Short notes which I took in Yunnan, which could've been turned into 140 characters had I the time....
Oddly comforting thing about background music in China... Billie Holiday comes up more than would be expected.
Tourist in China? Wear suede shoes or sneakers or something, not leather... saves you from the shoeshine people.
Car honkers suffer from an amplified form of Tourette's Syndrome. Very disruptive.
I'm learning there's a certain charm in warm 3.5% beer... depends on the setting. And the price doesn't hurt, either.
I've been in at least a hundred photos that I know of, usually "V" fingers with someone who needs proof they traveled. Be a good sport. (Update: Know of 300 or so.)
Travel services are derelict in not clearly advising the difficulty in finding booked rooms, Lijiang's lengthy cobblestone treks for luggage wheels.
Sitting at an outside restaurant, lighting up a pipe, became the subvert target of photographs from multiple parties, passing in the street.
In Lijiang's Siefang Jie, hill people dressed as Tea-Horse caravaners, with fur hats and cloaks and burros and falcons, probably had a few more photos taken of them than I did. There was one shot where a muleteer and I were sitting near each other, and....
Seen many more children under five years of age in Yunnan, than I have anywhere else in the PRC.
In other cities in China it's common to see gents walk their caged songbirds for the sunshine. In Lijiang they walk with hunting falcons on their arm.
I think it was a visit to Hong Kong, five years or so ago, that first turned me on to the practicality of wearing a canvas vest with pockets.
The dogs here are cute-and-a-half. Most are pocket-sized; some are mastiff-sized. Some are pampered, some scrounge the discards at street stalls.
Yunnan Ham, "Pipa", is the God of Bacons. Dense, sweet. Small restaurants often display their bacon stores, hanging on hooks on the wall.
On CCTV I've seen some nice Apple commercials... deaf people signing via Facetime, a young nuclear family celebrating a birthday even though daddy's away. No idea if it's a transplant of western commercials, but I liked 'em.
Incidental observation that so many Silicon Valley sites have exceptionally long load times here in China, and it seems to be the calls for web-beacons to Twitter, Facebook and other banned sites. They have to time out to free up that HTTP connection for the next request.
People have really taken to digital cameras. Unclear what the majority of people do with the photos after. Certainly a great proofpoint for explosive growth in pocket digital screens. (Mobile phones had similar growth, but maybe not as much curiously exuberant use... telephony is still a stopgap, where you have to ask someone to get info.)
Couple of times I've had young Chinese guys introduce themselves, say they're from Wisconsin or New York. From the accent, I don't think they were born there. Maybe it's to impress the people they're with.
Despite the groupthink in the SF Bay Area, it still seems easier to achieve outside perspectives there.
Probably folly to hope, but a martial-arts flick featuring excellent conflict resolution skills would probably be novel to watch. How would an expert avoid a conflict, turn an opposition into something mutually beneficial? Too bad there's not yet more of a market for such a thing.... ;-)
I think I saw a Starbucks in Kunming. That's it. But Starbucks is starting to work with Yunnan Arabica farmers.
There's a KFC and a Pizza Hut in Lijiang. Both have Dongba characters, which is cool. Most of the patrons look like they're from Beijing or Shanghai. All the comforts of home.
Oxidized oil is hard to digest. Preservatives help. The Adobe kitchen in SF uses "natural" oils and is often rancid... burping, indigestion. Haven't had that problem here in China, even though food's oil content is often high. Don't know if they use BHT. Do know they move it much faster, give it less time to oxidize.
Odd how the tour groups are overwhelmingly nationals, while the few foreigners are mostly wandering around solo or in couples. Hard to tell how many nationals are doing self-directed touring, however.
Seems like bloggers are going off on the TSA (instead of on centralized policy decisions), but at some point airlines really should require that everyone wear face masks during flight... just as with seat belts, it's a safety issue, only far more frequent.
We technologists do a half-assed job. We figure how to make stuff, but don't anticipate how it will be used. Whoever invented the car horn could have had a more holistic viewpoint, for instance. Someday we'll feel the same about handheld screens which allow people to weave on sidewalks. Bad juju.
Lao Beer (from Laos). Hadn't seen it in PRC before, but may not have been looking. A dark 12oz at 6.5% alcohol, a 500ml lager at 5%. Both 10-12RMB. The Budweiser in my hotel room is a 3.5%.
It's fun to watch westerners first try to eat soup noodles with chopsticks. Also fun to watch easterners eat spaghetti with fork & spoon. Exotic for both. In the latter, they use chopstick technique: lift the fork high to gauge the right amount of noodle, then slurp it in. Haven't seen any pasta eaters try to twirl it in their chopsticks, though.
Guys, you know, have problems. Our dicks are always too small. Leads to all types of repercussions, at least for the first decade or two after puberty.
It'd be fun to sit above a traffic circle with a slingshot, and shoot heavy soft loads at cars honking unnecessarily. Or a paintgun. (They do it because it *might* be useful to them, even though it's *definitely* unuseful to everyone else.)
In cafes I usually touchtype on a netbook, often looking around, off into space. Realized what an unusual appearance this must present to those who hunt and peck while studying the characters presented by an IME.
Europeans speak in English. Locals communicate in various tongues (Dai, Bai, Naxi), and sometimes Mandarin, sometimes English. Both languages bridge groups, but one is of larger scope.