It is bloody freezing in China and I am disappointed that a search on ChinesePod for a lesson on 'heaters' yielded nothing. I am going out too buy 电油机，增湿器，电毯子， 睡衣裤，长袖的内衣，等等，without ChinesePod help. Attitudes on these things are interesting; different to what i am used to. Many people have heard about the 'no heating south of the Yangtze' convention but there are many other cultural differences between East and West on the subject of heating. Even the geography/ meteorology seems to work according to different physical laws! Anyway, snow threatens in the tropical Spring City and I am headed to a big furniture store before I develop chillblains.
chanelle77November 20, 2009, 07:06 AM
I am south of the Yangtze and it has been bloody cold in Nanjing. So we invested in a ceramic gas heater. We do have a small oil filled radiator which has nice warmth but just could not heat the living room and ac just circulates heats which immediately gets cold as soon as it leaves the ac.
This heater works on gas and has 3 ceramic elements that produce a nice heat. This is their website: www.china-level.com. The heater is around 1800 RMB, you rent a gas bottle for 80 rmb, gas subscription costs around a hundred I think and a 15 rmb for the driver....Best 1800 rmb spend in China so far! :-)
hope it helps, if you want, can send pictures / busines card info via pm.
btw here is a very similar model to mine, the logo on my model says "LOV" hahaha!
bodaweiNovember 20, 2009, 12:35 PM
I gather that there is a lesson on the assembly line? Yeah, way too late mate. I am sitting here typing beside my brand new Chinese made 电油汀。 Still going fine after three or four hours.
Actually Jason you are just the person I want to talk to! 汀 - 请用拼音写？ A Kunming native told me to ask for a diànyǒudīng - at least that is what I thought she said. I couldn't find it in any of my dictionaries. At the shop I forgot and called it a 电油机 which caused confusion - but 电油器 got me directed to the oil heaters. The oil heaters we bought have 电油汀 or 电热油汀 written on the box - I still can't find this 汀 in a dictionary. The dictionary says 汀 is tīng (sandbar.)
Oil heaters are not popular out this way - we went to allegedly the best 家具店 and bought the last two in stock! Chinese don't like to leave things on when they go out, and they are too impatient to wait for them to heat up when they return. 'Everyone' has radiators and electric blankets (the new ones you pull over the top of you instead of lying on the element.)
Our KM friends also counselled us to buy a 'ceramic' radiator - they didn't mention gas options. But there were none in stock. So as I say we bought the convection heaters which would have been our first choice anyway. If you buy a big enough oil heater it will heat the whole flat. Because we are cold we bought two big ones (they are 370 RMB and are cheap to run).
Your gas option sounds great but OMG expensive to buy the heater! We had gas bottles in Hangzhou for cooking. The gas itself is quite reasonable - a bottle lasted a few months. Here in KM we have town gas; it is reticulated around the city. I'm not sure why they haven't got around to space heating - I'm sure that when it catches on the businesses selling heating solutions will make a killing.
bodaweiNovember 20, 2009, 12:42 PM
Sorry, forgot about the bike. Actually it is a sad story - I sold my newish CB600F a few weeks ago. Should change my avatar I suppose, but I intend to buy another Hornet when I go back - they are a fantastic bike. What do you ride? I would also like to ride in China but I haven't come close to making it a reality.
bababardwanNovember 20, 2009, 09:44 PM
Speaking of 摩托车，我记得看书about 3 years ago that Taiwan had the highest number of motorbike riders per capita in the world [and boy are they amazing...ducking through breathtakingly small gaps in front of buses,etc].I'm wondering if it's a similar situation in mainland China or not.Personally I'm fond of the memory of everyone in China getting around on their pushbikes.Gee I'd love to time travel.Now how to say that? 我希望我会时间游。等等，我看我的词典。。。。是“时空旅行”.呵呵，那，你们的科幻粉丝可以用那个词。
bodaweiNovember 21, 2009, 01:31 AM
Motorbikes are very big outside the big cities in the PRC - recently I saw something about motobikes in the second largest city in Yunnan being something like (from memory) 70% of all registered vehicles. (Note however that bicycles are not generally registered these days.) And it is not generally appreciated that China produces more motorbikes than Japan.
Motorbikes are more practical than bicycles in the modern economy because you can travel further to work and you can carry more gear. And travel faster. I'm afraid that bicycles are gradually becoming more of a recreational vehicle like they are in the West. Sorry to go on - but I did a little piece of research on transport choices in the PRC a couple of years ago.
I was joking yesterday about the cold in Kunming but woke this morning to a light snow falling. Eating breakfast of pawpaw while watching the snow fall kind of defines living in this tropical city!
bababardwanNovember 21, 2009, 02:49 AM
I found this very interesting the way you have contrasted the tropical and the snow.This calls to mind [想起】 Kilimanjaro,the highest free standing mountain in the world,sitting on the equator,but always with snow on top.I even love the song.
Thanks for giving me a picture of the motorbike situation in China.I wonder how how the trauma rate is in China from MBA's.
JasonSchNovember 20, 2009, 06:37 AM
On second thought, I guess you're just cold. :) Well, hope you can manage without a lesson just yet.
Btw, I like your avatar. I'm hoping to combine both my love of China and motorcycles someday soon, but haven't made the idea a reality just yet. It will definitely have to happen though. There are tons of places in China just begging for it.
Anyway, good luck shopping!
bodaweiNovember 22, 2009, 03:20 AM
Here in SW China, where there is a lot of hydro power and solar hot water which I thought would make electricity relatively cheap. In summer, electricity was about 60 or 70 RMB per month.
Gas seems fairly cheap (about 5 RMB per month for cooking!) but it is difficult to make true comparisons just from personal experience.
