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Vanessa Ng * 20 * 28th February * RVHS * NBS
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I dream of becoming a magician, a chef, a chocolatier, a fashion designer, a movie director, a DJ, a professional photographer and a stock market guru. I also want my very own candy outlet. (: My blog comprises photographs and random thoughts. I like to keep my blog happy and I'm easily inspired. It's nice knowing that people are reading, so thank you. :D

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    03 June 2013

    10 Things I learnt in Yun Nan, China.

    Hi guys. (:

    First things first, I was in Yun nan (Kun Ming, Li Jiang, Da li, Shangri-la and a couple more places I think) in early April for around 9-10 days.

    I’ve learnt a lot, as with all my trips and daily mini adventures. (At least I consider them adventures.) I’ve been exposed to loads of fun facts and cultural knowledge that got me thinking. So I decided to compile a list of things that I’ve observed and experienced after the third of fourth day of the trip. I didn’t write everything down, and I forgot to jot down the interesting facts, sadly.

    Nevertheless, let’s begin.

    1. Inability to hold my breadth.

    I guess my lung capacity is lacking. Some toilets don’t have a door, or any form of flushing system. So yes, I try to hold my breadth for as long as possible, but it’s never sufficient.

    I’m kind of afraid that if I hold my breadth for too long, and that I gasp for air… The onslaught of stinkiness will overwhelm me and I will faint in a pool of crap and urine.

    1. Fear that the floor under me will collapse.

    Before I left for Yun Nan, there was this newspaper report on the floor collapsing in a building somewhere in China. The guy was trapped for really long. It was just really scary.

    So yes, that thought lingered in my brain for some time.

    1. Dogs VS Grass

    This was a rather thought-provoking comparison. During my trip, I saw a stall in a night market that sold dog meat. There was this huge sign which boasted its high quality, authentic mountain dog meat. Frankly speaking, my heart cringed and all that so I didn’t dare to look at the actual meat itself.

    And I saw so many majestic dogs while I was there.

    So anyway, I started questioning myself since I’m not a vegetarian. Does it mean that cows and chickens and goat are all of inferior life forms? Why are dogs more deserving? This has been a recurring discussion in me since years ago.

    Also, as most of you know, I have a pet dog Handsome. I asked myself if keeping a pet truly ethical even if you can take good care of it. Is the freedom and adventure that Handsome exchanged in return for safety and warmth worthwhile? He didn’t even have a choice to begin with.

    So yes, all these thoughts were swarming in my head when I saw the sign.

    And then a few days later I went to a museum and there was a sign that read ‘KEEP OFF THE GRASS. WE HAVE A LIFE TOO.’ And I immediately went like this;


    The standards in different regions of a country is truly astounding.

    1. Traditional costumes are revealing of culture.

    I was exposed to a lot of tribes during my stay in Yun Nan. Although most of them are wearing modern clothes now, some still wore the traditional costume for tourists to see. This will bring me to my next point about commercialization but that can wait.

    I remember this tribe that has all the treasures in their region represented by their head wear (females), possibly to remind them the importance of appreciating nature. I can only remember a few out of the four.

    Snow: A furry stretch of white across the head wear

    Wind: A bunch of long string tied to the side. It moves when there’s wind. Pretty smart frankly speaking. Oh and if the person wearing it is married, she has to cut the strings short or remove them completely.

    Flowers: Represented by little gems and cloth-flowers dotted all over their head wear.

    I think there are mountains too. Represented by the horns at the side or something. Or was that another tribe? Either way, when a girl is married she’ll grow horns on her head wear. And when she is engaged she will have one horn. Quite cool.

    I think it’s like how the ring works. Except that married people don’t wear rings anymore. I think it’s always good to publicise your marital status to avoid any trouble.

    Personally, I don’t like to take photos with people. The other time I really wanted to take a photo with the Long Neck Tribe people in Thailand but I felt very paiseh. Like I find it rude and it feels like I’m commodifying or objectifying them as a tourist attraction of sorts.

    So yeah. I doubt there are pictures of the people donning the traditional costume.

    1. Commercialisation

    It’s kind of funny how some of them wear their traditional costume and don a modern jacket over it. The authenticity just goes away. And almost all own a cell phone, so it’s just really weird and everything.

    This is evident everywhere and anywhere so long as there are tourists. Everyone has to make a living. When you go to bed hungry, when you lack a roof over your head in cold nights, you tend to focus solely on means to obtain food as opposed to preserving your culture.

    Understandable, practical, and necessary.

    1. Kun Ming is in need of water.

    Conservation: You only do the things you ought to when you have no choice.

    1. I will make an effort to drink more tea.

    As with all tours, you will be brought to some place to facilitate splurging. Jade, Pu Er Cha (tea), local snacks, Feng Shui stuff, supposedly marvelous and unparalleled vegetable pills et cetera. (Saw somewhere that ETC = End of Thinking Capacity. How tue.)

    My dad already has loads of Pu Er Cha. By loads I mean like, AN ENTIRE GLASS CABINET OF IT. Seriously. But I don’t drink much when he makes tea. Now that I’m reminded of the numerous health benefits, I shall. (:

    We also bought some Can Nuo thing. I’m trying to form a habit of eating the pills every morning despite full recognition that eating vegetables is way healthier. Oh and I try to drink some bee pollen thing that I bought from Penang or Hap Yai every morning too.

    1. I’m interested in jade.

    Correction: I have always been somewhat interested. I like gold and jade as opposed to diamond cause of its value lol. Diamond looks like expensive glass that drops in value like crazy when you try to sell it.

    Jade is cool. I like those fei3 cui4 but the salesman says that I’m too young for it so I bought the white one, with a streak of red across. I like it. It’s the first time that I’m voluntarily spending on expensive accessories. If you know me personally, you should know that I can splurge on food, but my threshold for clothes and accessories is really low.

    I think I should spend more on longer-term things. (-.-)

    I think I’m weird.

    1. I got pushed around. Literally.

    I guess your contextual knowledge makes this point self-explanatory.

    1. Fried cheese is insanely oily.

    This dish is apparently one of the 18 weird stuff in Yun nan. (Yun2 Nan2 Shi2 Ba1 Guai4) Quite interesting. And very weird to me. Tastes weird. Like diluted, oily cheese, except like butter, which is somewhat similar to begin with.

    As with all fried stuff, it tastes really gross when cooled.

    So that’s my 10 interesting things about Yun Nan that isn’t exactly about Yun Nan. Weird.

    I told myself that the scenery is really awesome and that I will capitalize on that by trying out various camera angles. But I didn’t eventually cause I somehow couldn’t be bothered. Nevertheless, there will still be a colossal photo diary of the trip. I think there’s like 300 photos or something, which will obviously be categorized and blogged in batches. (:


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