i2 International Institute of Education

User profile: michael2015

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

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Advice on working as a tour guide for Spanish ppl

Lorena
Thank you for sharing. Hopefully, you've learned to stand up for yourself and don't be a doormat for anyone, regardless of the job. They were NOT doing you a favor, you were doing THEM a favor - for five years.

Management should NEVER yell at employees - it's abusive and bullying behavior (unless you did something incredibly stupid and irresponsible the SECOND time and even then...it's just not professional and not acceptable).

Good luck with your new job - hope you meet a higher class of professionals than the yoyo's you worked with here.

As for tips - travel agencies should establish a guideline for tips - usually 15% is the standard, 20% for great services, less for whatever reason.

Back in 1995, we usually tipped our tour guides MORE than USD 100 for 2 week trips - (that's just us), which was actually a phenomenal tip back in those days - that did NOT include whatever crumbs the rest of the tour group would tip, and we ALWAYS tipped privately.

If you'd like to return to China to work legally, drop me a PM along with your short and long-term career goals. Your multi-lingual language abilities (to include Spanish) may be very useful in the future.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > UK Citizens Brexit referendum vote

As I understand the BREXIT issue - which isn't very clear - the British were upset mostly about the influx of cheaper labor from the newer impoverished EU countries, that the EU snapped up after the USSR collapsed, making it difficult for local residents to find jobs. Getting hammered by the US lead global financial crisis didn't help - with all the bailouts.

The EU allegedly required the UK enforce gender equalization and other social responsibilities in the work force (equal pay, maternity leave, etc), so these hard won social benefits will be at risk of erosion by corporate UK.

Also, as I understand things - the UK still used the GBP and had not implemented the EUD/Euro as a currency - so that's a rather strong indicator of a rather half-hearted EU accession.

The EU itself was apparently rather ineffective - suffering from the chronic "can't please all the people all the time" syndrome, from their weak response to the global financial crisis, to dealing with the massive influx of middle eastern refugees and their rather diverse and different culture.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > China Eastern infant ticket

Suggest you escalate to the floor supervisor immediately. If no joy, then escalate to the manager who sits far away in the airport office. Usually staff refuse to honor policy because they don't know how to do it and figure if they rebuff you enough, you'll just eat it. This requires incredible patience. Also, do NOT let them move you aside so they can serve other passengers, until the manager shows up. They'll try to move you to other counters...just stand still. Two people can play the game of being a rock...it's obnoxious, but so is stealing your money.

Just remember to be polite, smile a lot, and be obstinate and politely annoying to the best of your ability.

Having a crying toddler helps exacerbate your dilemma...politely. You may also use the opportunity to change your baby's diaper on the ticketing counter...since everyone's being politely rude.

The airline will also attempt to issue a voucher, but these things typically expire within 12 months or less. If you paid with a credit card - that helps - you MAY be able to reverse the charge with your credit company, but that's also an exercise in patience.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Kunming Taxi Service Is Very Good

Alexez
If you're going to pay double, use the uber-like taxi services. Cars are nicer, cleaner, and drivers more professional.

Better to pay the professional than the price gouger. You MIGHT consider reporting the government agency responsible for managing the taxis to the State Discipline committee for potential breach of fiduciary duty...just a thought...

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Comments

Wow - thanks for the update(s). This opens a brand new line of journalistic travel reporting fog gokm. What to see & do around each station (temples, eateries, entertainment, etc).

Look forwards to the municipal subway exit travel reporting (for tourists and locals alike).

And you can also do travel video spots for the local tv channels - chinese love (I think) to see foreigners who can speak reasonably fluently and whom are delighted with the local culture(s).

I'm just glad we can finally (maybe) get to dianchi without grabbing taxis, didiche or buses.

Central government mandates general or qualitative requirements, It is then the responsibility of various provinces to implement quantitative results.

How would one structure sustainable pilot projects, to demonstrate such diversity - to include funding and finance? Each ecosystem is diverse from the next - so to initiate a project requires finance to study the current (or previously existing) bio-diversity, to develop a sustainable plan to move forwards with responsibly and sustainably managed resources.

This requires access to academic and commercial resources - who won't work for free.

Alien's solution is direct, but probably not scalable, sustainable and therefore feasible (too many people - reduce population).

When presenting an issue or problem, it's always a good idea to have at least three potentially feasible solutions for discussion and implementation.

@east
Concur with your assessment - but fossil fuels are a known depleting asset, hence the long-term (perhaps beyond our lifespan) national impetus behind these assets.

Also agree that hydropower construction can be infinitely more LEED-ish in their construction behavior.

On that note - many of the more heavily polluting industries such as mining, refineries, etc can be made significantly cleaner through energy based solutions - which we have yet to witness generally in China.

For example, pollution from Guangzhou's fossil plants can energy-assisted technologies currently in use in developed countries - so that's perhaps a hybrid solution that benefits both parties - assuming one can find the funding to implement such technologies AND the project owners are sufficiently motivated to implement such cleaner technology supplements/complements - aka central government mandates, grants, and subsidies.

As for the legendary Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) - those usually come with FIT (Feed in Tariff) agreements - hence the short-term nature of these agreements. We've seen globally that FIT programs are short-term solutions to encourage market entry, but are non-sustainable.

As for grid congestion - that's an issue of planning. As you've noted, China and even developed countries still have not developed the technologies to enable efficient long-distance transmission of power.

