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Last Days In Jinghong

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Joe, a gregarious Dai tour guide who hangs out at the tourist haunts looking for business invited me to join him and his family and friends, including a young French couple, at the new BBQ restaurants on the road along the river…the ones we couldn’t find before. His English was great and we shared many ideas. “My heart is breaking with the pollution in the environment,” he said. I told him about Amy’s International School and it’s mission to bring east and west together. Not against each other, he asked? No I said, entwining my fingers. Together. He liked that, as he entwined his own fingers. I told him he had one foot in each culture. He liked that too. Then he wrote a C on one shoe and a W on the other shoe as we laughed.

It is the Spring Festival here and fireworks are going off everywhere. Over 20-40 small dishes (river snails, cow’s skin, river moss and the like) we raised small glasses of beer too many times to shouted toasts…first among ourselves (we women toasted to our beauty…!) and then with a group of about 20 Anhi teachers sitting at the next table.

The next day a German woman and her son, who is getting an advanced degree in business in Hangzhou (SW of Shanghai), invited me to go with them to a small village on the other side of the Mekong River by ferry and then tuk tuk. She is here, like me, visiting her progeny. Her son has been here three years and is fluent in Mandarin…as are many of the Westerners I’ve met here. A group of American high school girls here in Jinghong on break from on a one year exchange program in Beijing to learn Mandarin amazed me with their ability to speak the language…their futures will be bright with opportunities.

I will be glad to leave the An Ya Jiu Dian Hotel, however. It is newer…clean and very nice with satellite TV and a hot and cold water cooler for about $7…and friendly owners. It’s just up the street from the western-oriented Mei Mei Restaurant on Man Lan Lu. But there is a restaurant down an ally behind the hotel…outside my window…that starts up about midnight…with many shouted toasts…and finally subsides about 3am. Ear plugs only take the edge off.

No lack of internet cafes on this street!

And I won’t miss the Asian toilet, if you know what I mean. The shower head is above the open-hole toilet in the floor so one must be very careful where one steps.

This And That In China

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

If there is anything a foreigner knows about China, it is that he or she knows that she knows nothing.

Today an American woman went to the Blind Massage School for accupuncture…but they don’t do accupuncture on foreigners. She doesn’t know why. Two different internet cafes refused me today even though I had been going to them before. I don’t know why. Meo! (No!) The price boards in the hotels show 680 Yuan but when they offer you a room it is lowered to 50 Yuan. Who gets to pay 680? No one knows. Some hotels won’t take foreigners at all. No one knows why.

Many Chinese are adamant about getting rid of that extra fluid in their throats. So they hack and spit…wherever they might be…trains…restaurants…on the floor next to their chairs in the internet cafes…

A Canadian wanted to go to Shanghai from Beijing a few weeks ago during the worst of the storm in China. A small boy with some English was willing to help him find the right window at the train station. But the vendor said she knew English and sent the boy away. The Canadian and his wife spent 30 hours on the train. When the train reached it’s destination they climbed off the train. But only when they looked at a menu in a restaurant they realized that they had gone to Xian instead of Shanghai. The ticket seller at the train station hadn’t understood them at all. So they looked at the unearthed soldiers or whatever they are called in Xian while they waited three days to get train tickets to Shanghai.


Chinese Logic

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
Already, one-third of China's land mass is desert and it is losing 1500 square acres more a year to overgrazing, deforestation, urban sprawl and draught. Looking out the window of my plane from Beijing to Kunming, for the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Just Hanging Out

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
Yesterday an older woman from Ireland and I tried to find the Night Market at the end of the bridge over the Mekong River where you used to be able to get great BBQ meat cooked over coal fires. ... [Continue reading this entry]

High Tech In China

Monday, February 18th, 2008
I have not been able to access Wikipedia or the external links to Blogspot and Bootsnall blogs since I have been in China. My daughter-in-law who lives in Beijing says that she often can access Wikipedia by going to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Almost Didn’t Make The Plane To Kunming

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Hard to believe I was in Beijing for two weeks. But you know what they say about stinking guests if they stay too long. So today I flew to Kunming in Yunnan Province in the south ... [Continue reading this entry]

Jinghong China

Monday, December 13th, 2004
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif Photos While I was in Guizhou Province, Bob headed off for Putuashan Island and then circled back to Shanghai via Hangzhou...then flew to Jinghong to meet me at the Banna Hotel. We picked ... [Continue reading this entry]

Miao Village In Guizhou

Wednesday, December 8th, 2004
1wXSp3CkNsDoJl3s0SgHmw-2006171171225701.gif In Shanghai, exploring the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree web site, I noticed a query from a young woman from Kaili in Guizhou Province who was offering to arrange a homestay in a Miao minority ... [Continue reading this entry]

Yangshau & Shanghai

Monday, November 15th, 2004
1wXSp3CkNsDoJl3s0SgHmw-2006171171225701.gif To Bob When I sent e-mail had not seen your messages. Your place sounds great--will spend a couple more days here before moving on--would like to access your place. gonna run back to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ruili China

Saturday, December 28th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Coming down out of the mountains we were happy to see Ruili lying in the green lush valley below...a larger city than I thought...a Chinese/Burma border town with a mix of Han Chinese, minorities ... [Continue reading this entry]

