Two Wonderful, Relaxing Days in Kunming- The city of Eternal Spring
Kunming is incredible. Wide pedestrain streets lined with maples, carefree citizens, crowd that wander rather than shove... Its a pretty big city, but it feels so, towny I guess. They call it the city of eternal spring, and granted, I'm here in spring, but I tend to concur that it must be this amazing year-round.
***Weird observations. Why is it in every country in the world seemingly, they serve french fries with EVERYTHING this was as true in Nicaragua & Morocco as here. French fries with rice, french fries with eggs, french fries on sandwiches- fucking world is in love with french fries.
***I finally figured out what that smell is in all the baked goods etc., here that I can't stand is. The butter, it is fresh but not kept cold, and not processed like american butter, by american standards its rancid. It doesn't smell 'bad' just wierd, & if u can get past the smell, the taste is quite rich and appetizing.
Kunming is a good example of just how "confused" the whole Chinese culture/govt/etc. is right now. Its a wealthy city, my $24 kmart jeans for traveling don't fit in here, prada, burberry, & gucci abound. If they don't have it, they fake it, the knock-offs are really good, & with no pesky trademarks to deal with, look just like the original. I was struck with a fit of laughter earlier when I walked past Louis Vuitton, and stumbled upon the People's Communist Hall one building over. I also watched an address last night by the leaders here, basically saying that they do not see the economic crisis hitting Asia, and certainly not China. Oddly in Beijing, I heard rumblings of financial problems, but here things appear to be truly booming, there are a bazillion retail outlets, and they all seem to be doing well. No vacant storefronts, and cranes/new construction everywhere, including two virtual cities of high-class condos, with over 10000 units each going up on either side of the city.
That said, this city is an environmental catastrophe like the rest of them. Careless building (althought the best land use planning Ive seen here), a river running through black, green, full of garbage & slick with oil, inefficient waste treatment, and insane traffic that seems 24/7.
I spent these last two days in restful exploration, frankly, I was getting to the point where all the temples looked the same. Its amazing how something as simple as a supermarket in a foreign land can be fascinating.