The Prison Behind the Great FireWall of China

Although the Great Wall of China is nowhere near me, the Great Firewall is always present. China is a funny country. Always building walls. First it was the Mongolians (or some other folk) who wreaked havoc and now (admittedly some years later), it seems, it is the cultural invasion of the American Trojan hordes [yes, it is a brilliant term] that need to be blocked out. Luckily the Great Firewall of China is about as effective as the Great Wall of China.

There are many services online that allow you to check if a given website is blocked in Mainland China. Most notably Google (and all of its services), Facebook and YouTube are blocked. It’s all a bit rude. And silly. At first they didn’t block Google in Mainland China but just made it work very slowly by deliberate action against it, which is a dick move [btw, after that comment, which is slander against the policies of the Communist party, I believe this blog is now officially illegal. Then again it probably already was, so I have been constantly on thin ice here. But I am young so naturally I think I’m invincible. But also because I believe that the law regarding these matters is much the same as the law regarding the rules of the road here. They exist but they are not strictly enforced. Unless you start being an utter dick about it and actually causing trouble. It seems like somebody had the idea of banning everything that might cause problems, just in case. But then they only enforce those laws in situations where it actually makes sense to enforce them]. Then they decided to just block it completely. Strange people.

Personally, my circumvention method of choice has been F-Secure’s Freedome. It has worked well so far. It also allows me to watch Netflix through other countries. Which is very good. Since I am in place that is comparable to an open prison. Specifically the ones in Finland. There are some differences though. In fact…

Let’s play a game of… Finnish Prison or Christmas Village! [Applause] Here is your host: Santaaaa “Ol’ Saint Nick” Claaaauuuss! [Applause]

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Hello! And welcome to this weeks episode of “Finnish Prison or Christmas Village!” [Applause] Now let’s go over the rules: I will present a statement that my Subordinate Clauses have prepared for you. Your job is to guess whether it applies to a Finnish prison or my current job as Santa Claus in the Christmas Village in Mohe. Are You ready to play?! [Applause]

Heeeerrreee we go:

  1. The residents who work get paid more than 1200 Euros per month.
  2. The residents pay taxes from their income.
  3. The residents have often access to communal activities like sports and visits to libraries and other places of culture.
  4. The residents regularly have a chance to meet with their families and significant others.
  5. The residents with a permit can be allowed to leave the premises for up to one day.
  6. The residents are allowed to follow their special diets to a reasonable degree.
  7. The residents have a shop from which they can buy simple groceries, tobacco and items for personal hygiene.
  8. The residents have access to a washing machine.
  9. The residents’ access to electricity or water might suddenly be denied without warning.
  10. The residents who walk 500 meters to the wrong direction will be promptly shot.
  11. The residents have access to gaming consoles.
  12. The residents’ regularly get a physical examination performed by a medical professional.
  13. All the mail the residents send or receive will be scrutinised.

Do you have the answers?

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Do you really?


Here are right answers:

  1. Prison! Inmates who do work in a Finnish prison generally get paid in excess of 1200 euros per month after taxes. I get paid 1200 euros per month.
  2. Prison! I don’t pay taxes.
  3. Prison! I don’t have access to such luxuries.
  4. Prison! I have no chance of meeting my family members or significant other during my stay here.
  5. Christmas Village! Prisoners are allowed to leave for up to three days. I only get one day, maybe, if I’m lucky.
  6. Prison! I have no choice but to eat the same food as everyone else.
  7. Prison! I have no such luxuries. When I run out of something I have to beg for someone to get me some more.
  8. Prison! I have to wash my clothes the old school way.
  9. Christmas Village! This has happened to other Santas many times.
  10. Christmas Village! If I walk across the border river there is a sign (I’ve heard) that says that you can be shot if you enter Russian territory.
  11. Prison! No such luxuries for me.
  12. Prison! Obviously. Though if I need actual medical care then I will be taken to a hospital.
  13. Prison and Christmas Village! The Chinese government will make sure that they don’t contain any harmful material.

Thank you for playing! If by some miracle you managed to get everything correct please be sure to boast in the comments section. I am Santa Claus and this was “Finnish Prison or Christmas Village!“. Have a good night! Oh, and remember to be nice!

Or you might get cut in half and put on display.

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