Bob’s Thai Village Visit

Saturday, December 28th, 2002
While Jana and I were playing with Chinese teenagers in Ruili in the south of Yunnan, Bob spent some time in an ethnic village in the mountains in Issan Province southeast of Chiang Mai in Thailand. The people were Thai ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Merry Christmas Wish 2002

Wednesday, December 25th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Today, Christmas Day, we will take Jana's Blessing and a van back to Tengchong and catch a bus for Ruili on the China-Burma border. While we sit here at 7:00am bleary-eyed waiting for the water ... [Continue reading this entry]

Christmas At Re Hai Hot Springs 2002

Tuesday, December 24th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif We went to Re Hai Hot Springs..a short half-hour bus ride from Tengchong. The Asian and European continental shift also resulted in over 80 crystalline hot springs...grand Boiling Hot Cauldron...age-old Toad-Mout Hot Spring...Drunk Bird Hot ... [Continue reading this entry]

Volcanos in Tengchong

Saturday, December 21st, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif A young Chinese woman on the bus had struck up a conversation in English...telling us about the sights around Tengchong. We thought that maybe we could pay her to guide us to the ... [Continue reading this entry]

My Name is Zhuy Yu Ping

Friday, December 20th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif On the way to Tengchong, the bus climbed high up into the Gaoligong Shan Mountain Range on a winding narrow two lane road...dropping down and then higher up again...beautiful valleys down below terraced with ... [Continue reading this entry]

Domestic Fight in Baoshan

Thursday, December 19th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif The Lonely Planet description for finding Huacheng Binguan was difficult...the hotel name was the same but the street was different...two Dutch travellers sitting in the lobby with their backpacks told us we were in ... [Continue reading this entry]

Big Noses In The Back Again!

Wednesday, December 18th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Bus to Dali As we pulled ourselves up into the luxury express bus we felt that we were living large...we wouldn't have local color but we would have comfort for a change. Jana, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Koor Yi…Ok Ok

Monday, December 16th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Monday December 16 OK, OK, OK, (koor yi in Chinese) the woman taxi driver giggles as we pull out of Old Town Lijiang on the way to the bus station. Ni hao (hello)! ... [Continue reading this entry]

Conversation With Roland

Monday, December 16th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Had a final dinner at familiar and cozy Sekura's Cafe in Old Town Lijiang...splurging on Western food...sharing our beer with Roland, a 30 year old economics teacher in a university in Singapore. (Surprisingly and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Chinese Mysteries

Monday, December 16th, 2002
The Chinese have incredible confidence in themselves...and consider themselves unquestionably the most superior people in the world...mostly due to their long history. We Westerners are the barbarians. (So we don't need to think we are "all that" as my ... [Continue reading this entry]

Conversations In Tiger Leaping Gorge

Saturday, December 14th, 2002
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif Wednesday Dec 11 In Old Town Lijiang, Bob joined us for breakfast at our hotel at 9am; met Li at her hotel at 10:30 for minibus trip up the gorge. Bus had no shocks ... [Continue reading this entry]

Pissing Match In China

Friday, December 13th, 2002
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif When Bob took a box of purchases to the Old Lijiang post office they asked him to take everything out one by one. This had not happened when we sent boxes from China before. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Echo & Li…Competitors

Tuesday, December 10th, 2002
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif Monday Dec 9 2002 In Old Town Lijiang, we are woken up by a knock at the hotel door at 8am. Two couples from Taiwan were on their way to Zhondian with a driver ... [Continue reading this entry]

Naxi Old Town-Lijiang

Monday, December 9th, 2002
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif Lijiang has been designated a World Cultural Heritage Site by the United Nations. There are two kinds of Naxi dwellings built with wood, clay tiles, earth bricks and hard is a courtyard ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lijiang & The Naxi People

Sunday, December 8th, 2002
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif Once in Lijiang, we dumped our luggage at the Shangira Hotel (Y80 or about $10 for a double) that was recommended by Echo. I suspect she was getting a kickback for sending tourists there ... [Continue reading this entry]

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Saturday, December 7th, 2002
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif China's greatest river, known by Westerners as the Yangtse, is called Jinsha Jiang by the Chinese. It's origin is in Tibet and runs through Tiger Leaping Gorge near Lijiang, east to Chongqing, on through ... [Continue reading this entry]

Zhondian aka Shangri-La

Thursday, December 5th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Bob took a flight south from Kunming to Mangshi and then on by bus to Ruili near the Burma border. Jana and I left Kunming on a Yunnan Airlines flight to the village of Zhongdian, ... [Continue reading this entry]

End of the Burma Road

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Sunday Dec 1-3 2002 Arrived at Kunming from Guilin after 23 hours on the train. We had gained considerable elevation throughout the night. We took a taxi to the Camellia Hotel where ... [Continue reading this entry]

China’s Secrets I Will Never Know

Wednesday, November 20th, 2002
S2bYNL6zJRrgaMn9LtR9tg-2006170195030775.gif Major Cities We Visited "The opening up of China is a stirring idea," Lonely Planet says. A foreigner traveling alone today is privileged to see more of China than almost any Chinese has seen ... [Continue reading this entry]