bya Gabrielle at 8:00 AM

I bought this not to watch it, but so I could take a picture of it.  I found it strangely amusing.  It cost a whopping 4 yuan.

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Okay, No More Excuses, I Don’t Even Have a Job

bya Gabrielle at 12:26 PM

Blogging . . . it used to be a part of my daily routine and then I got lazy.  Well, now I don’t have any excuses.  I’m not bouncing around the globe, I’m not attending a funeral or mourning my loss anymore, I’m not standing at an alter saying, “I do”, and I am most certainly not working.  So, what else do I have time for?  Pretty much anything that I want. And for the most part that has included sleeping late, watching season and after season of whatever TV show I downloaded, and making sure that dinner is cooked for my hubby when he finally gets home after a long day behind the desk.  But those aren’t the only things going on in here in Shanghai.

Since I have moved to Shanghai, China, a lot has happened.

On my second day here, my flipping wallet was stolen.  All in all they didn’t get much, but they did get five crisp 100 yuan bills, my US and Chinese debit card, credit card, traveler check receipts, a whole section of business cards of people I don’t really know, the USC staff card I liked to use to get discounts at movie theaters and the like, my driver license(that had a good picture on it!) and random mementos that I’ve carried in my wallet for way too long.  Most of what was stolen can be replaced.  The major pain was having to call and get everything canceled and knowing that it was probably going to be a complete bitch getting access to 8000 yuan I still had left from Linyi.  Why, would that be difficult you ask?  Well, it’s simple really.  China wouldn’t be China if everything was easy.  As much as the lack of ease irks me here in China, I do suppose that it is part of the reason it keeps me here.  I know, I am completely retarded.

As soon as I realized that my wallet had been stolen, the first thought that popped into my head besides, “Oh, shit, oh, shit”, was the Ben Ross post I read several years ago.  His wallet wasn’t stolen, but it might have well have been.  He just forgot his pass code.  You can read all about it here, here, here, and here.  It’s a lot of reading, but worth it.  The memory of this post put the fear of God in me.  I was almost certain I was gonna be screwed eight ways to Sunday.

I did the proper thing after I realized my wallet was gone.  Teary-eyed(me, not Phil), Phil and I found a police officer and in broken Chinese told him what had happened.  He told us to follow him and so we did.  I don’t think he told us where he was taking us and if he did the Chinese was lost on us.   All I knew was that he was walking us away from the possible scene of the crime.  He guided us, silently, across several busy streets and eventually turned down a very dark and quite alley.  For one paranoid, horror-esque moment, I thought he was guiding us to our doom.  I’ve seen to many movies for my own good.  In my defense, I was tired, angry as a bee hive that has been poked with a stick, and worried sick about how I was going to survive in Shanghai until all this was resolved.  You need money to live after all.

The police officer finally parked his bicycle in front of building and pointed that we should go in.  Surprise, surprise, he had taken us to a police station.  He told us to wait while he went and talked to a few of the other officers.  In a small, windowless back room, I could see about 7 officers chain smoking.  A wall of smoke continuously wafted out.  When one officer put out his cigarette and left, another officer would replace him.  Not a single one of them stepped through the door frame holding a cigarette.  It was obviously the designated smoking area.  I didn’t know China had designated smoking areas.

Finally, a guy came over to me and asked in Chinese if I had a Chinese friend that he could call.  Apparently, of all the officers present, not a one of them spoke enough English for me to file a report.  If this had happened in Linyi or Fuyang, or any other small city I have lived in or visited, I would have expected as much.  I guess I thought Shanghai would have more officers that could communicate with foreigners on some level at least, and especially so soon after the Expo had finished.    I thought wrong.  I was very lucky that I did indeed have a local Chinese friend to call.  Amanda(Zhang Yun Jing) has been so very helpful to both me and Phil since we have arrived.  I hated to call her so late, but it was the only way the officers were going to be able to communicate with me.  I figured they would just use Amanda as a translator, so I waited patiently while they talked to one another.   When the guy hung up the phone without handing it back to me, I was confused.  I immediately called Amanda back and asked her what was going on.

