Sunday, August 7, 2016

Musings & More in Kunming!!

First of all, a few comments on the last post…..

I got tickled watching the groups of people doing their exercises at the lake.  In each group there were always stragglers who stood at the back of the pack and obviously didn’t know the routine very well.

Also, there was one group of people doing a very advanced dance with the ball balanced the racquet and then there were three ladies over to one side, dropping and chasing their balls as they tried to learn the technique.  Even if they were struggling with the exercise, they certainly seemed to be having a good time!!!

As I walked around the lake, I was struck by the number of small children (mostly pre-school age) who were there with their Grandparents.  One of our friends once said that, in China, the kids were meant to take care of the parents but she thought that it had changed and that now the parents took care of the kids and their grandkids.  I have been thinking a lot about this and I wonder how this will effect the future generations.  Will the kids grow up holding to their parent’s beliefs and morals or will they be influenced by their Grandparent’s (possibly more conservative) beliefs?  It will be interesting to see!!

I have also wondered about a country run by very spoiled single children.  I can see that there might be problems there.

In order to control their population, China instituted a “one child policy” in the late 1960’s.   Under the rules, a couple could only have one child with one exception…..two “only children” that married were allowed to have two children.  As I got online to look up information about this policy I found this image that I thought was poignant…..

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This has caused a huge imbalance in the Chinese population.    First of all, because males are seen as more important, many Chinese girls were either aborted or killed.  This means that there are many more men than women which is causing issues for the men finding suitable mates.

Then, in 2015, they began to phase out this policy and we had wondered if we would notice a difference.  The answer is a resounding YES!!!  On previous trips we had talked about how few babies we saw but this time we have been inundated with smiling cuties in strollers or being carried by their parents and the number of pregnant women is astounding!!!

Speaking of baby things…..they had a very interesting carrier for their slightly older children.  Here is a photo of one from the web and it is close to the look of the ones that they used…..

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The baby sits on a ledge that looks like a stuffed fanny pack and leans back into the Mother.  The ones that I saw didn’t have such a large protective harness, but the baby always looked secure.

 

Now….on  to the “more” part of this post……

One of my first jobs in any city is to find a grocery store to buy a gallon of water and some snacks for the hotel room.  In Kunming, I knew that there was a Walmart fairly close so I looked it up on the map, just to confirm what I remembered, and headed out.   It was amazing how easily I remembered the way to walk and I was there in just a few minutes.

It took me about an hour to buy what we needed but that was because I kept stopping to take photos!!! 

It was obviously a “stocking” day as almost every aisle had a pallet with boxes being unloaded…..

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I always have to take at least one photo of chicken feet, …does it make you hungry?…..

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I loved the colors in this rice and bean mix……

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The candy area of the store is huge and you pick up little baskets and select your various candies from these bins…..

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Then you take them to a scale and a worker separates them into the various price groups and weighs each bag of candy and assigns a price.   I had picked up 10 or so small candies based on some that I had remembered liking previously.  I was surprised when she took my bags away and came back with more candy than I had originally picked.  She would then weigh each bag and continued taking candies out until it reached a certain level.  I understood when I looked at each bag and saw that they both held 1/10th of kilo……obviously the minimum amount that the scale would weigh!!

This aisle smelled wonderful with a  mixture of the tangy and spicy flavors represented in the bowls……

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To buy some of these relishes, you would take a plastic bag and fill it with as much of the item as you wanted. It was also weighed and a price assigned.

There was an abundance of helpers available on each aisle.  It was actually hard to shop because they kept pointing out other things to me as I was trying to pick up one particular item!!

The store was FULL of samples but I did notice that no one offered me one.  In the area where milk and yogurt was sold, the sample ladies were yelling to out-do their neighbor and encourage  people to buy their product.  It was crazy!

I did notice that there are very few canned vegetables of meats available.  This was brought home to me when the lady in front of me only bought FRESH stuff….. DSC08149

We have noticed that Kunming (like much of China) has developed a coffee culture.   It is quite easy to find a “Starbucks” or “Costa Coffee” or some other small specialty shop.  Since black tea (my drink of choice) is very prevalent, it has been Michael who has appreciated this movement.

We have also felt that Kunming has changed since we first visited in 2010.  It is still more of a “country” town but we both felt that it has gained some sophistication and culture.  This is seen, not only in the restaurants that are around, but also in the clothing that is worn.  There are many expensive and classy stores available now.

Speaking of clothing, we have laughed at the number of people who are wearing shirts with English on them, but the English makes no sense!!   Sometimes we can get a bit of an idea about what they mean, but some are completely unintelligible!!

I will leave this wandering post with a quilting bit.  This week I have spent a lot of my time in the “Crystal Club” room at the hotel as it provided a place where I could easily work on my computer.  In that room, they have a large bookshelf that held books on many different subjects.   Amazingly, this set caught my eye…..

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I have NO idea what these books are about, but I certainly like the bindings!!!!

I know that I photographed these windows many years ago, but I really like the line designs in them…..

 

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And, our hotel carpet was disappointing…..DSC08194

….but I guess that I can see a piano-key border in it!!!

2 comments:

elle said...

One does wonder about the next generation. But so nice to see people out and about exercising and having fun. I like those windows!!!

Sylvia said...

Actually i really like that hotel carpet. Change up the colors to be nicer and you'd have a really interesting modern quilt. If you don't plan to make it, can I steal the idea? :)

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