Electric cars are becoming a more and more common sight on Kunming's roads. You can easily tell them by their green registration plates. Just this morning, JD spotted 6 Teslas on our trip to school, plus there are a lot of Chinese-brand e-cars too. I would say 10% of Kunming's cars are electric these days, and 90% of the bikes, too. Hopefully this will help reduce the pollution, both fuel and noise.
JD celebrated his birthday this weekend. His favourite present was a second-hand typewriter - something he's been wanting for months.
For his party we met up with five of his friends and their families for a vegetarian buffet in a quaint restaurant overlooking LianHua Lake. This was followed by two birthday cakes, the opening of presents and an hour sailing (and ramming!) a small flotilla of electric boats on the lake. It was a really fun time for all.
MU5735 is a flight all too familiar to my wife, as she takes it regularly to get to Guangzhou's wholesale clothes where she buys stock for her Kunming fashion store. So it was a real shock to hear that this flight crashed last week, seemingly without explanation.
The graph (above) shows just how suddenly and catastrophically the plane went from normal cruising altitude to a nose-dive into the mountains of GuangXi. The experts are surmising that either the tail just fell off or the pilot went rogue. Either way it's a mystery for now.
During odd five minute-breaks at home, in between his daily 3-4 hours of homework, JD has been gradually building an airport in his bedroom using Dupo Lego, toy cars/planes/tanks/etc and furniture legs!
Although it looks fairly random, he has a long back-story and can spend ages explaining to you how each part of the airport works and why everything is in its rightful place. Untidy, but imaginative!
I'm amid a second week of online University lessons. Not ideal at all. There are significant COVID outbreaks in various places in China, but mostly in the East - far from us. I think the latest figure for Kunming is 10 cases (in a city of 7 million).
But the authorities here continue to pursue a "no-COVID" policy, trusting that lockdowns and mass testing will eventually prove more effective than Chinese vaccines and abandoning all preventative measures. That remains to be seen.
I was just about to leave for work at the University yesterday when a text message came through saying, "Do NOT come to YUFE. All lessons this week are to be conducted online".
There was no immediate explanation, but later I heard that a student in another University in Kunming had tested positive for COVID and so all Kunming Universities had to close for 3-4 days.
This presented me with some problems:
(1) My afternoon lessons were meant to be students doing "debating",
(2) I don't have the software used by the students for online work,
(3) The first lesson was in one hour's time.
So I switched the content to a different - less interactive - lesson, tried to access the relevant software but, after an hour of technical issues, gave up on that and finally sent materials and work tasks to the classes directly to complete by themselves. Not sure how things will play out for the rest of the week....
I updated the "non-blog" areas of this website today.
Do have a look sometime if you're bored (tabs above).
And the last Guestbook entry was in 2020. So, if you read the blog and have never made yourself known, do please leave a comment here.
I've recently been struggling a bit to make it to work and back so, last weekend, it was time to change the batteries on my e-bike. They start to degrade after a year or so but, at just £50 a set, it's still pretty cheap travel.
My front wheel also felt a little wobbly of late, so I got that checked next door at the repair shop. That turned out to be the ball bearings (£3 including labour!). And now I'm good to go!
Past blog entries