This girl is amazing! She spent 6 years of her life learning how to draw & she'll draw anything for the tourists for only RMB2 (US$0.25) for each proverb. And on top of it all, she'll recite wonderful phrases & wishings while she was drawing. I thought that was such a wonderful experience!
In Kuming, you shall address the female as "Ar Si Ma" and the male as "Ar Hei Ge"
Don't call them "Miss" in chinese which is "Xiao Jie" because to them, "Xiao Jie" means those who works in nightclubs and bars.
For this tip I carefully studied the list of catagories available under which I could include it. It was only by the broadest possible interpretation of "local custom" that I felt I could do so. Cos this isn't really a tip. It's really more of an anecdote (OH GET ON WITH IT WILL YOU??!)
..anyway I was going for a walk in the city when a middle aged guy wearing aviator shades and sitting on the riverbank called out "Hey! Come here!". Back home anyone might well continue walking but I'd had some experience of the chinese "charachter" and realised that this apparent abrupt-ness was probably unintentional.
So I approached with some caution. After quizzing me with the usual stuff: where are you from and so forth he says:"Please-be careful. There are many moslems in Yunnan.And many people here want to hurt and kill people from the West". This made me uneasy. And then he asked me "please-what do you think of Chinese communism?"
Ah fer God's sake, I wasn't gonna get drawn into one of these connversations. "Well" I replied, " I don't know much about these kinds of things" Emboldened though, I ventured to turn the question around. "What do you think of it?" to which I was met with a very candid and emphatic "I hate it".
After a minute or two of all this I bade a polite goodbye as did he with the repeated warning "and please...be careful". Maybe it was paranoia but his "be careful" seemed to carry with it a degree of menace an implied threat. "Be careful or else."
If he was just a pathological scaremonger out to give me a fright well then he was unquestionably sucessful as I made my way back to my hostel with the haste of a streaker walking through a field of nettles. I can still see myself power-walking for 20 mins along the main boulevard.
Anyway - so the tip is....I really don't know.
Just take what the above infers, I suppose.
More and more people, especially Lovers, are celebrating Valentine's Day, China is no expiation. It seem like this western holiday is become more and more popular every year.
The markets are full of flowers. From to blue. By mid day most large markets were sold out of flowers. And of course the price during this holiday for a bunch of roses goes by about 200%.
But that did not stop people from buy flowers for their sweet hearts. A single still rose was selling for 10 RMB, but by the after-noon only a few "not so fresh" flowers were left, and these were still selling for 5 RMB. And of course being China, you can buy flowers of the back of a bicycle. Chocolates also seem popular with the young Chinese.
The year Valentines day falls in the middle of Chinese spring festivals, many already crowded cafe's and restaurants had even more customers. So restaurants had a wall of flowers outside, being to crowded to bring your flowers inside, people would just set them outside the door.Not only sweet hearts spent the day together, but also groups of friends would spend the day together in cafe's play cards and drink tea (and beer). Most people that I spoke with had no idea of the true meaning of valentines day. To them it was a day to buy flowers, and a good excuse to get close with their special someone.
Chicken wing on a stick? why not. Sold just about every where for 3-4 RMB. You pick your own wing, the vendor will deep fry it while you wait. Once your wing is fried you can have you choose of topping, pepper, pepper, or hot pepper. I prefer my wing plane. It as convenient way to eat wings while walking and shopping. This way you get satisfying taste of wing, but not the inconvenience mess that comes with eat wings.Will KFC start serving their wings on a stick too?
These wings are not bad, and make a good snack while shopping or walking
It all started right after I arrived in Kunming, and the whether became a little chilly. So I unpacked my old hat that I have had for years.
I would wear this hat as any person with a cold head would. But I did notice people were looking at me funny, and the guards that would normally salute would kind of snicker as I walk by. One of my teachers even made a pointed out in front of the whole class about how ugly my hat was, and I should not wear that any more. It is just a normal wool, nothing seem out of the ordinary about it.
One of my friends knitted a scarf, and told me that it was better then my hat. I gladly accepted the scarf; it seemed to complement my hat.
It all made since one chilly morning.
It was a day when classes was cancelled, but we were all told that it was mandatory that we all go to the sports field to help support or school athletes on the open day of sports week.
I show up, 7 am (because it was mandatory), in the cold, (none of my class mates showed up) with my green hat place proudly on my head.
As I waited along side about 3000 other students, while wearing my hat.
