Pranking or spanking?
Last night, as I was going to sleep, JD told me that he was planning a prank or two for me today. I didn't really take a lot of notice as I was sleepy. But this morning, when I got up my slippers had disappeared. When I switched my computer on I found the desktop background had been changed! I made myself a coffee but after a sip I realised that the milk had garlic powder in it! I grabbed my water bottle to wash out the taste and found it contained salt water.
An alarm went off behind my computer. This drew my attention to one of the photos on the wall in the office which now had my head 5x bigger on it. I've been well and truly tricked this morning with no real guarantee I've found them all! Now, do I prank him or spank him in revenge?
I heard today that one of the twelve animals on the traditional Chinese animal horoscope is being changed. From today, the dragon ("not a real animal and one with links to many other countries") will be replaced by the panda ("a real animal which is quintessentially Chinese"). I think it's a foolish decision...
It seems China has banned April Fools Day. State news agency Xinhua announced on social media last Friday, “'April Fool's Day' is not consistent with our cultural tradition, or socialist core values. Nobody should believe in rumors, make rumors or spread rumors.” So stop smiling immediately!
One to watch
It's good to hear today that the local Government is supporting disabled folk in Kunming. Today it was announced that they would be helping the visually impaired community by subsidising the cost of large pocket watches to help them keep track of the time.
Seems you can buy a smart anything these days. But the ability to cram technology into a pair of chopsticks is still very impressive. This pair, on sale from today, will set you back 700RMB (£70) but they do register and tally up all the calories you are eating and alert you when you should be feeling fool.
Water good idea
Today's Kunming Post announced that a solution to Yunnan’s water shortage may have finally been found. Chinese scientists have worked out a clever way to drain the clouds surrounding the Province’s many mountains of their water by electrifying them via antennae erected on the peaks [see photo above].
This reclaimed vapour can then be desiccated and stored for future droughts. A single bottle of water added to the powder results in ten bottles of drinkable water. Chinese ingenuity never ceases to amaze me.
We learned today that next month we'll have to hand over JD for a full week of "Government propaganda". They'll give him a full medical, then read extracts aloud from Mao's "Little Red Book" to introduce him to the full communist ideology before issuing him an ID card. We are checking to see if having a foreign parent means we can avoid this full stay...
Panda-ing to the rich
Shocking news coming out of Pianzi Prefecture in Sichuan Province of poachers aping real pandas to fool dazed cubs, and then smuggle them out of the country to rich collectors abroad. With schemes like this going on, it's no wonder pandas are an endangered species.
Thankfully, these undercover photos are expected to aid police in tracking down the culprits, especially as each panda costume apparently has unique markings, helping officers find out which fake panda is stealing which real cub. Let's hope so.
Come one, camel
I sometimes see horses very early in the morning in streets of Kunming (they are banned during the day). But today, on the way to get a liver function blood test at the hospital, is the first time I've seen a camel being led down the street! Who would have thought it, especially on a day like today?
Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
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