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Forums > Study > methods employed by foreign english teachers

I really don't mind this sort of thing unless it becomes one-after-another, but I think a simple polite refusal or acceptance is the proper form. As for the appropriateness of the exercise, I think the form ("Hello my name is Joey I'm 7 I live in..." etc.) is a bit primitive, but the fact that real kids get to talk to real English speakers is good - all too many people in China have a nervous kind of feeling about 'foreigners' that is a result of bits of xenophobia in Han culture that stresses a 'They are REALLY DIFFERENT who knows what they'll do or say?' attitude, which often demonstrates or results in inappropriate this that or the other ('Welcome to China!' 'But I speak Chinese and have been here for 15 years.' Never mind, welcome to China!' etc. - after which it begins to be about face rather than real communication). Young kids, especially, can be talked to simply like real kids from anywhere, will respond to kindness even though it comes from a funny-looking guy whom they otherwise might be taught to fear as an ogre, and will be delighted. I really don't have much of a problem with this, unless, obviously, some parent simply uses you inconsiderately for a long period of time. The value of the exercise is not really in teaching method/learning more language, but in learning that people who look different and speak different languages are people too - as good a lesson as I know for people of any age, and a good one to acquire while young.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Is it just me, or?

The ad is simply racist. There are historical reasons for racism, in China and elsewhere, which are very important to understand. Combating racism often (not always) demands patience rather than blind anger or self-righteous posing.

Most important, however, is to exterminate it utterly.

Forums > Living in Kunming > the second thing-language issue

The dialects in Yunnan are difficult for me too, but I do not notice people refusing to speak standard Chinese when I politely point out that I can't understand dialect, unless they simply haven't learned standard Mandarin pronunciation, so the issue of what they 'should' do does not come up. And it is not simply a problem in China - people speak dialects all over the world. As for leaving people out of communication, this is often regularly done by the foreigners in Kunming whose Chinese is sufficient but whose mutual conversations in English are often carried on in many varieties of slang, which few local Chinese may be able to follow.


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Ocean, you may be right - I recently had similar trouble at the West bus station - as the traffic situation worsens, taxi practices are perhaps changing for the worse.

Justice is an ideal, ultimately probably unattainable. Vengeance might be the best approximation of justice under some social conditions, but they are not the same thing. I find the knee-jerk identification of the two concepts in China (and in many other places) when considering murder to be unfortunate - a product of history, like everything else, and not some moral rule embedded in the structure of the universe. We don't have to pretend we're living in the woods, or under battlefield conditions.

However, I have to admit that the worsening traffic situation has recently led to somewhat of a decline in cabbie-customer relations - waiting in traffic must surely hurt cabbies' incomes, and trying to pry a cab out of the machine rivers that once-pleasant streets have become - where cabbies have to work - certainly doesn't improve the attitude of either fare-payers or drivers.

I have had better experiences with Kunming taxi drivers than with those anywhere else I've ever lived - a few times some driver has screwed up, but I've never been ripped off by a cabbie here, and I have learned a few things sitting in the front seat and chatting with them (have also been bored by the usual repetitive questions & comments concerning foreigners etc.) - I'm not in a position to say that everybody's experiences are good, but it could be you're doing something wrong.

However, taxis are just as damaging to the traffic situation as private cars are - hence the requiem for the period that ended just a few years ago, when buses, bicycles - and cabs when necessary - were more than sufficient to get everybody where they needed to go, reasonably dry, in reasonably good health, and with a reasonable degree of mutual social contact and cooperation.



Not quite what you'd call a jumping place, but not bad at all for rather standard US-type meals, not overly expensive, and with a really good salad bar that's cheap, or free with most dinner dishes after 5:30PM. You can get a bottle of beer or even wine if you really want to, but I've never seen anybody do it - maybe that's just to take out. Chinese Christian run, and they hire people with physical disadvantages, who are pleasant and helpful. Frequented by foreign (mostly North American) Christians and Chinese Christians - was started by a Canadian couple associated with Bless China (previously, Project Grace), who are no longer here, but no religious pressure or any of that. Steaks are nothing special, and I avoid the Korean dishes, which I've had a few times but which did not impress me.

As a shop and bakery, it's very good bread at reasonable prices, of various kinds (Y18 for a good multigrain loaf that certainly weighs well over a pound. Other stuff too, like granola and oatmeal that is local, as well as imported things, including American cornflakes and so forth, which some people seem to require.


Large portions, seriously so with the pizza, which is Brooklyn/American style, I guess. Convivial, conversational, good place to drink with good folks on both sides of the bar, especially after about 9PM.


Really good pizza and steaks. The wine machine fuddles me when I'm a bit fuddled, & seems unnecessary. Good folks on both sides of the bar.