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Old 04-13-2017, 12:43 PM   #26
problemeliminator
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

yesterday I went with the gf to a village nearly an hour from the city center. Foreigners who spent all their time in mega-cities are apt to forget that a great many (perhaps a majority) of Chinese still live in these tiny, filthy, impoverished places. Her family owns some art schools (and her dad is a pretty kick-ass oil painter) and this was an activity for them. I tagged along to practice my (extremely ****ty) photography.

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Old 04-13-2017, 10:21 PM   #27
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

Sorry some of the earlier pictures aren't working. I'll just download and host any future pics.
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:54 AM   #28
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

Quote:
Originally Posted by problemeliminator View Post
Should I ask them to move it to travel? It has a bunch of what are essentially blogs already.
Yea you should imo, pretty sure I m not the only one who never check this sub forum, you will get more views/interests if you move it to travel.

For the cities, nice post man.
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Old 04-14-2017, 02:01 PM   #29
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

moving to Travel per OP request
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Old 04-16-2017, 02:55 AM   #30
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

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Originally Posted by problemeliminator View Post

Spoken (Mandarin) I'd say lags behind my reading (as you can see i my picture, I'm reading a children's version of 三国演义桃园结义(Romance of the Three Kingdoms). I speak to people every day, and when we meet my gf's family/friends we all speak Chinese, but watching TV/movies is quite difficult.

In reference to that pile of small books on top of my textbooks-my ambitious goal is to finish one a week. I say ambitious because there's about 100 new vocabulary for me in each one. If you're learning a language, I recommend looking up extensive reading. basically, when reading something in your target language, you should be at about 98% comprehendability. If you can't understand that much, you should probably move down a level. Also, the focus shouldn't be on memorizing every new word, but as you see those new words in more and more places (because you're reading stuff every day) it will create more mental connections and you'll remember it.
I mean I understand the benefits of extensive reading but to me it seems sub-optimal to learn in a way where your speaking skills are lagging behind your reading skills. Isn't talking to people in real life much in Mandarin much more beneficial than being able to read a book? I'm far from a language expert though, just curious as to why you adopted this approach.

Fwiw when I was in China my approach was to focus on audio tapes, plus some music videos and movies, and didn't spend much time on the characters, but I also knew I was only going to be there 1 year and was never planning on becoming fluent.
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:01 PM   #31
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

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I mean I understand the benefits of extensive reading but to me it seems sub-optimal to learn in a way where your speaking skills are lagging behind your reading skills. Isn't talking to people in real life much in Mandarin much more beneficial than being able to read a book? I'm far from a language expert though, just curious as to why you adopted this approach.
Honestly it's pretty common in language learning for that to be the case. I talk to people in real life every day-often on a night out it's all Chinese (see my night out story) . But for me I consider reading to be at least as important. For people looking for survival Chinese it'd be different, sure.

__________________________________________________ ________________________

one fun way of learning languages is songs (slightly less useful in Chinese, as Mandarin singing all but ignores tones). The first song I learned was this:


second was this kinda john denver sounding one. The guy actually did time in prison when he was younger, so the longing for the outside world "外面的世界”seems really heartfelt.


this one "朋友“ is Friends. A bit cheesier and more of a traditional Chinese pop song.


This one I'm doing now 李白,which was a huge hit a couple years ago. I heard a bar band playing it and liked the tune.


__________________________________________________ ________________________

Since I mentioned them in a previous post, here's a few pics from Yunnan.

Here's the big temple in Shangri-la



here’s a video. I used weibo because even with a vpn most foreign site are slow as hell for me.

http://weibo.com/tv/v/EEPszhkTk?fid=...082e74d57068ed


Here's the giant prayer wheel



The snow mountain. The city is at 3200m and the mountain is over 4000m high. It was insanely cold at the top!




http://video.weibo.com/show?fid=1034...1ee15af5515080


here's the view from 100 chickens temple (so named because they have a number running around)




a picture of Dali



Dali's centerpiece is this lake. You can take a ferry across as well as rent an ebike.



