I took a little solo trip to the Yunnan Provincial Museum last week. It relocated to an imposing purpose-built site about ten years ago; unfortunately some distance from the city centre. But I planned my underground and bus routes to get there, and set off.
The metro was great, but the connecting bus let me down. After waiting 40 minutes for my bus I eventually gave up and took a taxi. I chose a different bus route back but, when that one still failed to show after an hour, I decided to take a longer route on another bus instead. The best laid plans...
This is what happens when your discover your Green Card has your name as "Hider, Paul John" (space after the comma) but your Social Security card has your name as "Hider,Paul John" (no space after the comma) ...chaos ensues.
The system assumes you are two separate people and the kindly, but bewildered, staff at the Social Security Office, unfamiliar as they are with foreign names, can't work out how to rectify it.
After two hours, the problem was finally solved ...we think!
It's interesting to see the recent G7 Conference focusing as much on the "threat" from China as the Russia/Ukraine war. We've certainly noticed an increase in the confidence of the Chinese Government to throw its weight around, both domestically and internationally, in recent months and years. Time for us to move on, perhaps?
The police in China are a mixture of annoying, useless and respectfully polite.
I regularly get pulled over on my e-bike for driving outside the bike lane, until I point out the many cars illegally parked IN the bike lane which give me no option. If they start asking for my I.D. or e-bike registration I just say, "I don't understand" (in broken Chinese) until they give up and wave me on! They are too polite/lazy to persist.
Last week I was told to "be in my house" all Friday morning so that the Foreign Affairs police could check my passport and registration. I waited. They failed to show up. No text, no explanation. No surprise.
The Government have announced that the most powerful e-bikes will soon be banned in the city. That would be a big blow to me, as my large 72v bike, nicknamed "Lecky", has been such a reliable workhorse for the last 8 years, getting me, JD and two heavy backpacks up and down our steep hill and to and from school and University every day without fail. My University has already banned entry to all but the smallest e-bikes (I have to park outside and walk in) and I suspect it won't be long before the police are out on the streets, issuing fines to anyone who hasn't switched to smaller e-bikes which, for us, are too underpowered to be much use at all.
We've all had various bouts of illness over the recent 5-day May Day holiday, and we weren't able to do quite as much as we'd hoped. So we decided to finish with an expensive, but delicious, meal out.
One of Jiajia's customers had recommended a restaurant in the south of Kunming which boasts authentic German food cooked by an actual German chef. So we took a taxi there to have a May Day blowout! Unfortunately, the chef was on holiday (JD wanted to try out his German) but they were still able to serve up various sausages, seafood pie, roasted pork knuckle, fries, mustard and sauerkraut which all went down very well. Yes, we paid 2-3 times what we normally pay for a family meal, but it was some of the best foreign food I've had in Kunming and a really nice treat.
JD spent his May Day holiday at a fishing pond yesterday, trying out all the fishing gear he's been buying with Christmas, Birthday and Chinese New Year money over recent months. I'm not sure where he gets his enthusiasm for angling from - certainly not from Jiajia or me!
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