New York City Science Teachers and Tourguizhou

The techy RoboCars of China  video was invited to the Science Council of New York City Annual Meeting, but we coudln’t go. Instead we sent our business cards, specially designed for the Annual Meeting event coming this April 6. It is particularly exciting for fans of Guiyang because there are potentially thousands of New York City young people that can be exposed to the technology of China’s Big Data Valley as featured in the video. Further, through the www.tourguizhou.com website, the full range of the Guizhou portfolio will be featured.

For information about the event and the Science Council, visit:SCoNYC .

I believe China and the West can learn a lot from each other. Perhaps the Science Program in NYC can learn something from Guizhou! Here’s the card:

(Click Thumbnail for Full Sized View)

This conference is hosted at the famous Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan .  More about Stuyvesant can be found at: More about Stuyvesant

A Message from the Publisher

March 2, 2019
To:          Whom it may concern
From:    John S. Porter, Publisher of WWW.TOURGUIZHOU.COM

Re:         Support for www.tourguizhou.com and the video: “Robo Cars of China”

The Tour Guizhou system of web blogs and chats is intended to create space online information about Guizhou people (including foreigners) our shared culture, food, education, natural beauty, technology, doing business, wine, minorities, and many other things. I have been coming to Guizhou, helping teach English and sharing the culture of Guizhou. I like informing western, English speaking, peoples about Guizhou. I have been coming to Guizhou for nineteen years (first visiting Guizhou to teach in the year 2000) and  I have actively promoted Guizhou online through the www.tourguizhou.com web site for the last seven years. There is also a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tourguizhou/

My background in the USA has included data processing, community leadership, and, as a community leader, I helped create a transportation authority which provides bus transportation to the Grand Traverse Bay (GTBay) region. GTBay is in Northern Michigan of the USA. For a period of time, I was Chairman of the Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA).  That is why I am so excited about the Big Data and transportation innovation in Guizhou.  I recognize its potential in bring us all closer together by advancing the quality of our lives, not just in Guizhou, but also the world.

The video “Robo Cars of China” is an attempt to merge many of my ideas about China and the West into a coherent concept of cooperation, friendly competition, and inspiring young people to engage the new technologies. I want the young people to prepare themselves in an enthusiastic and collaborative way. A key element to this cooperation is “Technology English”. As engineers work together, they soon discover that their English teachers didn’t prepare them for collaborations on technical issues using English. English teachers are typically not engineers. For almost a year I have worked on this video about Guiyang and its robotic car basic research.

The video is staged in Guiyang, promoting Guiyang to the tech community, but also it teaches “Technology” English.  It blends technology English with an interesting cooperation and competition, all taking place in Guiyang. It is an English teaching document, a technical document, and an effort to inspire the young. It is also a promotion of Guiyang, China, and  the cooperation that is growing between and among different countries.

The Tourguizhou web site stresses the lifestyle in Guiyang which is geared to young professionals who want to live in an interesting and progressive culture. Guiyang combines tourist attractions with a progressive technology culture. I have enjoyed telling this story on the web, and the video is my most ambitious effort yet. Unfortunately, I have been forced into retirement by operation of law. At age 68 I am faced with returning to my home country to find work in order to sustain myself. My work in promoting technology and Guizhou will draw to a close unless I find support from the Chinese government and the Chinese businesses that value collaboration with the West. I think Westerners should also have an interest in promoting this kind of cooperation as well. Any thoughts on grant ideas or other support are requested and appreciated.

usainfo@yahoo.com

usainfo@yahoo.com

Robo Cars of China

This video ties together many years of my activity here in China. I have multiple objectives in the creation of this video:

  1. Inspire young people to get involved in technology.
  2. Teach “Technology English” in a relevant format.
  3. Allow English learners to listen and “catch” informal English conversation.
  4. Introduce Guiyang/Guizhou as a legitimate technology center in China. It is also known as China’s “Big Data Valley”
  5. Introduce the “Pixmoving” company as a small research company with big ideas for Autonomous Vehicles (AV).
  6. Demonstrate how innovative competition can take place between people of countries from all over the world, making the world a better place through technology. Vigorous competition and friendships between countries is good.Please contact me at USAInfo@yahoo.com with your comments.

Long Li Ancient City and Jin Ping Countryside

Long Li is located about four hours southeast of Guiyang in an area of Miao and Dong minority people. The walls around the city, the water system and the fortress are all intact.  It doesn’t have the tourist pressure like some old cities closer to Guiyang. It is surrounded by the beautiful countryside of Jinping County.

San Cha You Farming

Jinping County has a new product called San Cha You, which is a cooking oil. The mountains of Jinping County are covered with these oil bearing plants. It is an incredibly beautiful sight. You can also directly drink the oil.  It is still expensive, but has been shown to be very good for high blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar diabetes conditions. It has also been shown to raise immunity to some cancers.San Cha berry trees are in great supply. The locals have actively planted and cultivated these crops for many years.

