Guiyang is Surely Competitive

This recent release about Shanghai made me ask if Guiyang is Competitive in bragging rights for “Best City”.

Shanghai Promotional Video

Retired person that I am, I can live anywhere. I’ve chosen Guiyang because I think Guiyang is Competitive. Guiyang has a lot to offer as shown in the following link:

Shanghai/Guiyang Comparison

The Shanghai Promotional Video is incredible art. It has no English or Chinese. The themes are broad. I hope we can get one for Guiyang that shows Guiyang’s beauty, technology, and people. That kind of project seems appropriate for this Blog. Perhaps it will come when Guizhou recognizes it’s own resources and potential. Guiyang is Competitive, for sure.

Miao People of China are Hmong

The Miao People are scattered across Southeast Asia and really have no homeland of their own. The Miao People of China are Hmong. This minority people is responsible for extraordinary arts and crafts, which are extending throughout the world – an accelerating commercial success. Recently Facebook was shocked by a video about Miao Dancing on Water: The Chinese Art of Bamboo Drifting.

Miao

The Miao People migrate throughout Southeast Asia and, as the result of the Vietnam War, have settled in the USA and other Western Countries. The clothing, jewelry, dance, and music are all very distinctive, as is the Miao language itself (Hmong-Mien).
MiaoClothingThis culture is very “nature” oriented and the Miao culture has spread with the environmental movement and is becoming increasingly poplar in China. Google has posted an awesome array of Miao photos at:
Google Search of Miao and Hmong:

This web site has featured a variety of articles on the Miao Phenomenom:
 Tour Guizhou Search on Miao

 

Learning Chinese

A recently published article on the importance of learning Chinese and the extraordinary efforts of Mark Zuckerberg created a flashback. For the last fifteen years my  performance as a student of the Chinese language has been mediocre. Nevertheless, I still impress Chinese who expect foreigners to know nothing about their language. The article below captures some of the fun and flavor of this language learning endeavor:

Zuckerberg Learning Chinese

Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg (Credit Getty Images)

There are so many funny things that happen when you are trying to communicate. I like kids, and to me it is really funny when I am jealous of a 3 year old that has a better language skill than I have.  I can (often) understand them if they don’t talk too fast. A few years ago I was trying to use my Chinese to impress my high school English class. I said “Wo shi yige Meiguo Zhu(1)” and I got a tremendous laugh from the class. I used that several times and always got the same reaction. In China there are a variety of minorities and I thought I was telling people that I am an American minority person. What I was trying to say was: “Wo shi yige Meiguo Zu(2)”. The number behind the word signifies the tone of the syllable and a “1” represents a level tone, with a “2” representing a rising tone. Zhu and zu sound almost the same (zoo). In this case, Zu(2) means “minority people” while Zhu(1) means “pig”. My untrained ear couldn’t hear the difference.

Learning Chinese requires you to swallow your pride. You will make mistakes, and if you learn to laugh at your mistakes, leaning Chinese can be a lot of fun. It is also necessary to learn to be a bit humble (not easy for some of us). I’ve found most Chinese to be very tolerant of us butchering their language.

 

Scenic Guizhou – Rocky

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I visited scenic Guizhou locations with Rocky last fall. It was very nice. Rocky likes kick boxing. That’s why when he wanted an English name it was obvious what the English name should be. He is determined to learn English. I try to practice with him as often as his time permits, but at 66, my Gung Fu isn’t that good anymore. :)

On November 27, Rocky (Yue Ke Quan) and his girlfriend (Sun Ling) took me to Xiuwen Xian. It is a small town in Xingfu Cun. It is a very beautiful place. We just did a simple day trip, practiced English and Chinese together, played in the leaves, and came back.  Good time.

We had some fun with the Ginko leaves. Sometimes I visit Rocky at Chang Po Ling National Forest Park. He likes to run laps there totaling about 5 kilometers. Rocky stays in shape. He had two years in the army and he is now in the police.

The Theo Goumas China Blog

Part 91 of the Theo In Guiyang blog post is now out.  This is a massive body of work describing what it is like to be a foreigner in China, and in Guiyang. In Episode 91, Theo makes his way to Shaolin, and posts some beautiful pictures and narrative at:

Theo’s China Blog

Episode 92 is out: Part 92

This episode is about Theo’s trip from Guiyang to Hong Kong and his first day in Hong Kong.

 

Trump’s Chinese Exclusion Act

It is getting progressively difficult to keep politics out of this www.tourguizhou.com web site. As an American, I am affected by activities in my home country and don’t feel inclined to be silent. Expats around the world have the same problem.

Securing the borders against marauding Mexicans and Muslims is nothing new. In fact, the history of the USA shows some very heavy handed actions against a variety of minorities. We are all familiar with the slavery issue and how freed slaves were persecuted in the Democratic South after the Civil War. Native Americans were also being killed on the frontier. The displaced slaves moved north and west (actually following the “Trail of Tears”) and had a variety of problems integrating themselves into the host society.  See: Tulsa Riots

Not as familiar is the Chinese Exclusion Act, which had essentially the same effect as the Trump action, blocking borders and preventing legal citizens and immigrants from re-entering the USA (1882-1943) . . . see:  Chinese Exclusion Act.  The net effect of this 60 years of evolving legislation was to greatly limit the growth of the Chinese Community in the USA. The USA was a white and Christian place and wasn’t about to allow large communities of minorities to prosper at the expense of the majority.

