User profile: geteven

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Earthquake Assist

Let me translate that last one for everyone in case they missed it elsewhere: You can donate 1 or 2 RMB by sending a text message to 1069999301 with a "1" or a "2" in the message body. I just did it and it works - you'll get a followup message in Chinese thanking you for your donation.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Banks

I have a suggestion -- give up. It is impossible to find a bank with no international withdrawal charges. On the other hand, of major national banks, there is a range of how much you get charged. Here's what to look for:

ATM withdrawal fees: Your bank will charge you something for international withdrawal. This can range from 1-3% of every withdrawal (you take out 100 RMB, they keep 1-3RMB as a fee). Some banks have fixed rates - maybe US $3-5 per withdrawal - this is really crappy, because then even if you only withdraw 10 bucks, they will still charge you 5 for the service.

Currency conversion fees: Some banks charge 1-2% or give you a really bad $US to RMB conversion rate. This is a sneaky way of them charging you even more on top of the ATM withdrawal fees.

Credit cards often have some of these fees too -- check international use charges on the credit card and also see if they raise the rate for cash advances (good in an emergency) if you do it internationally.

Wells Fargo is undoubtedly the worst. I currently bank with them -- and between 0 interest on checking and the outrageous ATM fees, they get an F-.

I have heard good things about Citibank. Anyone have a banking success story?

Forums > Food & Drink > Decent Indian

that green (coriander/cilantro) chutney.
channa masala, dhal: delicious and vegetarian, which is worth catering to since many travellers and expats are.
don't leave out the breads either (i would kill for chapati
luckily it seems like lamb and chicken are both readily available in kunming.
take advantage of stuff that's available locally -- seasonal mango chutney, fresh mango lassi, do something with tamarind
sweet spiced rice deserts
spiced ice cream (cinnamon, coriander, generic "chai" flavor) -- maybe salvadors would sell it to you?

Forums > Living in Kunming > Hospitals and Matresses

If you're considering going in for some cheap non-essential procedures while you're here in Kunming... don't. Honestly the nearest quality hospitals you'll find are in Bangkok and Hong Kong. As for Kunming's hospitals, I have heard a long chain of horror stories -- many from people who are fluent in Chinese, and can explain exactly what they need/want.

If you are feeling pretty ill and need some attention, I'd suggest getting in touch with the doctors with Project Grace for advice, or emailing your family doctor back home. If you can tell the hospital/pharmacy exactly what you need, you're better off.

My understanding is that first affiliated is as good as it gets here (note that they are SOS's partner hospital in Kunming). If anyone else has more tips... PLEASE, they'd be very welcome.


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Oh, baby, I can't wait to get myself a luxury train ticket to Yunnan and get out of Beijing for a while. But I had to wonder what a 'luxury train' entails:

"The suites will feature an en-suite bathroom with shower, mini bar and in-room entertainment system with music, TV and satellite internet. A butler is on call throughout the journey..."

Sounds pretty posh. Now if only they could get some hot tubs onto the thing I'd be sold.

If you are interested in the farm but need some English-speaking assistance, contact Pesticide Eco-Alternatives Center at Just explain what you want to know and someone will get back to you.
-- Even

If Plateau Reaction is the translation they chose, their meaning comes through clearly -- here on the plateau, a reaction to life, society, etc, or whatever. At the same time, though, I thought it would be interesting for non-speakers of Chinese to catch the double meaning. Really, a very well chosen name in Chinese, but it doesn't come through with only one translation :)

Just thought I'd mention that the name of the studio, 高原反应, might be better translated as "Altitude Sickness" although the other translation is indeed correct.


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