Had to sample some of the local cuisine in Lijiang, Sushe





Tiger Leaping Gorge is amazing. My regret is not taking the two days to hike along the top of the gorge.







http://weibo.com/tv/v/EEPnYrIaT?fid=...bd9a6d11100684
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:14 AM   #32
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

I don't wanna hijack his thread, but I thought people might appreciate a compare and contrast to his post about girls and Taiwan.

Quote:
I think it's a pretty fair question, since I'd say there's different tiers of the women being into you, usually by country. To start, I'd say that yeah if you are comparing Taiwan to your home country, which is presumably a Western one, then it is much easier. But compared to countries that are still 3rd world countries and being white is kind of life-changing for women and more of a novelty, it wouldn't be as easy.
Pretty much the same, although if you go way out West or to a super small village it may be more like the third world (not no one will speak English, so nothing like PH et al).
Quote:
In Taiwan, the majority of foreigners are English teachers or students, so a good portion of the Taiwanese women are apprehensive about dating them, because there is a ceiling that is already capped (think that applies in Korea and Japan like you mentioned YF).
Somewhat similar. Particularly snobby or rich women may look down on dating and English teacher, but a teacher's salary (unless you get screwed) puts you solidly in the upper middle class (again varies by city, in a tier 3 city you could easily be top 10%, in a tier 1 city still in the top 30%). For example, at my last job I often asked the students what the average salary was in Shenzhen for an office worker. They always said about 8000rmb. Any legal foreign teacher made at least 13000 in Shenzhen.
Quote:
Also, Taiwan is a 1st world country, and it just seems that some of the best looking women prefer an ABC type, who has the wealth, language, and local flare.
I'm not sure if this is the same. If there's two guys of equal wealth and looks, I think the women go for the Chinese one (unless the foreigner is super integrated).

Quote:
Not to say it isn't easy to pick up women, but oftentimes it is a particular girl that goes for the foreigner. I mentioned the women that run the foreign circuit and have a bit of squawky English, either working in a department store, or at Texas Roadhouse. That's why I definitely was a bit heated after that Thursday night out when I was bringing out a sweet local girl who wasn't in that category.
You're nicer than me, I just call them foreign whores haha. But yeah, the girls who date foreigner after foreigner turn me off, because I don't want them dating me just because of my face or my passport. Also, many foreigners date girls that a Chinese guy of good salary and decent looks wouldn't look twice at. I was actually relieved to learn that my gf's prior bf was Chinese.

Quote:
Also, you never see the best looking Taiwanese or Hong Kong girl with a foreigner, partially because the best looking Taiwanese girl, probably speaks pretty bad English, and the foreigner isn't fluent in Chinese. The opportunities can be hard to find to finagle your way into a situation where you are with some of the best looking girls. Don't get me wrong, some of the club girls/rats might seem quite attractive, but to speak in a cliche, most of their beauty is skin deep. The most attractive women I've found and interacted with in Taiwan are on hikes, or going to a nice brunch spot, or even at the batting cages.
I'd like to think my gf is one of the best-looking ones but his point is generally true. I have see attractive foreign guys with stunners, but I've seen way more beautiful Chinese women with ugly (presumably wealthy) Chinese men than with foreigners. One couple that comes to mind-guys a 3, some kind of engineering supervisor, his wife is quite hot.........But she's a Pinay singer
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:49 AM   #33
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

In of course and really enjoying the thread, I'm sure we will be bouncing some comparisons back and forth as the time goes on.

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Old 04-17-2017, 09:32 AM   #34
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

I traveled all over NW Yunnan but somehow didn't make it to the Tiger Leaping Gorge, damn, I can't even remember anymore why I didn't, it looks sweet.

And where is exactly is the giant prayer wheel? And the snow mountain? It's not 梅里雪山, Méilǐ Xuěshān is it? My geographic memory of the region is getting foggy. Too many places in China are called snow mountain!
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Old 04-17-2017, 11:39 AM   #35
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

On my desk under glass I have a few postcards. One is from that mountain. It's called Bluemoon Valley,here's the baidu page, don't know if there's an English one about.

the Prayer Wheel is right at the front on the Old City. You enter the main gate of the Old City, cross a square, slightly to the left there should be the stairs going up to the temple. If memory serves near impossible to miss.