Even Jews and Catholics were persecuted in various ways, with the most flagrant abuse taking place in the USA’s courts between 1921 and 1927. Two Italians, Sacco and Vanzetti, were executed for a murder that they didn’t commit (There had been a confession to the murders in 1925).  See:  Sacco and Vanzetti .

The desire to prevent large groups of potentially hostile minorities from undermining national initiatives was also evident against the Japanese during WWII. The Roosevelt administration rounded them up and put them in internment camps. See:  Japanese Internment .

Without belaboring the point too much, the Trump ban on Muslims is inconvenient to explain to the young people who have studied civics, but it is not out of line with our history. It needs to be confronted and discussed in a rational way. What are the objectives and are they legitimate and justified? If justified, how can the adverse impacts be mitigated? This isn’t a partisan issue, even though Trump is a Republican. In history, Democrats were presiding during much of the hostility to minorities. The more shrill this debate gets, the less likely that we’ll have a rational outcome.

 

 

 

 

Understanding the Unsaid

On January 18 we cooperated with Bekaduo Coffee to host the book signing of Understanding the Unsaid,  a new book by Syed Saalim Hashmi which highlights the Indian culture:

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FOREWORD


It is giving me immense pleasure in writing a foreword for the book “Understanding the Unsaid”, a novel with a collection of short stories written by my student Dr. Syeed Saalim Hashmi.

I’ve always seen Saalim very mch passionate about writing whether blogs, play scripts and other extra curricular stuff assigned to him.

He has been a good student and has hosted most of the programs organized by our medical school, given many presentations in the medical classes and won prizes since he joined Guizhou University of Midical Sciences.

On the behalf of our medical school I want to convey my best wishes to Saalim for his first book. We are proud of you!

With Best Wishes

Dr. Joyce Kang
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In addition to a dozen or so Chinese, we had several countries represented at the event, with many of Saalim’s colleagues and other foreigners from Guiyang. 
Two very special things happened this evening. There was a mixture of many cultures from all over the world, in a totally friendly atmosphere. Also, it was wonderful to find out more about the Indian culture. The book is a real eye opener. It has several short stories, each telling us something about the culture of India and the “modernization” of that culture.  A fine time was had by all.


Bekaduo Coffee was a perfect host and an excellent venue for the event. Book purchases can be arranged by sending an email to: Diana at:
13681346@qq.com

Buying Chinese Property

Property law appears to be changing and many foreigners may now be able to buy interests in real estate here in China. I (Jack) found some interesting information online. I can’t attest to the accuracy, but it appears to be quite informative:

[This information is not a legal opinion and I am not a lawyer 😉 ] Jack

Research buying real estate in China thoroughly as Chinese property law is quite complex.

There are now no restrictions on the types of properties that foreigners are allowed to buy in China, and they can buy through an agent or directly from the developer or owner. Foreigners need to have worked or studied in China for more than one year to buy a property in China.

It is important to be aware if buying an older property that developers or the government are entitled under Chinese law to make a compulsory purchase of the property if the land is needed for new construction work. The price they pay may be less than the price you paid for the property. New houses and apartments are not usually at risk. It is advisable to buy older properties only on a freehold basis, which requires higher buyout payments and is therefore less attractive to the government or developers.

The other categories of property ownership in China are Use Rights and Owning Use Rights, each of which require lower buyout payments. No one in China has full ownership of a residential property and the land on which it is built. Residential land is usually leased for 70 years.

The usual procedure for buying property in China is as follows:

* Find a suitable property and submit an official offer letter (through the agent if used). The letter sets out the agreed price, payment schedules and other conditions. When the offer is accepted a deposit of 1% of the purchase price is required.

* Start to make financing arrangements if needed. Some foreign banks provide mortgage facilities for foreigners purchasing property in China.

* The agency or legal representative carry out checks on the property and owner. In the case of some properties, there is at this stage a need to apply for the approval of the government and the public security bureau for the sale to proceed.

* The seller and the buyer enter into an “official sales contract”. Foreign buyers must have their contract notarized. At this stage, a 30% deposit is payable to the seller.

* An application is made to the government Deed and Title Office for transfer of the deed from the seller to the buyer, on payment of the relevant taxes and fees. Before this can be done, the current owner must pay off any mortgage that exists on the property. This process can take several weeks to complete. The ownership certificate is then issued, and the buyer pays the outstanding 70% of the purchase price and takes possession.

Hong Kong / Zhuhai Airport

Sixteen years of coming to China and I still get this language thing screwed up. When you are talking to someone in English, make sure they say the information. If you ask a question, no matter how good their English may seem , the answer is often likely to be “Yes”. They often answer this way because agreement tends  to end the conversation. I had no trouble going to Hong Kong by train, but my return trip was nightmareish via Zhuhai Airport, which my Cheapo Air website told me was near Shenzhen. When I bought my Octopus Ticket upon entry to Hong Kong, the guy behind the desk said that I could go to Zhuhai using the Octopus ticket. So I asked him if it was by train or bus, and he said either one, but train would probably be better. “Do I come back here and then go to Zhuhai from here?” . . . “Yes.” He suggested another 50 HKD on the Octopus card to make sure I had enough on  there to cover the trip.

What a load of crap. One look at the map would have told me the nonsense I just swallowed. I was so confident that the guy was honest, that I didn’t independently confirm. Needless to say, if you are using the Zhuhai Airport for Hong Kong, it is wise to carefully check your itinerary in advance. By the way, after missing my flight, I got a new ticket the next night at no charge. Hooray for Air China.

ZhuHaiOne look at the map would have showed me that Zhuhai is not an easy access from Hong Kong. So we live and learn.