At that time a teach from a other class came over to explain the whole “Green Hat” thing (and I’m still not 100% sure on the whole story)
But basically if a man wears a green hat it means his wife is fooling around on him. And no man in China wears a green hat.
Now, this is not some funny folk story and only a few people know, EVERYONE knows about it, and you miles well be walking around with a big sign that says “MY WIFE CHEATS ON ME!” (And I’m proud of it too)
I later asked my friend why the never told my about it. Most of them said that they were too embarrassed to, plus I looked so happy wear my hat.
It sure is nice to have such good friends and teacher. Now to get back at my friends, when evey we go some place I alway wear the hat to embarrass them. As my teacher tells me: It's a good thing I have no shame.
So if anyone know any more details about this green hat thing, let me know
I have yet to experience a new years in China, and don't know what to expect. But by judging by the amount of alcohol that I see people buying in the local supermarkets ( a whole shopping cart of booze), I think a good time will be had by all.
It seem if you live in the city you go to the countryside for the holiday, and if you live in the countryside you come to the city.
Every so often you will come across what looks like a play ground. Some of them are off the this side, but most of them are planted right in the middle of the side walk (makes it hard if your handicap or in a wheel chair)
There seem to be at least one play area in each neighborhood. Besides children playing on the equipment, it seem quit acceptable for adults and seniors to use them too.....unless your not Chinese. In that case, it seem more entertain for everyone to stop playing and just watch the big white monkeys playing, and hope they will leave soon. This might not be the case all the time, but when I experience this, it just happened the my friend wash rather intoxicated from some fine Chinese wine, and I too enjoy this foreigner make a fool of herself.
The biggest board very strategically placed in the immigration hall in Kunming Airport is not an advertisement of a famous brand, rather, it is the "rules of conduct" for the employees there.
These rules can also be found in the banks, and on the street.
This one I posted here is interesting. It's about health and hygiene in the civilised Kunming City: The SEVEN shall not's.
1) shall not spit
2) shall not litter
3) shall not place "things" randomly, shall not pour dirty water randomly (??)
4) shall not indulge in graffiti
5) shall not air wet laundry everywhere
6) shall not swear
Eletricity does not come cheap. But Kunmingnites know how to make use of cheap and environementally-friendly solar energy.
Most apartments have many solar panels installed on the rooftops. It's quite a scene, and you can always use that to figure out your bearings.
A sea of BLUE solar panels in the pic I posted.
Kunming has many Chinese temples. It is quite common to see a huge pot filled with water, with (usually, but not necessary) some auspicious animal (carving of course) sitting on the bottom, and coins scattered around the animal.
The animal usually has a small mouth. People believe if they make a wish, and throw a coin right into the mouth of the animal, then their wish would come true.
The coins (RMB0.10 yuan) can be exchanged at a manned desk nearby.
I was somewhat surprised to see this. This is yet another proof how Yunnan must have been closely related to Malaysia.
Bamboo rice is a norm in the prefecture of Xishuang Banna.
It's glutinous rice cooked in the hollows of a bamboo.
The traditional "cigar" in Yunnan. About 1 meter long.
At first glance, I could never figure out what that was for.
This apparatus is one of the Yunnan's famous 18 strange things. (shi ba guai in Mandarin).
It's made of bamboo.
Bargaining is the culture, and the customer who is not aware of the "market price" loses.
It's also true the traders here are usually small businessmen who do not make much money. So if you feel sorry for them this way, perhaps you should just pay whatever the asking price is.
Don't be rude in the bargaining process though. Be pleasant, smile always, and offer a price lower than what you want to pay, this way you give yourself room to move up if the vendor thinks it is too low. Alternatively you can pretend to walk away, and the vendor will call you back if he/she thinks the price is still acceptable to him. If he/she doesn't, it does not really matter because you can usually find the exact same thing in the next couple of stalls.
Make sure you take it if they say ok. It's extremely rude to walk away when the vendor agrees to your price.
If you happen to take a bus, do notice, perhaps make a count of how many times the driver presses on the honk (it's a button right below the bulb of the clutch stick.)
They love it, even when the object blocking them is 600m away, and they are driving at a speed of 20km an hour. Sometimes they do it not because anything is blocking, but just to tell the pedestrians " give way".
They do it following some musical rhythm they have invented, but this must surely be a fast-paced song, for the frequency is akin to a drummer hitting furiously on his favourite drum.
They do it when they know it's pointless. It's a 5pm traffic jam, it's red light ahead, but they do it anyway.