I hope on a short vacation to actually hike along the top of tiger leaping gorge next time.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:12 PM   #36
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

Nice thread

Pretty funny reading your take on a lot of the places I used to frequent. I couldn't believe how nice and renovated that smoky dive bar you mentioned was the last time I was there.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:39 PM   #37
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

My work is already starting in on me. i was supposed to be off on Monday and Tuesday. On Sunday afternoon they asked me to go to a corporate training (essentially go to a company and teach). These things are always under-compensated and way out in the middle of nowhere. Without outright refusing I displayed a lack of interest. they said I could take Friday evening off early by two hours to compensate. Ultimately I said "I'd prefer not to" in an Archer/Bartleby the Schrivner reference. A few hours later my manager sent a message asking again, saying it was too "urgent"-she meant late notice-to rearrange the other teachers' schedules. So I said "what's the bonus for "urgent" classes" (remember they'd offered nothing except leaving early Friday, a horrible deal). She said they'd also pay me 3 hours for 2 classes. Ok. The classes themselves were fine. The Chinese teacher was like 20 minutes late for the car service, but we were still 45 minutes early (so much for two hours). One thing that shocked me: at the end of the class, the students were asked to pay. So I know exactly how much money the company made from that and how much I made. Still a big gap there. Also, I know that the Chinese teacher's class (for very low level students) cost 1/3 of mine.
__________________________________________________ _____________________

BGP; That place is so smoky that I'm always surprised by how colorful it is whenever I see a good quality picture from inside, because to the eye it looks exceptionally drab.

__________________________________________________ _____________

Feng Xiaogang is my favorite Chinese director. Not that I've watched enough Chinese movies to have an informed opinion, but for now I really like him. His movies always SAY something, while still being damn good entertainment. His most recent movie came out last year, called 我不是潘金莲 "I am not Pan Jinlian". Pan Jinlian is a literary character who conspired with her lover to poison her husband. Calling a woman that is a big insult.

In this movie, China's biggest star, Fan Bingbing, plays a peasant from some nowhere place in the middle of China. In a scheme to get a better apartment, her and her husband agree to a fake divorce. However, her ex-husband takes advantage of it to take another woman and move into the apartment they were supposed to share. In an argument while he's drinking with some friends, he calls her Pan Jinlian (her character's name is similar).

She takes him to court for making their "fake" but legal divorce a real one. Obviously, legally she has no case. But she's determined to get justice, and keeps moving to higher and higher level government officials demanding satisfaction. At every step of the way, the officials try to ignore her, sometimes actually hiding from her. Eventually, she becomes a petitioner, going to Beijing and trying to talk to the chairman of the party directly. During the big party congresses every year, these officials suddenly start a good cop/bad cop routine of trying to flatter her to get her not to go to Beijing (making them look bad-several officials lost their jobs in the film) while simultaneously employing thugs to physically ensure she doesn't go.

The audience at my theater laughed uproariously often, particularly at one junior official who's name is a homophone for "fake smart". In this film, the officials (with the exception of the party leader, who gives a somewhat shoehorned speech about how the party must serve the people) are portrayed as always toadying up to superiors while despising anyone lower than them. Several times jr officials were hilariously obsequious, saying "yes yes yes boss, very good, great idea etc."

I asked a number of Chinese what they thought of the film, and those who'd seen it all say that the story rang true, which is why I recommend it.

I was mildy amused when I read this BBC blog post about the movie, a couple weeks after I'd seen it and drawn all these conclusions. I guess I need to get my material out before the BBC next time.
__________________________________________________ ____________________

I'm planning to visit this place sometime in the next couple weeks. I was actually planning to go yesterday, but duty called. It's a pretty known, (relatively) unpolluted mountain spring. I've been waiting for it to get hot enough to swim, and this week with temperatures touching 30c (90f) we're finally there. Expect a full write-up after I go.
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:25 AM   #38
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

Have you seen the Feng Xiaogang acted film Lao Pao'er?
He didnt direct it but gives a really wonderful performance.

Its really less of a gangster movie than the following trailer portrays.

