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I'm excited for Yuxi to hold such a recognized event. Chengjiang County is part of Yuxi, is it not?

Will our Holland to Kunming bike riding Vera be participating in the much shorter 115km action, whether sideline or on the course?

Has century old Tour de France evolved to accommodate female riders?

I can't help but think of disgraced Armstrong when this race is mentioned. Was he repentant or still denying culpability?

So many questions.

John's a great man. Not only did he write that fantastic book on the epic journey of northern universities to Kunming but he can also sing the complete works of Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Among western longterm sometime-residents John goes back further than any of us and is full of interesting stories, as well as solid knowledge and understanding that many of us chase. He is also an enthusiastic singer of broadway show tunes.
I found his book LIANDA:... really exciting - I don't think I've ever read another book on the history of a university, it's simply not generally a subject that interests me - but John's book was really exciting and informative concerning the period 1937-46, and perhaps impressed on me, more than anything else I've read or seen, just how important education has always been in Chinese culture - neither students nor instructors during the period were eating too well and often had to run & hide in fields when the Japanese planes bombed the city (before being eliminated by the Flying Tigers in December 1941) - after which they'd come back to class. And yet, even under such extreme conditions of exile to this city far away from China's more developed areas useful and original research was carried out with the resources available. The book is an inspiration for anyone who believes in education and its capacity to enlighten minds and promote independent thought, and it's good that it has attracted many Chinese readers. It should attract more foreign ones.

Western tourists under 30 will like any experience in Yunnan's tourist venues., although, well informed adults of 40+ usually prefer authentic rural villages and nature. On the other hand, after 3 to 5 days of nomadic road trips, all tourists like a top hotel and the carnival atmosphere of Lijiang...

In short, Lijiang is a great place to visit, but not spend the whole week there..

I went to the exhibition this afternoon, and it was amazing. It was the first time I've been to the Contemporary Gallery Kunming, and the gallery itself is quite impressive - I was expecting perhaps just a small building, but it is actually very spacious. The exhibition design, with the 'living garden' idea, really draws you in to the exhibition space, while the centrepiece artwork "The journey of Chinese plants" is a wonderful riot of colours. If you like art, flowers, botanical illustration, or even just something new, I highly recommend going!

Not sure if this applies to Italy visas, but for many other European countries:

The Joint Visa Application Center that used to be in Beichen, is now relocated to an office building at intersection of .Shibo Road and Bojin Avenue.

New address:
1501D, Building A, Low Carbon Business Center, No. 12 Shibo Road, Kunming City, Yunnan Province 650000 China

www.vfsglobal.cn/finland/china/contact_us.html#14

As the 70th National Golden Week comes to a close, allow me to end the discourse on a more positive note with the "second arrow" parable.

To use another weaponry analogy, a wooden arrow flies across a forest and hits a person on the back. This first arrow of misfortune causes great pain to the victim, or even a nation. Be it the pain and humiliation inflicted by the Japanese occupation, Nanjing massacre, or the Opium Wars instigated by the British centuries earlier. As victims in life, we may not see the first arrow coming, nor control its trajectory.

The second arrow, however, is the suffering in the psyche after being hit by the first arrow. The emotional turmoil lingering in the mind of the victim(s) afterwards. The archer of that second arrow is in actuality ourselves. We've been shooting ourselves with them since the dawn of human conflicts.

We internally fire the second arrow, perpetuating our own adverse reactions of suffering vis-a-vis the first. Negative reactions that lead to a cyclic chain reaction of retributions or suffering for others as well.

For the sake of humanity, and to avoid a nuclear winter or impending global warming catastrophe, we as individuals and a collective nation turning to the next chapter, should try to control life's second arrows by being more mindful, or "正念" (zhengnian).

The word "" is the combination of now () over mind/heart ().

Not being attached to the past, nor fretting the future.... drishta dharma sukha viharin.

Nuclear weapons, great power rivalry, drilling for oil and gas in the sea despite global warming. Learn from the mistakes of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan - not by not invading other countries but by ensuring we have sufficient weapons of mass destruction to avoid retaliation. What a wonderful future you set out for us.

Let's hope the Chinese, both its people and the government, does not make the same mistake as Japan did in WWII, into thinking that Americans are too soft and lack the resolve to pursue its enemies. If nothing else, history has shown that the US have its share of vindictive, hate-filled people who love nothing more than a fight based on perceived slights, Any attack on America will not be easily forgotten or forgiven.