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Qingdao or Kunming?

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XiaoXi
On 11/7/2018 at 9:46 AM, abcdefg said:

What I think has happened here, though I cannot prove it, is that people have become accustomed to fresh air indoors even in the winter and really don't demand central heating. Doubtless it would be nice to have for a week or two each January, but it's not worth the year-round trouble and expense. 

So you only need heating in January in Kunming? That sounds a hell of a lot better than here in Chengdu. :-? It gets well under 20 degrees indoors long before January here. It certainly doesn't help that the buildings have the huge un-closable windows open letting all the cold and pollution in. They certainly don't have any fondness for fresh air here...well there isn't really any 'fresh air' in most China cities...just heavily polluted air. :mrgreen:

 

The best quality air you can get in China is by closing all the windows (which most of the time my pollution app recommends anyway), using an air purifier and turning on the central heating since it won't pump pollution into your house like an air conditioner will.

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abcdefg
On 11/12/2018 at 12:00 PM, XiaoXi said:

So you only need heating in January in Kunming?

 

Pretty much, at least most years. It also could be that by now I'm just used to the seasonal changes. Summer is hot; winter is cold. That's normal and no big deal. Dress warmer or cooler as the situation dictates. 

 

Your Chengdu air quality sounds real unattractive. 

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Ele
On 11/7/2018 at 8:55 PM, brianhelweglarsen said:

If you are wanting to learn a whole lot, have you read "Fluent forever"? It looks to me like the most practical turbo-charge method for actually learning both vocabulary and grammar.

I will definitely have a look at it! Thanks!

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mungouk
7 hours ago, Ele said:

"Fluent forever"

 

If this is Gabe Weiner's book then I'm not convinced it applies particularly well to Chinese, which often has many different meanings (including verbs, adjectives, nouns etc) that can map to the English meaning.

 

I really appreciate what he has tried to do, which started in learning many European languages (since he's an opera singer), but treating Chinese as "just another language" doesn't necessarily work in my opinion. 

 

I would probably go as far as to say that it's sufficiently different (writing system for one), that very different strategies are required. 

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XiaoXi
16 hours ago, abcdefg said:

Pretty much, at least most years. It also could be that by now I'm just used to the seasonal changes. Summer is hot; winter is cold. That's normal and no big deal. Dress warmer or cooler as the situation dictates. 

Seeing people wearing coats indoors really makes me think the North is more developed than the South though lol. You may be able to adapt to it being a Westerner. Chinese tend to have the least tolerance to temperature however. When it's even slightly hot they set the air conditioner down to 20 degrees or below and when it's even slightly cold they put on so many layers and switch the air conditioner on hot mode. This phenomenon is possibly more extreme in the north though.

 

Here in Chengdu it's only just getting to uncomfortable levels (under 22 degrees) but already people are wearing coats indoors.

 

16 hours ago, abcdefg said:

Your Chengdu air quality sounds real unattractive. 

Yeah it's not good. Although Kunming may be better than most China cities, it's still equivalent to London if not worse so I'd hardly want to open the windows to breath in all the lovely fresh air. :mrgreen:

 

On 11/7/2018 at 12:17 PM, abcdefg said:

I think newer apartments probably have a choice of toilet types or at least one could expect to find a mix. 

I think I missed this. What do you mean by a choice?

 

On 11/7/2018 at 12:17 PM, abcdefg said:

My bathroom is one of those old little ones in which you must stand straddling the toilet in order to take a shower. Doesn't make you want to linger and sing arias from Puccini operas. 

OMG. So that really is what you're supposed to do then. I saw a place in Chengdu when we were looking in the beginning and the shower was right above the toilet, although it was a western toilet. I thought - what they want me to stand in the toilet to have a shower? Isn't that counterproductive...But it seems that is the way to do it from what you're saying. Doesn't make any more sense now though but still.

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abcdefg
3 hours ago, XiaoXi said:

I think I missed this. What do you mean by a choice?

