride a bit.
After a double take, I could see that the detonator tips were missing from them, and that one had definitely had any explosives removed from it – but that’s not the point.
The point is that, live round or dummy, you don’t handle things that way. It creates very bad (and often very short lived) habits.
So I followed him a few more metres, until he dumped them to the ground on the footpath, and snapped him and his cargo. Needless to say he looked as unimpressed by this as I was by his actions earlier, but who cares, really?
In the shadow of the 36th anniversary of the end of the Cultural Revolution, in which university students took up arms to fight factions from other universities, it really seems that no lessons have been learned from it.
Today there are still armed groups roving about campuses, demonstrating the same abject stupidity as their earlier brethren, and I am still worried by the actions that they take.
If these really are China’s leaders of tomorrow, then what hope is there of change?