Keats School

User profile: michael2015

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  • RegisteredDecember 16, 2015
  • RegionChina
  • VerifiedYes
  • RegisteredDecember 16, 2015

Forum posts

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Receiving money from the US into your Wechat

The answer is yes and no.

If you're a Chinese citizen - you can link your WeChat to the special app/svc that allows you to receive forex.

If you're NOT - then you'll need to use you're wife's/girlfriend's account, ID, and bank accounts (to include offshore bank accounts) to transfer funds into your WeChat.

Currently, I'm still unaware of any way to directly wire funds into WeChat pay, so we just use SWIFT to put money into our WeChat linked account.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > thumbs up & down

I've never liked the personal attacks on this forum. Debate or discussion is great as it helps us see other sides of polarizing issues - but when a debate or discussion decays into personal expletive ridden bullying - that's just "uncivilized", so I'm glad to see that's been toned down significantly, if not eliminated.

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Forums > Food & Drink > Where to get brunches in Kunming.

@tigertiger - moderator
Congrats on the new title and position.

Wicker Basket is great for no frills - but perhaps not particularly romantic for a date. Great for the kids - especially their salad buffet.

In the BeiChen walking alley area - a short distance from Wicker Basket is also the newly revamped Prague Cafe - upstairs dining area - that place is plush for a cafe and the food has excellent presentation - and the atmosphere is perhaps also quite nice for a brunch or even dinner date.

The Salvador's Loft near Wenlin Street is also quite nice and it's a genuine NO SMOKING cafe-restaurant.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Single Mom in Kunming

@vegananne
First - sympathies on your new single-mom status. That sucks - regardless of single mom or single dad. It's possible - but you need to calculate your budget before coming.

Um...apologies to all - this actually turned into a long rambling post...but...no downvote button...gyahahahaha...

SALARIES
You can use google translate (it works in china also) to look at chinese job sites such as Zhaopin.com to understand ESL salaries in west china (yunnan, Sichuan, etc) and maybe even Ayi salaries. You can also negotiate those repeat trip benefits - just take the money instead - save it up...if you're not particularly tight with your family.

NANNIES AKA AYI's
You can usually get a "live-in" nanny starting at ¥2k-3k per month however just like anywhere else - you'll be churning nannies as you attempt to find someone responsible, compassionate, patient, and most importantly, not abusive. You'll need to establish unspoken criteria for observing your nannies/housekeepers/cooks and be quick, efficient, and totally ruthless when you churn. Basically bringing the new Ayi home and telling the now fired Ayi to return to the agency to seek her next assignment. Ayi's have a probationary period - so if you don't churn them before the probation expires - you have to pay the termination salary - usually 1-2 weeks - but the agency can give you the current laws.

More expensive doesn't necessarily equate to higher quality.

I HIGHLY recommend you equip your nanny with a stroller and bag of baby supplies (assuming this is a baby) and keep your baby close to you - in public. That makes it more difficult for nannies to abuse your child - not impossible - just more difficult.

Word of mouth works better than agencies who hurl bodies at you while jacking up the rates to "foreigner" levels (usually around 3x local rates if they think they can get away with it). Agencies are supposed to screen and train their nannies - but ... buyer beware.

Live-in's are fed and will consume things like toilet paper, soap etc - so beware of the rapid consumption of these day-to-day items.

Nannies/housekeepers also can be assigned grocery buying - this is a major source of embezzlement - taking say ¥100 to buy ¥5-10 of decrepit groceries and pocketing the change.

Ayi's or nannies/housekeepers/cooks (multi-role) tend to work 6 days a week with at least 1 day off plus national holidays, sick leave, health insurance (absolutely NOT expensive here). Best to use an agency to understand current labor rules and laws.

As you will absolutely be churning Ayi's unless you're lucky (and if you were lucky, you wouldn't be a single mom), best to use an agency - regretfully - I only know of one agency and can maybe introduce but NOT vouch for them - they don't speak English so that sucks if you can't speak chinese.

There are occasionally advertisers on this site who offer compensated concierge-like services - from driving to translation - so that will help you transition - at a cost.

TRAVELLING WITH A MINOR
Also - if you're a US citizen - you'll need the father's permission to leave the country and basically travel ANYWHERE unless you have a court order (which you'll need translated) giving you full custody.