There is a new factory under construction and it is hoped that as production increases, that the price will come down and the product will be more widely known and distributed.

Jin Ping County is also famous for blueberries. There are blueberry farms in many places with very attractive prices in season, around August of each year.

 

 

 

Bloody Pigs

I am not going to post a video of butchering pigs. Yesterday I had an experience that will always stick out in my memory. I was at a friend’s house for dinner and the matriarch of the household, very old (older than me), was watching a video on her cell phone. She was laughing hysterically. This is Ms. Wang’s mother for those of you who know the Wang family. They are charming people.  I have often come to dinner for authentic Guizhou food, very good food.

So I happened to call Ms. Wang about suppertime and she immediately invited me to dinner with her family.  I was quite hungry and I was nearby the Zhongtian Gardens, where Ms. Wang’s mother lives. I was quite hungry and dinner was about ready. Ms. Want’s mother was looking at her cell phone and laughing, a lot.  She brought the phone over to show me and it was a frantic pig, a bloody pig, bleeding from a cut throat and running all over the room. I was somewhat horrified. I kind of agree with this PETA group that wants us to be kind to animals. So I was laughing too, but not at the hurt pigs, at the elderly lady who was enjoying the video so much.  She kept pushing the video in front of me to watch more. I did.

I was very hungry when I showed up for dinner, and I recovered from the trauma enough to have a fine Guizhou dinner, but it really showed me the culture difference.  Perhaps every older Chinese who lived on a farm once has seen the pig butchered. They have also seen their share of screw ups. I like to watch the dog videos where dogs tip the canoe over or push somebody into the swimming pool etc. Funny. Well this was a compilation of pig slaughters gone bad. The common them was they had the pig indoors ready to butcher, and they cut the pig’s throat. Somehow the cut wasn’t clean and  the pig got away. So this was a compilation of pig slaughters gone bad and people were getting knocked all over the room, covered in pig blood.  Trying to catch and kill an angry bloody pig isn’t so easy.

It usually took several men to catch the pig. A bloody pig seems about the same as a greased pig. After catching it they had to cut his throat and with the pig struggling, it took several slashes and stabs. The bloody pigs were eventually caught and killed but every video had all the people in the room covered in blood, room full of blood, and an angry pig. If you are accustomed to seeing pig blood because you have slaughtered pigs before, the video seems quite funny. My laughter was very nervous because that the old lady was having so much fun watching it. Also, I was on the verge of spoiling my dinner. I just mark it down to a cultural difference, but I won’t soon forget it. Funny.

 

Tourguizhou Gets “Salute”

The tourguizhou.com web site and tourguizhou wechat group received a “Community City Creativity Award” on December 31, 2018. In front of 400 members of the Guizhou Community Alliance. Jack Porter received a commemerative certificate,trophy, and a picture with flowers and the lovely MC – Yusi.

Jack gave a little talk about his nearly twenty year history with Guizhou Province and the seven year history of Tourguizhou. He explained how to use the search box and menus to find exclusively local information, all English content, about Guizhou Province.

 

 

 

English/Golf Workshop Holiday Special for Kids

Raymond Lo Cohen USPGA Golf Professional

Raymond Lo Cohen, USPGA, is a retired golf professional from Hong Kong. He has 18 years as a USA golf pro. He has retired in Guiyang and is offering a series of golf/English classes. 

Golfing with Raymond English/Golf Workshop is an ideal way for kids to learn English and Golf at the same time. The first five hour workshop will be hour per week sessions will be fun and be a big boost in English proficiency for students. Jack Porter, sponsor of this web site About Tourguizhou, has helped organize the event and will work with kids as a volunteer.

The event is planned for either February 22 or 23, depending on the weather and client response. The workshop  is for grade school age kids (6-13). The first classes will be offered at the new Golden Tulip Hotel in Jinyang, just minutes from the Beizhan Train Station. Class will be from 10 AM to 3:30 PM, including lunch. This is a saturation English environment, five hours. Raymond has several locations throughout Guiyang where he will be able to offer classes. The first class will feature putting in addition to basic swing and golf English. Other classes will be on a golf simulator or at a local driving range.

This English emersion class will be roughly half in the classroom and half outside. The Golden Tulip Hotel has a fully enclosed courtyard and mini golf area. A variety of classrooms are available at the GoldenTulip and the classroom shown here is the VIP room off of the main restauant.

The Minigolf Area

The Classroom

 Raymond has several foreign friends with at least one volunteer English teacher (native English speaking teacher). Foreign teachers (native English teachers) that want to volunteer can get free golf lessons and/or gifts if they participate. Referral fees and discounts can be discussed if you have interested students. Contact Raymond directly at 13984086686 for information about referrals

Raymond is fluent in English, Mandarin, Guizhouhua, and Guandonghua. Although the class plan is flexible depending on student needs, the current class plan is listed below:

Golf Lessons English Lessons

The object of the game
The names of the clubs
The Setup
The Grip
The Swing
Putting

Greetings and Making Friends
Sounds of the Letters
Songs with Colors and Animals
Simple Nouns
Simple Verbs
Simple Sentences

Students will have a good basic understanding of golf and basic English sentences and pronounciation.

