User profile: michael2015

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Shopping at Metro

Metro used to be a regular bulk buying stop for us until we gradually replaced it with Taobao, Tmall, and jd (pinduoduo et al).

You can buy international cheese, steak, beef, burger patties, tortilla chips, salsa, cereals, etc ad infinitum. For Italian goods (wine, cheese etc) there's a company which advertises and is listed on gokm.

We used Metro's online service a couple of times - but for regular groceries and liquids (from detergents to beverages) - Hema (alibaba's online and brick & mortar grocery store) et al and skip the parking and crowds.

Wet markets for fresh vegetables, meat, fish, poultry...

Also - if you like the ingredients etc at Salvadors, you can ask to buy their cheese, tortilla chips, etc and they can usually facilitate, so I don't really see the value of Metro for our family's paltry needs.

Plus - deliveries are to our door - so no need to stuff everything into the car, taxi, e-bike then haul it up the stairs (old apartment).

Wicker Baskets (they have several locations) also have cheese, tobasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, bread, canned soup, canned tuna/fish, and my favorites - sausages, beef and chicken pot pies, coffee, apple pies, sliced bacon, and sliced ham...in addition to their restaurant at competitive prices and we've always found their service outstanding (better than excellent). If only Wicker Basket had a delivery service and an online store...

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Gokunming-Where have all the foreigners gone

The USA is a great country, with great people - however its politicians and political allies have a rather bad habit of finger pointing and scape goating for political gain, and then end up spastically poking themselves in the eye. China responds to finger pointing in kind, for which it is globally and grandly condemned and criticized. Expats are merely collateral damage from the pervading nationalistic sentiment and international power plays for hegemony or supremacy.

That said - China continues to be the industrial capital of the world with a focus on the belt and road revival with a goal to be a competitive financial center and influencer.

While many may bemoan the current state - please remember Chinese businesses (such as the cram schools) are also suffering as the country realigns itself. Also bear in mind that despite the western rhetoric - China sustainably eliminated poverty for over 600 million rural residents over the last 20 years. That's twice the population of the USA, with half the GDP.

The western model of IPO and finance is steeped in corporate greed, corruption and an inestimable lack of social responsibility. The current trend of reigning in the rampant profiteering of tech giants, to encourage them to balance rampant profiteering with social responsibility to both it's employees and the communities they serve is a debatably welcome and long overdue act of sustainable social engineering.

Expats have been and will always be guests in whichever country they choose to live. That's the price one pays. I suspect in the distant future, China will slowly open up it's immigration rules to also allow citizenship, beyond the debatably difficult to get green card (perhaps that's just a Yunnan thing, due to lack of training or motivation).

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Gokunming-Where have all the foreigners gone

You mean that country that invested over USD 80 billion in taxpayer monies and countless military and civilian lives for over 20 years to force create a middle eastern democracy, then abruptly left a few days ago (a la Vietnam style), leaving behind millions to billions of dollars of ...blah blah blah...and they still can't effectively control the rolling nationwide COVID pandemics at home.

Meanwhile, California is on fire...again...literally...

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Gokunming-Where have all the foreigners gone

gokm is still and will probably always be my "goto" site for international English-based traffic. Hopefully content and client interactions will pick up again once gokm hires its new editor.

A lot of forum traffic seems to be occurring offline in various WeChat forums, such as US Citizen's Services, Rotary-KM, and the Foreign Business Owner's groups, to name a few.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Teaching in Kunming/China

Chinese students in China study English from around grades 1-3 until high school and sometimes in university. Typically they study English every year for at least 10-12+ years, college and post grads even longer.

Most of these alleged college grads I've met panic and go into catatonic shock at the simplest business communications phrases:
1. Hello. Nice to meet you, what's your name
2. Where do you work?

3. What do you do?
...etc etc etc...

If I studied Chinese (or latin, Hebrew, farsi, Urdu, Swahili etc) for 10 years - I could sing Beijing opera from memory and recite, read, and write (and somewhat understand) the entire litany of popular Tang Dynasty poems, dizigui, dao de Qing, and possibly Sunzi's art of war...

There is something inherently wrong with the way English is taught and learned in Chinese schools (starting with a lack of action-based learning outside the classroom), not to mention the general lack of motivation by students to actually be bilingual fluent.

That said - I have no solution...but it's rather a waste of government and academic resources and students limited time based on my very very limited perception of the results.

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Standard, clean, well-furnished and appointed mall with the usual fare:
Starbucks
MacDonalds
Bread stores, Drink stores, a mid-end Radisson business hotel
The usual mall stores, movie theaters, and a host of after school training schools (robotics, language, dance, art etc).

Evenings are the usual mini-carnival activities for small children - carnival rides, the ubiquitous electric cars, an illuminated water fountain, a host of kiddie games etc etc etc.

Across the street - a scaled down Aegean Mall (also named Aegean Mall).

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I occasionally visit the Kai Wah Plaza International Hotel to attend Kunming Rotary Club events. Although I've never stayed in the hotel or viewed its rooms (now on my bucket list) - the food has always been excellent both in presentation, aroma, taste, flavor, etc from appetizers to desserts - with a well-stocked and diverse wine selection - typical of international 5-star hotels. Kudos.

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Met a friend after dinner for drinks and chat up on the rooftop patio/bar. Music was a little loud for us - but was surprised at this jewel of a bar. What a nice comfortable place.

I was told the hostel only charges cny40 a night for a shared room bunk bed - can't beat that.

Truly a gem for travelers on a budget and the rooftop bar has a beautiful and memorable sunset view (see the pictures).

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Stopped by last night for dinner on the small patio and to pick up a couple of their apple pies. Always attentive and courteous staff and good solid food. Don't forget to check out their freezers for frozen foods like chicken and beef pot pies, pizzas, quiches, cakes etc.

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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.