ANY time you fly in China with your child - and especially internationally - you'll need to present this notarized and translated letter, so please consider this.

To get a work visa here - you'll need a small mountain of documents that need to be authenticated in your home country (to include criminal background check) - which then need to be counter-authenticated by the local chinese consulate or embassy in your home country - so take care of those things before you leave.

Your baby's birth certificate and your legal evidence of sole custodian for your baby will also need to be authenticated by your government, then counter-authenticated by your local chinese consulate or embassy.

Finally - you should seriously consider your local support group (aka "friends"). Teaching can consumer a lot of your time, then there's baby time, self time, etc - so please consider the potential for mental and social isolation issues.

Buddhist and other religious and philosophical groups can be helpful.

As you are multi-lingual - some multinationals may be interested in you depending on your business skills.

You'll need to learn to shop online and find baby stores that deliver (most deliver for a nominal fee - especially when buying formula and diapers in bulk).

I used Ayi's for several years across china. Most were nightmares, especially in Kunming. Sichuan Ayi's tend to be the best - but there's always exceptions to the rule.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > thumbs up & down

I'm guessing the "thumbs down" feature was abused - hence it's removal - which makes sense. As Gokm is taking a more pro-active stance on bullying and abuse as opposed to lively and open discussions and debate - that could be an excellent evolution - but it doesn't really aid in Gokm cashflow generation.

Spamming a thumbs up button a la taboo faked ratings is rather pointless aside from satisfying those with exceptional egos.

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Comments

Great article and introduction to Keats. I noticed the article did NOT touch on employee loyalty and retention programs (at the cost of profit). Keats may wish to address this kind of core infrastructure in the future, at the appropriate time.

Patrick
Thanks much - great demographic info update!

Maybe your next article (assuming the census updated that info) can be on the various GDP per capita ratios?

Reviews

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This cafe is actually in the Yunda Green Lake campus and connected to the French Language school operated by Alliance Francais or the French Alliance.

It's mentioned elsewhere that pastries are provided by A Table down the street on Beimen Jie.

Aside from the no-smoking ban (since it's on-campus in Yunda) - it's a nice, quiet, smoke free and pleasant environment to rest, read, and relax for bit - if you happen to be on-campus and can't find a place to sit.

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I found Beijing Yingke through their ad on the gokunming website.

I recently used Beijing Yingke to take care of a rather complicated real estate transaction. After finally gathering all the required documents as specified - we actually managed to successfully complete the entire process in a single visit with no requirements for "additional documents" or "extra procedures".

Astonishing.

The attorneys were polite, tolerant of infinitely many questions, professional, courteous, and most of all - professional and competent.
The law firms fees were an acceptable increment above local fees, to account for the multi-lingual requirements.

Most importantly - the requested transaction was completed on the first pass with no additional documentation or procedures - which is a stunning accomplishment and nod towards Beijing Yingke's professional knowledge in this sector.

Five Star rating - highly recommend.

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Just stopped by Wicker Basket Beichen again to stock up on frozen pizzas, frozen pies (chicken, beef), cheese, and sliced ham (ask them to slice it for you). Love this place - simple decor, polite helpful nice staff - nothing fancy - but gets the job done.

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Finally got around to using Salvador's delivery service - tried it out on the chicken burrito and their bag of nacho chips. Delivery was flawless despite being a bit out of area (≥4km) and the food was still warm.

First experience - excellent (5 stars).

Excellent as always - even with long distance delivery. Now if only the online menu was expanded a little (like the chicken strips...hint hint hint...nudge nudge...wink wink).

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Just stopped into Prague Beichen for dinner a few nights ago - and I'm shocked at how good their food is - five star international hotel quality. Even the fruit-based drink was made from genuine fruit - as opposed to the usual domestic fare of fruit syrup with chunks of fruit added. The food was well-presented and "plated".

The restaurant itself has had a major overhaul and now occupies both the ground floor and the second floor - well illuminated without being blinding, wide open and airy space (2nd floor), nice attentive but non-intrusive service, and reasonable prices for excellent cuisine.

Will absolutely return several times more, to savor and experience other menu items.

A pleasant surprise and culinary delight - great place for a date or even a quiet business meeting. Excellent atmosphere.