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Old 04-19-2017, 06:24 AM   #39
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

yeah Ive seen Lao pao'r. Didnt want to analyze rwo Feng Xiaogang movies in one post lol.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:55 AM   #40
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East



This hoodie was worn by a student of mine. Her name was Happy and she always got really annoyingly excited about everything. Of course she didn't know what it meant.

One of the fun things in China is the food. To be frank, before I came to China I'd only ever eaten Americanized Chinese foods. Lots of it's really good, and it's usually super cheap.




I drink milk tea (taiwan style more than HK) like 5 times a week.



This is a very typical Cantonese lunch. On any given weekday like half of the people in Guangdong are eating something similar. Rice, steamed or boiled vegetables, soup and meat (in this case excellent roast goose). When I first got to China I couldn't eat it-the flavors were too light so it all tasted really bland. Now I eat it all the time for a quick and cheap (2-3USD) meal.



Another typical meal-twice cooked pork 回锅肉. about the spiciest thing youre likely to order in a Cantonese restaurant. the meat is roast goose from a restaurant my gf said was particularly good. the skin was very crispy, as it should be. We bought it across the street and took it to this place, no one seemed to mind the outside food.


Another great thing is not just all the massive varieties of Chinese food, but that Korean, Thai and Vietnamese places are so good and so cheap (IME, Japanese and Indian restaurants are still expensive). This is my favorite Thai place in town.


I ordered the crab meat sour soup, and it's killer. And five pieces of real crab (every other place I've been serves imitation crab).



My gf made mango with sticky rice yesterday. Her first attempt, so room for improvement.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:10 AM   #41
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

I used to put 回锅肉 in small tortillas and call them Chinese fajitas. One of my absolute favorite foods. Great pics in thread.

-B
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:12 AM   #42
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

Cool thread bro.

IRT to oversize nfl hat Murican. I might just try to catch him alone in the bar one night and just defacto apologize. Something like "hey bro my bad for getting us off on the wrong foot way back when, not sure what i did but i always thought you were a cool dude if you ever want to throw some darts or anything like that im down ".

Now he could just be that big of a jerkoff where hes like "F u bro i hate u your dead". Which is fine you said your peace though and you can move on knowing regardless of what u did its the way its going to be. Chances are hes not going to be your friend or anything(not even saying u want to be his) its more of a trying to say your peace. Maybe he just decides to stop gossiping about u but isnt your bud which is ideal for u.

Clearly not saying you did something wrong more of let the baby get acknowledgement since in his brain u did something wrong . Its obv hes mad about nothing but personally if hes everywhere u r I'd at least clear the air with the dude and try it. Obv you can just do your approach of ignoring it I'm just the more im going to clear the air type.

Obv if u know the guy is just super tool and its going to make things worse then i wouldnt. I think its hard to read how he would react to something like this. Its pretty clear the guy is a huge emotional baby.

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Old 04-20-2017, 11:38 AM   #43
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

Quote:
I used to put 回锅肉 in small tortillas and call them Chinese fajitas. One of my absolute favorite foods. Great pics in thread.
hahaha I'd never thought of that.

YF: I had basically thought of that. "I'm not sure what I said but I'm sorry." But given that more than once he's yelled at girls (don't forget the intimidation factor of a big American guy yelling at a little Chinese woman) just because of their association doesn't bode well.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:55 AM   #44
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

Yeah if hes that big of a douche bag better to just leave it as is.
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Old 04-21-2017, 04:15 PM   #45
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

Have you done a cost of living breakdown? Wouldn't mind knowing what that looks like.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:33 PM   #46
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

Do you want mine or a general one?

housing:
generally (remember this is a tier 3 city, rental prices vary quite a bit). For a very decent studio/1bedroom apartment in the central districts of the city (not not quite city center) expect to pay about 2000rmb (less than 300USD). Add another 200rmb for utilities. If you wanna live in style in the apartments above the IFC in city center, expect to pay about 6000rmb (less than 1kUSD)

cell phone: about 5USD/month for service. Honestly I'm not sure, but it's really cheap.

transportation: this differs a lot between cities. There's no subway here, so I use my e-bike (man I love ebikes). That cost 1800rmb (250USD~). So unless I'm traveling more than 10km, my transportation is taken care of. In Shenzhen, the metro costs a little more than dollar to run from end to end. My commute, which took about 30 minutes and changed lines, came out to 3rmb, so less than 1USD a day or 18USD a month). Taxis or Didichuxing are pretty cheap-a 45 minute ride should be less than 8USD. If you deigned to get a car...damn the costs add up. Registering it can be expensive (or impossible in big cities), there's toll roads everywhere outside of the cities, you gotta buy gas, insurance and park it somewhere (my friend just paid 137,000rmb to buy a parking spot in his apartment building). Don't get a car.

