Forums > Food & Drink > Bread in Kunming
There is going to be a royal rumble of all bread makers in Kunming.
First up is French cafe wielding dual bagguettes. They have good reach and once opened, quite sharp edges. Their snarky waitresses form the vanguard of their attack spitting looks as dangerous as their bread strikes (i.e. not as bad as everyone says). Slice of heaven will come into play with some slightly denser breads, hollowed in the middle and worn like boxing gloves. Barbara is quite a formidable opponent, she might look like your mum, well she hits like her too. Yonder we see the Chinese entrants, there are many of them, but prefer to keep their distance from the stronger bread of the westerners. They will be throwing their bread slices from afar, hoping to blind their enemies with sugary crumbs, we don't give them much of a chance.
Wait! In walks Omgiri and Jia Jia from As you like. Their bread is stone ground, but for the fight they have left some grinding stones in their bread. This might get ugly as they fight in a pair watching each others back and the edges of the baking slices on their bread are razor sharp and capable of being thrown.
But wait, the Germans. Their bread is thick, dense and so heavy they can barely lift it above their head. Rainer has made a special batch for the fight, with a hole clear through the middle. Enlisting help from fellow German compatriots at Metro, into these holes will be slid Metro baguettes. The result is wicked looking bagguette hammers. However the weight of the hammer head may prove to be the baguettes downfall as it may be crushed under such German engineering.
Who will win? You can find out when the rumble begins tomorrow night, 2am on Wenlin Street. Live footage will be streamed to O'Riellys so we can watch the glutenny carnage with a beer in hand.
Forums > Living in Kunming > Google Earth blocked?
I think my observation is not completely unfounded and it isn't exactly a dramatic conspiracy theory. Think about it, currently probably the biggest sites that could contribute to Chinese insecurity are western news sites which are almost always bashing Chinas human rights abuses (while often ignoring very similar things in their own backyard). I do realise these are occasionally blocked, but mostly they are free to access.
While the main western sites which are blocked or unreliable are places like youtube, facebook, google docs/map/search. Yet all of these sights have their own policies to stop abuse of their sites and will remove content deemed inappropriate - porn, personal attacks, bad language, anything deemed "offensive content". Hell, try to post on Facebook that you are going to kill the US president and see how long that remains live... there was a story a while back about a guy who was not allowed into the US because he said he was going to "tear up" the US... meaning "party hard" but it was interpreted as a terrorist plot by the CIA... that is clearly government control of these services.
China in turn has a massive internet user base which if their clicks were "given" to western corporations would enrich western (mostly American) companies - essentially sending money out of the country. If the Chinese government was really serious about these sites, they would close down and not allow similar sites in China. But we see weibo, QQ, soku, baidu, etc operating pretty freely.
Why is that if only to keep the millions generated from the advertising from billions of clicks a year in the hands of Chinese business? To me it is clearly a type of protectionism, the same as Frances Common Agricultural Policy or the US passed to use American steel in its big infrastructure projects. I think it is less likely to be someone "screwing up" as they have had rather a long time to sort out the GFC - it should be quite a mature IT system and be fairly good at testing its own blocking services. A more likely scenario to me is that someone wants these western websites to appear to be "unreliable" to customers which will mean they will convert to using the equivalent Chinese provided service.
Forums > Living in Kunming > Google Earth blocked?
Got the same problem here for a lot of foreign sights and I aren't in a school, a home based connection. Hotmail, cannot connect. www.stuff.co.nz cannot connect. yahoo.com cannot connect.
I guess since GoKunming is hosted in HK its not quite a foreign site...
I do wonder if the GFC is not used just to "ensure harmony and stability in Chinese society" but as a type of protectionism against foreign based internet firms. Weibo and QQ are virtually indistinguishable from Facebook and I bet Facebook (who don't have a "don't be evil" motto) would quite willingly enter China and give authorities access to block users accounts if it meant more $$$. These are Chinese business that profit from the blocking of foreign sites. The same can be said for their mapping sites, baidu, email sites etc etc etc.
Who wins when GFC blocks foreign sites? Chinese businesses...
Forums > Living in Kunming > Do you also willfully ignore expats you cross in the street?
I think the amount of ignoring fellow lao wai is directly proportional to the distance from expected locations to find fellow lao wai. For example, if I am on Bei Chen walking street, in Metro, on Wen Lin Jie, I will probably ignore lao wai. But... if I am in a place like Xi Shan, Yuxi, Anning, even parts of the city where I don't normally see lao wai, I will smile while passing and even say "Hi!". There is no reason for us not to celebrate human interactions with our fellow humans, particularly ones we can identify with in some way - asia should teach us that this is where western culture is in error. It seems to me most Asians will talk to each other or interact in some way based on the smallest of commonalities, which leads to a more fulfilling day to day existence and greater sense of belonging. We westerners tend to fall into a trap of "don't interact with anyone, act unimpressed by everyone/everything, don't show any emotion" type of existence, where we go to work, interact with computers which separates us from real human interaction, go home, watch TV and wonder why we feel unfulfilled with our lives. I can tell you this - compared with my home (whose people are particularly notorious for their desire to avoid interaction), I have a greater sense of belonging in Asia, even if I can't speak the language so well. Why? Because Asians tend to listen to their base desire that human contact brings happiness so will try to interact with you and others easily. Shouldn't we learn something from this?
I do note however that most laowai in Asia do feel this too (maybe it just comes from travelling?) and I tend to have more genuine interactions with laowai friends here than I do with most stay-at-homers in the west...