 

I meant that newer apartment complexes might offer a choice of western "sit" toilet 马桶 or Chinese "squat" toilet 蹲厕。Such things are generally dictated by whoever does the first 装修 ("remodeling" -- including the first one when the place is empty and brand new.)

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XiaoXi
On 11/14/2018 at 11:50 AM, abcdefg said:

I meant that newer apartment complexes might offer a choice of western "sit" toilet 马桶 or Chinese "squat" toilet 蹲厕。Such things are generally dictated by whoever does the first 装修 ("remodeling" -- including the first one when the place is empty and brand new.)

You mean 毛坯? But that's only with buying a house isn't it? I've only ever rented places in China.

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abcdefg

Obviously when renting you must chose something that has already been built by someone else. 

 

(We have gotten pretty far off the original topic.)

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Fike2308

Kunming is boring and overrated in my opinion.

 

I'd rather live in Qingdao.

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XiaoXi
On 11/17/2018 at 9:13 AM, abcdefg said:

Obviously when renting you must chose something that has already been built by someone else. 

Ok yeah that's why I was confused by the 'you get a choice' thing. With 毛坯 you get a choice with everything, you could probably have no toilet at all if you wanted lol. :P

 

Btw are you sure about the temperature thing since I am considering moving to Kunming next year...the forecast shows that Chengdu where I am is 17 degrees today outside and Kunming 16. Indoors here it's already gone below room temperature comfort level, which for humans (at least during the daytime) is 20-23 degrees. I find 22 is a key temperature and even at 21 it feels noticeably colder but far from unbearable. It's amazing how much difference each degree makes. Like for example you really don't need to go down to like 17 to see the difference compared with 23 degrees, just going down to 21 from 23 is very noticeable.

 

Today it's about 18-19 in the house here and we need to wear more clothing and have the air conditioner set to 21 to take the edge off it. My gf is Chinese (canary down the mine) and she's even more extreme with hot water bottles and such. Is your house in Kunming really still above 20 degrees with no need for the air conditioner or anything?

 

I ask because I know December is a lot colder than November and January colder still.

On 11/18/2018 at 6:16 PM, Fike2308 said:

Kunming is boring and overrated in my opinion.

Kunming was the most interesting Chinese city I ever went to. What's so great about Qingdao then?

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DavyJonesLocker

I never quite understand the "stick out the cold" mentality. Electricity seems relatively cheap in China compared to Europe and I assume USA?. A good decent size electrical oil filled heater can be a great addition and besides Chinese apartments are relatively small .

However it naturally depends on your affordability and how well insulated your apartment is, how many hours you're inside etc.

 

 

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abcdefg
2 hours ago, XiaoXi said:

 Is your house in Kunming really still above 20 degrees with no need for the air conditioner or anything?

 

I don't know the inside temperature in my apartment. Most windows are partly open and I put on more clothes as needed throughout the day. 

 

1 hour ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

A good decent size electrical oil filled heater can be a great addition and besides Chinese apartments are relatively small .

 

I have one of these in the bedroom and click it on in the middle of the night if it gets too cold for comfortable sleep. 

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XiaoXi
On 11/25/2018 at 4:23 PM, DavyJonesLocker said:

I never quite understand the "stick out the cold" mentality.

Clearly abcdefg comes under that category since it's already 13 degrees in Kunming! The Chinese here in Chengdu seem to be like that too. One time the courier came to deliver to our house and was surprised we had the air conditioner on even! I think they just wear big coats indoors and try to pretend they don't need heating here like this is Sanya or something.

 

On 11/25/2018 at 4:23 PM, DavyJonesLocker said:

Electricity seems relatively cheap in China compared to Europe and I assume USA?. A good decent size electrical oil filled heater can be a great addition and besides Chinese apartments are relatively small .