Food: this one can totally vary. On one end, you can get extremely cheap and edible meals for less than the cost of a Sunday paper. Changfen is a breakfast staple, and it's only about 5rmb a serving. Supermarkets sell rice/veg/meat combos for about 12rmb (never good, always just edible). For slightly more you can get really good food. Those thai dishes I shared pics of charge about 20rmb (3USD) for those dishes. There's good Korean places that do the same, and the roast goose with veg, soup and rice cost the same. So I'd say 19-22rmb is where you get actually GOOD-tasting food. If you wanna go high end, Starbucks is just as expensive here as anywhere else (whenever a Chinese co-worker who makes like 800USD/m comes in with Starbucks I marvel). The one decent American restaurant (and it's just decent) charges upward of 8USD for a burger and fries. the Italian restaurants are also expensive. For me, I stick to he "cheap, but good enough I can eat it" category. So let's break it down.

"I enjoy depriving myself" category: 1100rmb a month

"savin dat money" category: 23000rmb a month

"I wanna live like I'm in the West" category: 4600rmb a month

nightlife: one surprise when I came to China-going out to bars and such is just as expensive here as anywhere else. See my story about about places charging for rum and coke separately (and marking up the coke x7). If you look you can find deals. many places have buy one get one before x (ranging from 8pm to 930pm). my favorite new bar has actually good Belgian beers for 30rmb and killer mojitos for 35.

hermit life: 0-200rmb a month

i see you occasionally life: 700~

all I do is **** n party: 2000rmb+

special services: foot massages (legit ones) start at the shoulders and work their way down. You can get daytime ones for 40rmb/hr, but I'd say 60rmb is more standard.

full massages cost a bit more.

Very little idea about extras, as I don't indulge. more than SEA for sure, and they won't speak any English. If you wanna find English speaking playmates youre gonna have to pay a lot.

If there's anything else I'll add those expenses later.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:03 PM   #47
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

Yeah that's a great breakdown, cheers!
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:13 PM   #48
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

haha, the food one should be 2300, not 23000.

Re:ebikes. Like I said, I love these things. Require no license/registration/insurance to buy or operate. There are laws regarding their size, speed etc but they're rarely enforced (and the absolute worst that could happen is the police take it, you won't get deported). My Gfs tops out at about 55km/h. Mine's a lot slower. Their range with a 4 cell is about 25km, with an 8 cell battery is 50km+. Legally you should ride on the sidewalks. On the main roads they have very wide sidewalks with paved bike paths. Also on those main roads occasionally the police seize vehicles driving on the road. So you really have no excuse. On smaller roads it's impractical to ride on the sidewalk. I believe that if you're traveling in the city and not getting on any roads going 60km/h+, ebikes are faster than cars. You can pass all the cars lined up at a stop light and go right to the front (one of the most satisfying feelings is seeing the red light countdown to green and timing it just riight so you hit the intersection as it turns green without stopping-also giving the finger to all the suckers in cars you just passed). Just remember kids-always wear a helmet and don't drink and drive. I had a friend spend an unpleasant stay in a Chinese hospital with a broken leg and collarbone for that.
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Old 04-22-2017, 01:56 PM   #49
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

Why did you choose China over say Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia? I understand you teach English right, was that a deciding factor to live their instead? From what I've read so far Vietnam pays more than China, correct?
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:30 AM   #50
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Re: Eliminating Problems in the Far East

China pays a lot more than SEA. Chinese is more useful than Vietmanese. Mostly it. never heard of VN paying more. Their GDP per capita is a lot lower, where they getting the middle class to buy this stuff.
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