Hydropower isn't going away - so the best solution is to hybridize and try to work with what we have to minimize all the valid issues you've raised and do our best to render these systems more ecologically harmonious - example hybridized sluice - where we can still sustainably maintain the downstream environments at a safe but sustainable level.

Too often, commercial and environmental interests stand diametrically opposed and commercial interests typically dominate.

So if you have viable suggestions that can be presented to the NDRC, I'd be more than willing and interested to discuss and perhaps help frame the projects and finance (in English, regrettably), along with potential downstream domestic government and pseudo-government investors, to add to hopefully create a potentially overwhelming sustainable, scalable, and feasible solution that NDRC can in good conscious mandate.

It's not a perfect solution - but perhaps a good first step to more responsible resource utilization and management and infinitely better than standing still, diametrically opposed.

I suppose this would be called "managed wetlands" or something like that (as opposed to eliminated wetlands) - assuming the issue is downstream wetland ecosystems.

Feel free to PM (private mail) me to discuss how to move forwards - perhaps even generate multi-lateral support.

While it may not seem apparent, ALL governmental infrastructure projects require feasibility studies, which include social and environmental impact studies - so the first starting place is to examine those studies, to understand the current standard government logic and behavior in approving and or waiving of those social and environmental costs.

To access this information, you'll absolutely need a strong commercial or government partner - the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.

Again - the objective is to change the working model so we're all actively working together as opposed to butting heads (with a little central government mandate to help encourage the reticent).

First - excellent and informative article. Although I absolutely must concur with some of the views of the expert - the facts are always not so obvious, when one chooses to micro-focus on subsystems as opposed to expanding one's view to a larger system. This is a popular management trend called decision-based data as opposed to data-driven decisions. So agreement, disagreement, or no opinion - depends on one's perspective.

Most westerners, especially those with hidden or obvious political agendas, look at China as they look at the west - a free market based economy.

China is a planned economy and certain infrastructures are built looking forwards decades.

China's energy consumption trajectory is not considered by the author, so let's take a look at that subjectively or qualitatively, since I'm too lazy to do the research numbers.

ENERGY CONSUMPTION IN KUNMING
Our hot water heaters used to be gas powered - but we had to replace the "damned" thing every two years because of the buildup of ash (aka toxins - seriously...green flecks in the ash - what is that? Chromium?) from the dirty gas. We switched to a combination of solar and electric (which do NOT work in tandem).

The prolific construction of new high-rises do not permit the effective use of solar in high density residential communities (e.g. most real estate development mega projects in Kunming are around the 2k residence level. So on demand electric systems make more sense.

COOKING
We haven't switched to electric because the power grid where we live simply won't handle the load (much less our ancient wiring). New high rise developments come with the option of gas or electric - with most choosing electric. It's fast, clean, and doesn't expose the stove components to cooking spillage. We've replaced our gas stove twice in the last 8 years - but to be fair - the last replacement was required because we switched to a new "cleaner" gas.

E-BIKES
Prolific.

MASS TRANSIT
The subway - electric powered. Buses moving towards electric power. And automobiles - e-powered vehicles are an emerging phenomenon with incredibly central government support and subsidies. Occasionally, you'll spot that rare BYD electric powered taxi (the SUV). China is migrating as much as its domestic infrastructure off fossil fuel dependence as possible.

So just from our own personal experiences and observations - consumer-based consumption of electric services is increasing at a steady pace.

ENVIRONMENTAL
There is no argument about the destruction of surrounding habitats and the migration of valley dwellers. This is a management issue for the government as they strive for poverty elimination. A large part of China's poverty elimination program is focused on attracting rural workers to cities, with jobs, education, and the ever upwardly mobile opportunities that education can provide - hence that insane construction pace. Kunming is planned to grow to a size of 10 million (but don't know the date on that plan).

Last time I checked - the city is at about 6.6 million, so we have another 3.4 million to go - so those 2000 unit mega developments (assume a family size of 4) housing up to 4 people, not including grandparents, in-laws, and others - 8k per development. That means ROUGHLY we'll need another 425 real estate development projects to house those 3.4 million additional residents.

That's another 850k families (3.4 mil/4,assuming a family unit of 4) consuming energy, services, infrastructure, e-bikes, cooking, water, toilet flushing, etc etc etc.

And that's JUST Kunming - there are 15 other prefectural level cities with supposed urban sprawl magnet program requirements as part of the nation's poverty elimination strategies.

So the author points out the displacement of a few thousand to a few hundred thousand people. Cast that against 3.4 million and things perhaps aren't quite as obvious - and again, that is ONLY based on Kunming plans. As we all noticed with the formerly famous and internationally maligned Chenggong ghost city (not so ghostly anymore), planned economies can be sustainably successful. And we didn't even discuss all the government (schools, 2 fly toilets, etc) and commercial infrastructures (restaurants, businesses, etc ad infinitum) that spawn from those residential communities. And we haven't even begun to address the energy sucking behavior of the internet and all its derivative industries - data centers, cloud computing centers, distributed corporate IT migration strategies.

Easy to criticize a microscopic spot than to manage the mega complicated system that is China.

However - that said - the author's points ARE valid and we do need alternate perspectives, so we understand the cost/benefit trade-off more responsibly.

And...I'll just get off that soapbox now...

Reviews

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By

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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By

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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By

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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By

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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By

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).