Why I Came to Dublin

It's been three months and it's the end of the year and the term, I think it's time to explain to whoever is still visiting my blog why Dublin out of all places and why I left China in the first place.

What it's like in 2022 in Shenzhen

It's already been more than a year since the Zero COVID policy ended but I still remember what it's like to live under those rules; it's way too easy to deny all the things that had happened because everything back then feels way too similar to a cruel pathetic joke. At the end of the policy in early December, everything related was taken away as if nothing ever happened.

Before the outbreak and the brutal two-month lockdown of Shanghai in April, Shenzhen gov put the whole city in lockdown for a week - it's more like a show to please Xi Jingping more than anything. I remembered during that week every day at 7 a.m. securities would be yelling in our apartment complex with a megaphone knocking on every single door telling people to go downstairs for the "PCR test". People outside of China might not know this, but PCR tests in China is quite a joke in and of itself; in 2022 PCR test was all the rage, people take PCR tests for absolutely everything including insane things like trucks, floors and sea products. In anywhere other than China the deal is you would take the COVID vaccine and wear a mask and you'll be allowed to go to places; in China things are different. In China, you'll have a 行程碼 journey-tracking code (which is used to track where you've been using your mobile phone signal), a 健康碼 health code (which is used to "track your health") and a 核酸碼 PCR-test code (which is only used for registering for PCR tests). The three codes exists as "miniapps" in WeChat. The whole system goes as follows:

  • Your health code has an expiry date and you're obliged to keep it up to date by doing PCR tests. Most of the time in 2022, this expiry date is less than 48 hours. If your health code expires, you're not allowed to go into gated communities (which contains probably 90% of all the apartments in Shenzhen) and certain commercial area, and you will have to take a PCR test and wait for hours for it to become valid again; most of the time it will update near midnight, and sometimes when you're extremely unlucky, the result will never show up (!). This policy obviously forced people to gather in mass regularly, which is the exact opposite of what you should do when there's a pandemic.
    • The local gov department, no matter how local, has the power of changing your health code as they wish (!), so if for some reasons you made the gov angry they'll assign you a "red code" and you can't go anywhere.
    • I personally haven't really seen it or experienced it, but apparently the measures taken in other places are very extreme. Have you ever heard of people welding iron bars right across the door frame so that you can't open the door and go out? Yeah, pretty insane stuff.
  • You're not allowed to enter a "green zone" without being quarantined first if you come from a designated "yellow" or "red zone". When you take a plane or train that travels between cities, you're required to display your journey-tracking code to show you haven't been anywhere near the "yellow" or "red zone".

None of this is about vaccine but a lot of people took the jab anyway, because the way how Chinese gov does anything is to assign quota to their subordinates and the lowest level of officials ended up doing absolutely anything for that quota to be met and you end up with people who couldn't go home or lost their jobs because they wouldn't or couldn't take the vaccine. Having allergies doesn't mean you're safe; people on this land does not give a fuck about allergies. Before December when the gov ended the policy, things were really grim; those who praises the CCP gov for "caring about their people" and keeps dismissing anyone who disagree, they don't know a goddamn thing.

Turning reactionary

2022 was a big year for my personal development not on the life-side of things but on the view I have about society and politics and all that jazz: I used to be a leftist, and now I'm not; but instead of being a full-on reactionary it's more like I've had enough with the left: so far all (and I mean all) the "leftists" I've seen seems like they couldn't be more uninterested in the suffering of people they deemed unimportant. I've seen "anarcho-communists" (almost always the synonym of communists) claiming that CCP's ethnical cleansing in East Turkestan is completely necessary, I've seen "anarcho-syndicalist" (almost always the synonym of Marxist-Leninist) praising CCP's COVID policy yet simply don't give a fuck of people who couldn't get proper medical treatment because of the lockdown, even the most anti-CCP ones among them never hate the regime as much as my fellow compatriots I got to know later in my life do. I used to hate them for this but now I don't - I know that whether they like CCP or not they aren't likely to be immediately affected thanks to the work of their ancestors they secretly hate the most.

In the week of lockdown mentioned above I decided to read a book named 巨嬰國 (lit. "The Nation of Giant Babies"). The book was published a few years before, but it soon got banned for some stupid reasons I couldn't remember; I've heard about the banning but never understood why, so I decided to read it myself. The author was a psychiatrist, and in this book he argued that the reason why the Chinese is like the way they are right now is because they never truly mature - within this country of "giant babies" (i.e. China) they don't need to. He claimed that the whole society of China is stuck in some state of "mother-child"-like relationship with their government where the child (i.e. the people) believed that they and their mother (i.e. the government) are one-and-the-same and they can make anyone do anything like a baby believe they can make anyone do anything simply because their mother would answer every single need they have (i.e. illusion of omnipotence); for this reason Chinese people tend to display child-like behaviour (e.g. being selfish & shortsighted) despite they look like full-grown adults from the outside, hence "giant babies". The solution to this, obviously, is to somehow shatter this relationship and somehow force the whole nation onto a road to maturity.