Transportation: While the location is easy to get to make sure you ask about transportation when you register. The Hotel is just opposite the Yang Guang Xiao Qu. That location is served by several busses. 

There are several different facilities in Guiyang that may be available to students for specialized instruction. For future classes Raymond will make arrangements for future classes at a driving range or golf simulator.

Please note: When registering make sure to let us know your age, how many years of English you have had, and what special English practice you feel you need.

Contact the Raymond at 13984086686 for details. 

Bangkok Chiangmai Hospital and My Bad Back

Jumping right to the conclusion: whether you go in for a bad back or anything else, review your medical bills carefully before paying and make sure you ask for what you want from the moment you set the appointment . . .

I spent a $100 or so more than expected to address my bad back. The customer service and administration reviewed my complaints and eventually satisfied me. I finally got the exercise tips I went in for, but a lesson was learned.

I followed up my blood pressure issue in Chiangmai this trip (Jan 1- Jan 8) See: http://www.tourguizhou.com/bangkok-chiangmai-heart-center/. Since Thailand is known for it’s massages, I figured the Bankok Hospital therapists might know the best excercises to help my low back. I’ve had this condition (alignment problem in low back) for a good 35 or 40 years. Since Thailand is noted for both massages and kick boxing, this seemed like the place to go. I like massages and probably hurt myself with my Taikwondo kicks when I was young.

Unfortunately time was short the day I visited. All I wanted was to get some pointers on exercises that I should and shouldn’t do, and perhaps have a physical therapy session showing me the best treatments. The doctor insisted that I get an Xray before giving me advice. This was beyond what I really wanted but he assured me that it would only cost between 25 and 50 USD. He also asked about whether I had a back brace. When I told him no, he said he would give me one.

After the Xray he diagnosed my condition as spondylolithsis, a condition that I had already told him about. Since I was late for my bus back to the Hostel I was quickly given a brace by a tech and I paid my bill. It seemed high, but I didn’t really have time to review it. It was for both the visit to the heart specialist and the back issue.

My back doctor made an appointment for me for the following day to see a “consult specialist”. After reviewing the billing I discovered that the heart specialist and blood pressure medication totalled about $26.80 and the back related expenses totalled $185.47 The back brace that the doctor said he would give me cost $53.57 and the Xray related services, which were quoted to me at between $25 and $50 cost $85.71.

I didn’t appear for the appointment the following day out of fear of further charges. At that point I hadn’t received any physical therapy or advice of significance other than don’t do sit-ups and don’t bend the back.

The doctor seemed pre-programmed: Consult, Xray, Diagnose, sell a back brace, refer to the next doctor. I reviewed the entire event with the hospital administrators and I eventually got the therapy advice I needed. It was complimentary. Also, the Xray and brace were helpful, so I can’t really complain about the value. I simply relearned something I should already know: just because somebody speaks English doesn’t mean they listen to English well, or even that they are listening.

There is another point that came up as I talked to the administration and quality control boss. When coming into the hospital, it is important to be clear on what symptoms you have, how long you have had the symptoms, what prior treatment you have had, and what you want in way of treatment/results. Then, get an estimate of the costs.

The Chinese hospitals I have been to seem to have a good system. They bring you in and you pay a nominal sum to talk to the doctor, and then decide what needs to be done. Then you go to the cashier to pay for the treatments in advance. With paid receipt in hand, you go and get your treatment. That’s a Chinese system.

As a foreigner, if it is convenient, it is probably a good idea to sit down with some translation software and write out your issues and expectations prior to your visit. If not convenient, maybe the intake people can handle enough English to perform this function.

One of the leaders in the hospital spoke really excellent English. It turns out he was in the US military and served both Bush presidents, two campaigns, in Iraq. After retiring from the US military, he worked a few years in a US hospital before returning to his native Thailand. I got really good service from him, not only at the hospital, but he defended my country as well. He even went back to his native land and saved Trump the trouble of deporting him.

I can recommend the Bangkok Chiangmai Hospital for your health care needs. As noted above, you need to be clear from the outset what you expect and need, but the pricing is good and the people are competent and quite nice.

 

Chiangmai Airport and Bus to Suneta

Last visit to Chiangmai I had a bad taxi experience. I was charged 300 Baht ($9.26) for a ride to the hostel from the airport. The price should have been about 150. So this trip I used a bus, for 20 Baht ($0.62).

To access the bus system and go to Suneta you leave the airport terminal from Gate 1. That is a left turn out of the baggage area all the way to the opposite end of the terminal. Go out the gate and turn left about 150 meters to the bus area. Bus #3 is the one you want and tell the driver to drop you at the Tha Phae Gate. Follow the directions here: http://www.tourguizhou.com/chiangmai-suneta-hostel/