Yes gas and electricity is much cheaper but using electric heaters the cost can still add up pretty fast. Electric heaters are always gonna cost more than central heating and they will struggle to warm your whole house unless it's really small. It's normal to have at least one radiator per room, or more if it's a large room so you can imagine one electric heater won't go far unless you have a small single person apartment.

 

Not sure what you mean by Chinese apartments are small - compared with what? Doesn't it depend on how big an apartment you rent? I went to a friend's house in Beijing once and I don't even know how big it was but it took ages just to tour it. Just the lounge must have been at least 200 square metres and about 50 metres high. I doubt most people in Chengdu or Kunming live in small apartments since they're families with four or more people.

 

Regarding insulation - like I said, the whole building I live in (and the previous one) has huge windows that can never be closed. So you have cold air just waiting outside your door.

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DavyJonesLocker
1 hour ago, XiaoXi said:

Not sure what you mean by Chinese apartments are small - compared with what? Doesn't it depend on how big an apartment you rent?

 

 

Yeah true. I really need to narrow it down. The average couple and a kid would rent a two bed apparent in Beijing. Having looked at a huge amount of places in Beijing I'd say average one bed is about 50sqm despite the imaginary 65sqm the agents like to advertise. A two bed about 70 realistically. I measured my one bed and it was 55sqm living space but advertised as 67.

I'm the UK an older appartment would be bigger in my experience. Very much depends on what part of the country. 

Also the middle income  "couple and one kid" scenario would rent a larger place compared to their Chinese counterparts, Further they would most likely live in a house which by nature would be more expensive to heat.

 

As regards to utility bills,  I think I'm still unfairly comparing it to the UK. I bought water the other day, 30tons was 150kuai. Would easily last 6 months In London I pay £60 a month. Electricity and gas is multiple times cheaper than my apartment in London, but disposable income needs to be taken into account.

 

I have Chinese friends that seems to suffer the cold,  wear thermals inside but yet again quite happy to spend more than a months wage on a iPhone. 😂

 

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abcdefg
22 hours ago, XiaoXi said:

Clearly abcdefg comes under that category since it's already 13 degrees in Kunming! The Chinese here in Chengdu seem to be like that too.

 

Yes, afraid that I'm not a representative foreigner anymore. At night it gets down to about 5 degrees C here according to the weather report. Doesn't bother me. If I'm home on a cold evening, I often will employ local coping strategies, like wrapping my hands around a tall warm beverage and soaking my feet in a basin of hot water laced with appropriate TCM herbs.

 

Sometimes I wrap a scarf around my neck while sitting there, soaking my feet, sipping herb tea, reading a book and listening to music. Don't feel at all abused or deprived. 

 

Kunming is a good place to own a couple of thick wool sweaters. And thermal long johns. I bundle up inside the house or when going out without giving it a second thought. When I go back to the US, it aggravates me to have to stay inside artificially warmed and mostly-sealed houses. Here in Kunming I have fresh air and sunshine inside my apartment all through the winter. 

 

My bed sports a thick goose down comforter. If it's really, really cold, I spread out an electric mattress pad heater underneath the bottom sheet. Plus that room has an electric oil heater that I can switch on if needed when the temperature drops to its lowest point after midnight. 

 

When my lady friend comes over, she sometimes finds it a little chilly. But then, she's from Yunnan's deep south, where they grow pineapples and bananas and it seldom freezes. I make her a big mug of warm milk with honey, drape a lap rug over her knees, and then she feels much better. 

 

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mungouk

I guess Qingdao has been suffering from the terrible smog recently along with other cities in the North/North-East.

 

Does Kunming have similar air quality issues in the winter as well?

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DavyJonesLocker
On 12/2/2018 at 2:56 PM, mungouk said:

I guess Qingdao has been suffering from the terrible smog recently along with other cities in the North/North-East.

 

Well that was depressing reading those articles. As much as I try see the positive things about China the  lackadaisical attitude to the environment by the government and the output people is off putting . So many simple solutions could be implemented. Like restricting plastic bags in supermarkets , ridiculous amount of packaging on edibles, people stop dumping rubbish on the street. 

