One thing I find funny/interesting living in China is the fluidity of forbidden websites. Now, coming here I knew the vast majority of my most visited websites would be blocked. I wouldn’t have access to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or WordPress without a VPN. I am surprised however when I wake up and no longer have access to a website/app I was able to use VPN free the day before.
Since arriving in China I have lost direct access to Several of my common haunts. Google Maps was the first to go I think. The first couple months here I was able to use the app on my phone, and it worked great. Then, after a couple months, no more Google Maps without a VPN. Soon after Google Translate went the same way. It was my go to translator on my phone because I trusted the results would be what I wanted to say (mostly). Now I am looking for a good translator to use, and I have yet to find one I like. Instagram went away when Hong Kong flared up, one evening I posted a picture of something I baked, next morning I needed my VPN to see if it got any attention. The most recent casualty was the BBC news app.
I am not complaining mind you. I have a work around to access them in one way or another, or a replacement. I am living in China, some things are going to be different, if I can’t hack it then I need to head to a different country, or go back to Canada. Even if I didn’t have the work around, I would be fine (I like convenience, I don’t require it). It is just a different feeling to wake up one morning, and know I have lost access to something I could access not six hours ago.