Friday, June 11, 2010

Trip Day 1- Impressions

Impressions and a few unreliable facts ~
1. There is no personal space in China - all cues have the potential, despite admonishments to stay in line, of becoming a stampede.
2. There are 25 ethnic groups in Kumming, the largest number of such groups in China.
3. Most public toilets are nasty by western standards.
4. Women must retire at 50, men at 55 ( or there abouts, I heard different variations on the precise age). This is to make way for the younger generation.
5. In cities there is a one child per family law, in rural areas couples may have two children. People in extreme rural areas do not receive any government assistance, therefore, they are allowed more children. The intention is that the children help the parents. ( This bit of info also varied a bit in the telling as regarding the extreme rural situation. The one child law in the cities I believe is accurate )
6. In cities there is a housing bubble. it is very expensive to both own and to rent although it is occasionally possible to rent to buy.
7. All houses must be purchased through a developer.
8. Two very large lion sculptures at a gate are common. The lion on the right will have it's right paw placed firmly on a ball. The ball signifies power. This ( of course) is the male lion. The female lion will have a baby lion under her left paw. The baby looks squashed. Make what you will of this!
8. Bamboo rice ~ rice is put into a stalk of bamboo then boiled. The rice is then eaten directly from the stalk. Bamboo rice, boiled corn and boiled peanuts are often sold in the parks. No Nathan's hot dogs anywhere but rest assured there is generally a KFC nearby in most cities.


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