Kunming is the capital and largest city of Yunnan Province, in south-west China. Even though you may not have heard of it, it has about the same population as Scotland. That fact alone tells you how ludicrous is the idea of Scottish independence – when there are cities of that size that you probably have not heard of, who, in the future, will pay even the slightest attention to a tinpot country created because a few uninformed people decided that they don’t like the rich posh boys currently running the UK?
Kunming benefits tremendously from being a part of the larger concern – China. There is a lot of developmennt going on in Kunming. They are currently constructing a metro, and even though this work has just started, it will probably be ready before the Edinburgh tram service. In Kunming, I saw some road diggings, for the first time in China.
The way to go is not to create more political divisions with yet more politicians, but rather the opposite. Who needs more prime ministers, more trumped-up cabinet members on expenses, more duplicated effort and wasted hot air? Certainly not me.
Anyway, we arrived in Kunming early on the Wednesday morning, and we were greeted at the train station by Judy, a very professional guide from CITS, as arranged by Sanya China Travel, our tour company. Judy and her driver took us to the New Era Hotel, in the centre of town. The New Era is a top hotel, and far superior to our hotel in Shanghai.
I pointed out to Judy that according to our itinerary we were down for breakfast that day, and she made a quick phonecall to her agency, spoke to the hotel checkin, and then told me that we could have breakfast upstairs in the New Era dining room, and once we were finished, our room would be ready.
I liked and appreciated that efficiency. I even more liked the New Era breakfast! In fact, I’ve never before seen such a selection of food on offer for breakfast. Chinese, western, shushi, continental…you name it, and they had it. They also had an egg-man commis chef. You know you’re in a good hotel when there’s a dedicated egg-man, and you can say ‘fried, sunny-side up’ or ‘up-over-easy’ or poached, or scrambled, or whatever. We were in breakfast-heaven. I mention the quality of the breakfast because, on a previous business trip in 2001 to Xian, the hotel breakfasts had been purely Chinese, and there was one person from the UK at that conference who wouldn’t touch anything at all. I’d previously warned Lindsey that in China she might be presented with Century eggs for breakfast, and she’d gagged at the thought.
Shall I tell you about the toilet back-up problem? No, I won’t, because it was quickly fixed.