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Forums > Travel Yunnan > 小矮人王国 - Kingdom of the Dwarfs

@Alien...
The Minorities Village being the place off Dianchi Rd. where there are tiny ethnic villages set up and people (I assume they are from the ethnic minority) dress up, do shows and so on. I imagine some of them feel some sort of discrimination due to their ethnic background (likely tied to lack of educational opportunities in the hinterlands), but of course nothing like the short people experience.

Does going to see recreations of purported minority lifestyles and so on demean them? Do those working there demean themselves by doing such work?

Anyway, a different shade along the equality / inequality continuum.

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > 小矮人王国 - Kingdom of the Dwarfs

In response to Alien's July 29 post, I wonder how he sees the difference between the Dwarf Kingdom and Kunming's Minorities Village? Do people go to the Minorities Village to admire, or is it to gawk at "those people's weird dress / dwellings / actions," or something in between? To be titillated or educated?

There is no reason to discriminate against anyone of small stature because of their size IF they have skills that allow them to do another job. Perhaps this is the biggest part of the problem, that most of them do not have significantly marketable skills (for various reasons that are not part of this argument), and is what relegates them to crappy employment opportunities, be it tending cattle in the countryside or dancing in tutus in the Dwarf Kingdom. What is significant is that there are heaps of others with this same limitation, lack of education or training, BUT those "normal" folks don't stick out the same way as short people with similar limitations...they blend into society and are relatively invisible to us because of their "normality." I don't think they have it any better than the short people, maybe worse in some ways. Do they have a chance to go to a Dwarf Kingdom to find work? No, instead they might turn to prostitution, theft or other less savory things than dancing in a tutu.

Introduce me an educated, competent person whose values I respect and I will hire them, be friends with them, etc. any day, regardless of size, skin color, gender, nationality, religion. I have respect for the person who made the hard choice to find the best possible avenue, even if the Dwarf Kingdom, and is working to improve their life by their own hands and mind.

If we all boycott the Dwarf Kingdom, what will happen to those working there now? Will those who think the place is evil step up and do something positive to assist these newly unemployed people? Will you give you time to train them in some employable skill? Teach them English for free? Offer them a roof over their heads? Will you modify your home or place of business to accommodate their short stature (as has been done at the Kingdom)? It isn't perfect but I can imagine far worse fates for them.

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > 小矮人王国 - Kingdom of the Dwarfs

I guess one must think of all the things people do to make a living, and there are far worse ones than this, and many of those are illegal or immoral. If this is viewed as degrading or humiliating, think back on the last beauty pageant you may have seen. I personally would rather see short folks doing shows that prompt audience laughter (as mentioned, like vaudeville or slapstick humor) than see a bunch of half-starved, made-up-beyond-recognition women parading around in high heels and low cut dresses. Might add the same goes for a body-building competition. Are these to also be deplored and criticized as freak shows and exploitation? What is the distinction?

The world is fascinated by the unusual - that is why people stop and stare at most of us foreigners when they see us (me especially, with my giraffe-like legs...neck is normal, thank goodness ;-). This curiosity with the "odd" will not change. These short-statured folks have the choice and it is their choice to weigh this alternative, not perfect for sure, versus what they have outside this community and life. I applaud them for making the hard decision to leave their families and communities to try something new.

Actually, I meet the owner's wife via another friend who runs an English school. She invited me to accompany her but the plans fell through. Just yesterday I rode my bike by the place on some back, dirt roads. While I did not go in I was amazed by the infrastructure there. I will try to reinstate the invitation and go soon, and if not I will ride out there and see for myself.

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Looking at United's map, then at Matt's maps, and thinking of almost all airline route maps I recall viewing, I wonder why the routes are invariably shown as curved lines / arcs? Does this imply going from ground level into the atmosphere and back down? Does it reflect the often indirect nature of flight traffic routes? Is it meant to impart the feel of flying around the sphere that is our planet? Or, does it simply make it look more "comfortable?" Just wondering....

I've seen articles about "rail bikes" in the past, bikes set up to actually ride the rails. Any thought to trying that, or the (im)possiblity of doing something like that?

The route sounds infrequently traveled enough to perhaps pull it off.

Cheerz - great adventure and write up!

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I wrote a long review initially, then appended this bit on the next morning...

"I want to add to this to my review of 25 March. The owners (...I believe they are the owners) of Salvatore are a kind and helpful couple who speak perfect English. I can only hope they can get the kitchen, recipes and seasonings in order to make the restaurant successful. Best of luck to them...get some GARLIC please!"

...I did not know that adding this would delete the first review. As I am not keen on writing the original review again I will simply say that as "Sanyiseul" wrote on 23 Feb, there was no flavor to any of the foods - no real seasonings at all. The lasagna I ordered had a slightly sweet meat sauce and only a hint of cheese inside. I must say that the noodles in it were good though. Our pizza Margherita came out just 3 minutes after we ordered it - it was NOT hot. The crust was doughy tasting and, again, no flavor whatsoever. I wonder if these are pre-made and then just reheated? My friends' pasta dishes were equally uninspiring.

I don't know how this can be a successful chain elsewhere but such a dud here. As I wrote in my appended message above, I sure hope the nice owners can get the message and fix the problems, or nobody will return...not at their high-end prices!