 

<rant>

While writing this some mother is letting her ugly kid throw snacks all over the subway station. I got woken up at 8am by the neighbours lighting fireworks in our compound for a wedding. Zero consideration for the neighbors nor the guys who have to sweep all that up. Those red strip firecrackers leave  a mess everywhere . </rant>

 

 

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abcdefg
20 hours ago, mungouk said:

Does Kunming have similar air quality issues in the winter as well?

 

Not that I've noticed while just going about my daily outside activities. This includes riding my bike on the streets. Don't think I can ever remember saying to myself, "Oh the weather quality is so foul today, I'd rather not go out." 

 

However, I have not researched the actual weather stats. My data is purely anecdotal. 

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XiaoXi
On 11/30/2018 at 3:47 PM, DavyJonesLocker said:

Yeah true. I really need to narrow it down. The average couple and a kid would rent a two bed apparent in Beijing. Having looked at a huge amount of places in Beijing I'd say average one bed is about 50sqm despite the imaginary 65sqm the agents like to advertise. A two bed about 70 realistically. I measured my one bed and it was 55sqm living space but advertised as 67.

Ok that's Beijing, which has heating anyway so wouldn't need the radiators we were discussing. My place at the moment is one bedroom and about 65 sqm. In Beijing I used to rent a place that was about 150 sqm. For two beds it can be 70 sqm but really depends. We had a friend in Dongbei before and she lived on her own in a place with two bedrooms which was really quite big. Certainly way over 100 sqm but they have heating there too of course

 

In any case these sizes are all way too big for a single oil filled radiator to heat. At the most you could heat a single room that wasn't too big with that. I thought you must be in a 30 sqm studio apartment or something. Familes here live in places that range in size from 60-70 to 100+. The UK has the smallest house sizes in Europe but they tend to trick you a bit by splitting all the space in to so many rooms and never mentioning how many square metres it is. Chinese tend to prefer more open plan houses.

 

But yeah the UK will have more expensive bills etc because you're paying more for being in a better place.

 

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XiaoXi
On 11/30/2018 at 4:37 PM, abcdefg said:

Yes, afraid that I'm not a representative foreigner anymore. At night it gets down to about 5 degrees C here according to the weather report. Doesn't bother me.

I'm guessing you probably have a very low body temperature. My gf has a higher body temperature to me, is very hot to the touch even and seems to feel the cold the most. She has to do a lot to keep her temperature high all the time.

 

On 11/30/2018 at 4:37 PM, abcdefg said:

Kunming is a good place to own a couple of thick wool sweaters. And thermal long johns. I bundle up inside the house or when going out without giving it a second thought. When I go back to the US, it aggravates me to have to stay inside artificially warmed and mostly-sealed houses.

Heating is anything from artificial. We've been using fires for warmth and shelter in caves since the dawn of man.

 

On 11/30/2018 at 4:37 PM, abcdefg said:

Sometimes I wrap a scarf around my neck while sitting there, soaking my feet, sipping herb tea, reading a book and listening to music. Don't feel at all abused or deprived. 

 

On 11/30/2018 at 4:37 PM, abcdefg said:

Kunming is a good place to own a couple of thick wool sweaters. And thermal long johns. I bundle up inside the house or when going out without giving it a second thought.

 

On 11/30/2018 at 4:37 PM, abcdefg said:

My bed sports a thick goose down comforter. If it's really, really cold, I spread out an electric mattress pad heater underneath the bottom sheet. Plus that room has an electric oil heater that I can switch on if needed when the temperature drops to its lowest point after midnight. 

Scarves indoors, hot tea, feet soaking in hot water, thick wool sweaters, thermal long johns, goose down comforters, electric mattresses, electric oil heaters.....my god, quite a lot for someone who claims to not feel the cold! :P

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