Date registered: July 23, 2009
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You can legally work as a student so long as you have permission from both your university and your employer to do so and the PSB endorses your visa for this. There are supposed to be additional guidelines about what sort of jobs are permitted, but as yet these haven't been implemented in Chengdu and so it seems that for now anything goes.
There's still lots of cash in hand employment to be had if you don't mind going down that route. If you want to stay in China long term then be aware you won't be able to use this on your CV as relevant experience when you apply for a visa for full time employment.
Chinese bank cards worked at some ATMs when I tried, MasterCard and Visa worked at all.
Chinese visitors are now eligible for a tourist visa on arrival, although if she is flying then China doesn't seem to let people board flights without a visa in their passport. Maybe she can contact our office about this (8508 2770) for more up to date information. I assume she doesn't want to join one of our tours, but we might be able to help her out with a visa.
Language won't be an issue if she's fluent in English.
You can change Chinese currency in Kathmandu, but it's better for her to take some US dollars in cash as well.
There are plenty of Chinese travellers and a few expats in Kathmandu, she won't have trouble meeting them.
Since my last post I've successfully roamed my China Telecom phone abroad — across a lot of Europe as well as parts of SE Asia. Worked flawlessly without changing handset. You do need a "global ready" device though.
This is 阶梯电价, where, in a bizarre reverse discount scheme, the more units of power you use, the more each unit costs!
You'd have thought the rates would be published here: http://www.sc.sgcc.com.cn/html/main/index.html, but I can't see them anywhere.
I think (though am not certain) that the first 180 KWh are at 0.5224元/KWh, units 181 - 240 are at 0.6224元/KWh and beyond 240 units costs 0.8224元.
Not tried Germany, but UK definitely worked in pretty much all machines. Cash is the most reliable though — take it in a money belt and deposit it locally at the other end.
Forget travelers cheques, although if you insist BOC at very least will do them (for some extortionate fee no doubt).
We have China Telecom's 8MB fibre service. Have had it for a while now, was very unstable initially but seems to have been pretty good of late. Can't remember exactly how much it costs, but think it's about 130 RMB a month as a free upgrade from our previous ADSL connection. Regularly download at 1.25 MB/s (bytes not bits, so that's actually higher than nominal). Dependent on the time of day speedtest seems to think anything from about 4 - 8 mbps.
A somewhat late follow up. The guys who used to run the Survivor Gym in Tongzilin, and the Jiaotong University bouldering wall before that have opened a new gym on the 6th floor of the Suning building (near Galleria). Address is 天府达到北段8号苏宁广场6楼604A号 成都生存者攀岩管. Tel 85228220 The old Survivor place in Tongzilin is still running under the management of their old business partner.
I had a quick look at the weekend, looks pretty good, definitely a step up from the place in Tongzilin. Didn't look at the prices but suspect it'll be more expensive than their old places.
These things can be a real pain to adjust. I don't claim to be an expert, but this is what I've managed to work out:
They turn on initially when there's sufficient flow running through them to trigger a pressure difference switch. They'll turn off if the flow drops, they get too hot, the exhaust is blocked, the gas blows out, after a set time and probably for about 20 other reasons as well.
The first thing to do is to clean all the grit out of your shower head and taps that's constricting the flow. Since overheating and/or limited flow rates seems to be the main reason for them switching off it's worth knowing that you can sometimes trick them into staying on by running a hot tap in the sink while you take a shower (admittedly not really very energy or water saving).
On the heater itself, one of the knobs adjusts the amount of gas going to the burners — that one's easy to identify by adjusting while the heater's running and watching the flame height. Related to this there's often a summer/winter knob which as far as I can tell adjusts the number of jets receiving gas. You want these as low as possible so that you're not mixing in too much cold water into your shower — otherwise you'll limit the flow of hot water and the heater will turn off. The last knob I think regulates the water flow — if this is set too high then the water won't get hot enough. There's sometimes another adjustment underneath, near where the pipes come in, which you may have missed. I think this adjusts the sensitivity of the pressure switch.
If you can't work out which knob is which then if you send a photo I'll have a go at translating the labels.
I had a decent second hand heater from a local shop installed a couple of years ago for 300 RMB that's still going strong, so a replacement with a better heater need not be particularly expensive if you can't get the existing one to behave.
Like I said, wuss ;)
I had a large injection of local anaesthetic that was topped up while they worked on it. Didn't stop the pain further down my jaw when they were hammering at it — though that was nothing like as bad as when the anaesthetic wore off before the analgesics kicked in...
despite @iraglass' experience (who is officially a wuss!), I was really impressed by the service at Huaxi. Can't say that it was exactly pain free, but what do you expect from a guy taking a hammer and pliers to your jaw?
I had a bit of other dental work done there as well which was also pretty good, and have had a few friends who've had considerable dental work done there — certainly a lot better than would have been done in the UK and at a fraction of the price.
More than 7 hours because of road construction, though not usually that much more (except today of course because of all the traffic coming the other way).
The black taxis are fine but no more convenient or cheaper than the bus. Depends on the individual driver if it's better or worse really. Ask the drivers on the streets around the Kangding Hotel near Wuhou temple for details. To further afield they can be worth it, especially where roads are closed to larger vehicles (e.g. to Rilong or Xiaojin via Balang Shan)
Bacon. Seriously easy.
Buy a couple of pounds of pork (belly pork or loin depending on whether you want streaky or not). Wash then rub with serious quantities of salt, mixed with some other seasoning to taste. Without discarding salt put inside a couple of zip lock bags and leave in fridge for a week, flipping the bag every day or two so that the brine runs though it. Wash then slice as thinly as you can. Not as pink as the shop bought stuff but at least as tasty. A tiny quantity of Sodium Nitrate would make it pink and kill off anything the salt doesn't but the smallest quantity I've been able to find on Taobao is something like 1kg.