Hmmm, space heating is expensive. One 80 RMB bottle of gas should last three or four months for cooking. But with space heating the burners are lit for long periods of time.
Since I began this thread it has got even colder; its been snowing. Now it is one oil heater per room - you are right! :-)
changyeNovember 22, 2009, 03:23 AM
It's really cold this year here in China. My apartment has a steam heating system, but it can't sufficiently warm up rooms this year. Personally I don't like gas heaters becuase they doesn't seem to be safe/reliable (in China). I recommend you use electric heaters.
JasonSchNovember 22, 2009, 07:00 AM
I can only find tīng as a reading for 汀. (and that's the sandbar definition) It's possible your friend mispronounced it or you misheard them. But, that still doesn't explain why the character for sandbar is in the word for for thermal oil-heater. (热油汀) Maybe it was a loanword at some point? I'll try to remember to ask some teachers about it when I'm back in the office.
As for bikes, I never had more than a simple Suzuki GN250. I loved it though and I've always wanted to get another bike since. Living in the big city kind of put that plan on the back burner, but it's still there.
My little gas-powered scooter will have to do for now!
chanelle77November 22, 2009, 07:24 AM
That was exactly what I was thinking! My husband said: "no worries: this is for the Korean market etc etc" (I was hoping he meant South Korea).
As with anything produced in China I have some doubts :-). When he installed it: i took a walk (and took the cats) hahaha! Nothing happened, but still I am a bit scared.
Luckily the quality of the houses in China is so bad that enough fresh air is coming in *wink wink*. This heater should be equipped with a Co2 safety mechanism, but then again who trusts that right?!
There is a gas / fire alarm in my house which beeps in semi random order and never when there is smoke in the house...
Side note: since the summer there is black mold in my house (yes I know this is worrying, but the Chinese are completely fine with it, do not use protection and laugh when I say they should)."These crazy laowai with their silly fears" (lit. said).
Anyway, they have been working for 3 months on our chimney (which is for decoration purposes only and has no heating function) and guess what afte they left today: still there is a leakage after repairing it 3 times and for 3 months?!
Also 80 % of the other houses in our compound have the exact same issue, so you would think that learning by doing would help hahaha!
Tell me WHY on earth would you built a chimney only for the "looks"? It is an ugly inpractical thing.
Sorry ...one more thing: my landlady said when I complaint about the fuses (work also random) and electricity (lamps in my house last less than a month and are produced by my husband's company!!!)."The company of your husband makes very bad lamps and they are expensive too!!!" Can you believe it? Everything they put on one parallel circuit with TAPE and falls apart when you even look at the direction... and no it is the fault of a EU company with excellent quality standards! :-)
Anyway the weather forecast for next week is 14 degrees :-P
changyeNovember 22, 2009, 07:33 AM
Hi bodawei and JasonSch
The "ding" seems to be a Cantonese pronounciation of "汀", as is often the case with loan words in Chinese, and it means "泥浆" (slurry) in Cantonese. Does this make sense?
bodaweiNovember 22, 2009, 10:54 AM
Re: the mysterious character 汀 - thanks for your comments.
1. I am pretty sure it is pronounced dīng here - my friend said it a couple of times. Why do mainlanders use a Cantonese pronunciation? (Is that the 'borrowed' reference?)
2. The dictionary meaning (slurry, or sandbar) does not make sense to me.
3. 汀 is on the product so I wondered (following Changye's advice) if it was made in 广东? Alas no, it is a company associated with 百安具 which has a 上海浦东 address; the factory has a 浙江宁波 address.
So the 'borrowed' word solution looks most likely? Standard Chinese borrowed from Cantonese? Could it be borrowed for the purpose of describing heaters and not yet in dictionaries?
I had a Honda CB250 for a couple of years - it is great fun. Riding gives me a real buzz.
changyeNovember 22, 2009, 12:18 PM
Standard Mandarin has borrowed a lot of words from Cantonese so far, such as 的士 (taxi)，巴士 (bus)，芝士 (cheese)，and 曲奇 (cookie). Perhaps, oil heaters first became popular in southern China (Canton?) since there is no steam heatning system in this region.
Furthermore, this type of heaters probably uses high-density oil, so "电热油汀" (thick-oil electric heater) makes sense to me. That said, I guess most Chinese people simply (mis)pronounce "汀" as "ding" because of the phonetic part "丁" (ding) in the character.
bodaweiNovember 23, 2009, 07:49 AM
Sounds a good explanation to me. And I did have the same 'thick-oil' kind of thought myself, but a slurry implies that there is sand or some kind of non-liquid component. Maybe there is in Chinese heaters. :-) They are still going fine BTW. And we bought one of those little radiators that look like a fan - have never seen them in Australia.
This borrowed character 汀 is interesting for me though。。 I asked one of my third year university students today and he was completely stumped by the character. He wasn't sure how to pronounce it (tentatively said dīng) and did not know the meaning. As a learner it fascinates me when a native Chinese speaker is unsure of a word - surely they should know the answer to all my questions! But of course it happens to me in English all of the time!
chanelle77November 22, 2009, 02:53 AM
Yes the heater is rather expensive and unfortunately the models with the real flames were also sold out. Must be a popular buy. Interestingly the bottle ran out of gas after only 4 days of use.I have one medium size oil heater, but bc the rooms of the house are quite big it is not enough to heat everything proper (not even with a big curtain bc the windows are not constructed ok, so cold air is coming in).
My friends here told me it is cheaper to use electricity in stead of gas?! Odd, Europe is the other way around I think. Personally for 4 hundred RMB a month (5 bottles) I have a warm living room so I do not really care :-). After we leave China we will sell the thing off again...