It may sound ridiculous, but for whatever reasons after reading the book I had this idea that the separation needs to done not only in the psychological space but also in everywhere; and in the realm of politics this means that China needs to be broken up into pieces. That's the beginning of my separatist phase: I originally had no objection of identifying myself as a Chinese (this obviously changed after I read more about China and Cantonia's history), but China must be broken up no matter what; and then I remembered there was this man called Liu Zhongjing who seems to be a firm advocate of such idea for a long time, so I started reading his works and I immediately know that he's the real deal: the idea he introduces to explain the inner working of things and the prediction he made from that matched with my own life experiences and observations in a way so systematic that it almost seems scientific. Of course even till this day I still refuse to lay into the grimmer part of his political thoughts, but I really doubt one could achieve any political goal without committing any true sin.

In the simplified Chinese Internet scene Liu Zhongjing has always been painted as this crazy lunatic who talks about the non-existent "Flood" and the non-existent nations created by splitting up China. People in China has this stupid way to "dispute" ideas they don't like: they repeat again and again that certain idea is "stupid" and "ridiculous", and with this reinforcing self-confirmation it's almost like the idea they don't like is actually stupid and ridiculous. The moment I realized how correct Liu has been I got angry at myself for not noticing this sooner - anyone I've seen "criticizing" Liu had never been able to properly dispute his idea; and I, too, fell into this stupid trap of self-confirmation.

(Also, the reason why he's called "auntie" has nothing to do with gender; it comes from the phrase he used to use "阿姨告訴你……" (lit. "let auntie tell you…"); it's a phrase kindergarten teachers use when talking to the kids, and in this context it means that the thing he knows is so out of this world that we listening to him is like kindergarten kids listening to their teachers.)

The "Flood" mentioned above refers to the massive humanitarian disaster that will happen in China in the near future, just like any other massive humanitarian disaster that had happened in China whenever a dynasty fall. Back in 2022 people don't know when the Flood would come, but they are certain CCP would invade Taiwan and that would be the beginning of the Flood, and this day won't be very far.

"Xi Down Li Up" and the beginning of the plan

As early as May 2022 there was a rumor dubbed 習下李上 that there was a brutal battle between the different factions within CCP and there was a chance that Xi would be forced to step down for his wrongdoings (esp. in dealing with COVID) and replaced by Li Keqiang. For a while that outcome seemed surprisingly possible, and a lot of people who still retains a smidget of hope for this contry believed it, and I believed it as well. I remembered following all the Chinese YouTubers talking about this battle they inferred from the amount Xi's name got mentioned in People's Daily and other seemingly unrelated things, thinking that if this indeed happened in the end, the economy would recover, I would be able to make more money and I would be in better shape to start my gunsmithing business; of course in the end that didn't happen, Xi got his 3rd term, and I was stuck in a very bad position. I thought to myself, no, I'm not taking this. If Xi continues to be the president, then sooner or later he's gonna invade Taiwan, and I'm not gonna waste my life for that gullible fat motherfucker.

So I started to plan my leave. Back then I thought the fucker could start the war at any minute so I needed to get out as soon as possible. Going to Singapore seemed like a good plan: I would apply for a work permit then slave myself doing labour-heavy work for a couple of years saving up money while learning German or French on the side, and then I'll apply for a grad school and leave for Europe; from the sources I gathered it seems like I could get the whole thing started as soon as early December. I contemplated on it for a long time and decided this is the path I'm gonna choose. So I drank enough tequila to work up the courage, called my mom on the phone, and explained to her what I was about to do next because if this plan works out I won't be coming home for the lunar new year. On the phone I cried - first time in years. I genuinely thought things would turn very bad very quickly and I would be leaving my family members to die - how am I supposed to go on with whatever's left of my life with that kind of thing, knowing that you couldn't save them and ended up leaving them to their demise? But my mom calmed me down, saying that I'm not cut out for that kind of job and I should sleep (it was 11 o'clock in the evening) and think about it again tomorrow.

So I did.

On the second day I started to reasearch for other ways among which is coming to Ireland for grad school. If I had truly put effort into learning French or German now I would probably in France or Germany; but I didn't, so the rest is history and now I'm here. Now, I'm sitting in a room in Dublin feeding my mom's hard-earned money to some Chinese landlord, thinking about the next move I should take if I couldn't manage to get a job and have to leave Ireland in the end.


Last Update: 2023.12.21