It was New Year's Eve, and there was a bit of a delay at the airport of origin, if I remember correctly. No worries, though, because it resulted in one of those rare moments where an entire island sets off fireworks like bottles popping, just as the plane came in for a landing. Sadly, such moments are only going to become more rare, since that flight was out of Hong Kong.
Everyone landed just fine then, and everyone on recent flights have landed and are at home, so I'm far less conflicted about my decision to stop supporting an organization whose management has caved to political pressure. I might miss a place that provided the delicious first experience of an airport lounge (a 12-hour flight makes the simple joy of a hot shower just that much better), but I think there's a relief to be had knowing that one will be landing somewhere where bleeding is slightly less likely on arrival, and everybody on an airline has the simple joy of things like, say, access to oxygen.
I'm also less conflicted about my take on a country who, while its culture has come up with a lot of things worthwhile, has nevertheless come up with vaguely German-sounding nonsense that would prompt the response 英语 不 是 汉语. For a country with the ability to stand on the shoulders of giants in a technological sense (a polite way to word the accusations of IP theft), as well as the capacity to advance that technology, having an article on this kind of cultural mindset takes my estimation of this place down even further. Maybe it's nothing more than a steaming pile of tabloid, but I wouldn't discount the veracity of it out of hand, considering humans have a thing for reruns.
If a country is willing to endanger its own citizens for protesting a bad situation, or even for simply being related to those who are, one can expect little more from a 60/40 fuel deal with that country than a smile until one's back is turned, if that. But what's almost worse is that those who are looked to for help in this situation are weakened to the point where their declarations are sounding more and more like noise with nothing behind it.
If leaders (the term politicians seems more accurate at this point) are looking for appreciation in this situation, I see two options - fix the shaky ground they're standing on, or watch those whose appreciation they seek turn to a less appealing option who is mistreating (has mistreated, will mistreat) them in order to survive. Although this situation does have one thing going for it - it's tougher to ignore than Tibet, and it's brought such issues back into the open.
But things aren't all bad. The sun's out, the bees are in fine form, yes-it's-evil is under serious anti-trust investigation, and the tentacle beast looks like it's up next.