27 March 2009

Kunming's "Wild Animal Zoo"

Went to the coolest zoo today, and my previously-working-fine batteries AND my new set all turned out to be used up, so no photos... Boo.

Located way up on a hill on who knows how many acres, this zoo was more like a hiking area--we were thankful for the tram; otherwise we would have walked for miles and miles! We walked quite a bit on the extensive boardwalk system as it was.

There were great close-up experience (need I say photo opps--sigh!) with bears, a couple of monkeys, hundreds of peacocks, yaks, emus, cranes, and much more, including pandas, of course.

You could buy a carrot strung on the end of a stick to feed to the Black bears, and the same for the lions and tigers (only it was meat instead of carrots, of course).

Not only did they have several gorgeous tigers AND lions, they also had white tigers and white lions. And the baby white tiger trying to roar was hilarious--sounded more like a wild bird than anything!

Oh, yeah, and they had orang-utans. There was a tiny hole in the glass that separated us from them, and one of the females passed me a little piece of straw through the hole. I passed it back, and she at it.

The whole thing was pretty amazing.

Once again, I'm so sad I didn't have my camera...but maybe that helped me to really take it all in. It was fun.

23 March 2009


Found this big park not too far from my house... forgot to take more photos, but it had water, lots of walkways, and even little amusement-park-type rides! Tons of people were there, many sitting on the grass, so I did that too, to study my Mandarin lessons...only to get kicked out by the cops about an hour later. I guess there's a sign that says "keep off the grass." Oh, well!

There were some pretty fish, reminding me of Japan...

...and check out this crazy exciting play for the kids!

21 March 2009

My Birthday Outing

We celebrated my birthday at Cacaja, an Indian Restaurant near Yunnan University... I want to get back to that area and explore Greenlake and some more good eateries!

13 March 2009

The Office

The design office I'll be interning with is fixing up a new space. It's on the 30th floor of Building D (there is A-D) of a complex called "Good World," or 好世界.

some of the leftover scraps are kinda fun...

10 March 2009

"Green" China

I was surprised by the steps to keep China clean and energy-efficient.

First, many stores don't give out plastic bags. You have to bring your own or buy a re-usable one like this one for 1 kuai (about 15 cents).

Then, at least on or after a reasonably sunny day, I take my hot shower with water from a solar-heated tank on the roof of my building, like this one here:

Other things include electric scooters (very few loud motorbikes here!) and of course bicycles... I was thinking there was something else that caught my attention, but it's not coming to me at the moment...

06 March 2009


I have to catch up, so I'm posting again!

Here's my new bike! I love that it's turquoise and says "G & P" on the side. That's what we call my maternal grandparents (short for Granny & Papa). Apparently it had been on the floor forever, so they gave me a 25% discount. I paid 300 RMB, or about US $45.

The funny story is that when I rode my new bike up to the gate of my apartment complex, the guards would not let me in. I needed some kind of "permit," apparently. After my attempts at sign language (they make no attempts at English OR "sign language" but just kind of speak angrily toward you--though they're not really angry) I gave up and called a bilingual friend. She helped me understand they just wanted to know which building I lived in. Got the card, taken care of, right?


Next time I went to leave, they stopped me, looked at my card, and I got yelled at some more. They didn't seem to be allowing me to go on my way, so again I tried motioning filling out a paper, to find out what they wanted me to do. Again I called a bilingual friend and discovered all I needed to do was turn in the card when I leave, and get a new one each time I come back in.

Duh! It was that simple, but you would have thought I had stolen something or broken some huge law by the tones of their voices!

It doesn't help that they all the gate guards wear fatigues, making them quite intimidating...

So, I learned that it's not going to be easy understanding/communicating on my own, "yelling" isn't necessarily that, and the people seem to really love their rules!


Last Sunday I had my first typical Chinese meal out... sorry I didn't save you much food!

And then two nights ago one of my classmates invited me to dinner and we made some good eats...

02 March 2009


Just had to post this of my nephew Henry w/ Daddy looking on...