“I am coming to you,” she said.

“But it is 11:00 p.m. and you live so far away.  You don’t need to come all the way here.  I just want them to know my wallet was stolen, so that if it is somehow found that they can give it back to me.”

“No, it is okay.  We are friends.”

At this point, I had only met with her three times.  We spent two days together looking for an apartment in December and then earlier that day, I had seen her at Phil’s work.  She was helping us get our paperwork in order.  I tried very hard to convince her that she really didn’t need to travel 30 minutes across town, but it was no use.  She was my friend, and friends help friends in times of need.

Phil and I sat and waited while our ice cream cones melted.  We had forgotten we had bought them with all the insanity.  I refused to let mine go to waste and slurped mine out of its wrapper.  It dripped all over me and I didn’t care.

When Amanda arrived about 45 minutes later, we found a police officer who sat down with us to write up a report.  He asked the normal questions – where did I think I was when my wallet was stolen, when did I realize it was missing, what was in my wallet, and how to contact me if my wallet was found or if they had any further questions.  This took about 30 minutes.  They told me if I was sure it was taken at Carrefour, a store a lot like Wal-Mart, they would review the tapes, but there was no way I could know for sure if it was or not.  It could have happened in several different places.  They took all of my information, typed it up and gave me a copy.  It was my first and hopefully, last Chinese police report.

As we walked back down the dark and now even quieter alley, I thanked Amanda repeatedly for all she had done.  I even got a little emotional when I told her how happy I was to have a friend like her because g0od friends, not just in China, are hard to come by.  She told me that I did not have to thank her because I was her friend and that she was very happy to be there for me.  I hugged her and off she went.

Phil and I went home and promptly crashed.  It had been a long day.  I probably should have looked for the number to my bank then, but I was just too tired to think about it.  It was the first thing I did when I woke up the next day, though.

After finding the English hot-line number to the China Construction Bank and telling them that my wallet was stolen(fairly easy), they froze my account so that the stupid pick pocket couldn’t attempt to withdraw my small chunk of change, after verifying who I was.  They wanted to know how much money I thought I had, when the last time I used it, and my name of course.  Since I did not know my card number, I had to provide my passport number.

I asked the guy on the phone how I would be able to get what money I had left out and he told me what I feared. He said that I would have to go back to the China Construction Bank branch where I opened my account to unfreeze my account and to have a new card issued.  I told him I didn’t care about the card, that I just wanted my money, but he said that was what I had to do.  This wouldn’t be much of a problem if I was still living in Linyi, but I wasn’t.  Linyi is about 10 hours away by bus and depending on when you buy a plane ticket, it can cost anywhere between 370 to 800 yuan to fly there – one way.  Of course, to fly I would need my passport, and Phil’s work was still in possession of it at the time, and without the ability to get to my money, it would be difficult to pay for the stupid ticket.  I could have used what money Phil had left on his Chinese debit card or had him take money out his US accounts, but I refused to go that route.

The next day, I decided to call the hot-line number again, to see if there was someone else I could talk to – maybe there was another way.  I talked to a woman and told her my situation.  She asked where I was living and gave me the address to a near by branch that should be able to able to help me.  This seemed promising and made me happy.

Almost a month later, I finally made my way to the branch the woman had told me to go to.  Why did it take me so long?  Well, Chinese New Year happened, it took almost three weeks to get my passport back, we were really busy getting settled, I kept forgetting about it, and perhaps it was that I didn’t want to have to deal with what was most likely to come.  But if I wanted my money, I would just have walk the walk and deal with it.

With my passport in hand, Phil and I jumped in a taxi and rode to the bank.   I think the taxi guy took us to the wrong branch because the numbers on the building didn’t match the ones I had written down.  We walked in anyway.  In a lot of banks here, they have a machine that gives you a number and you have to wait until your number is called.  There were 25 people in front of us.  Not too bad, really.

My main worry was that I wouldn’t be able to communicate with anyone at the bank and that I would just be screwed.  I brought my police report hoping that would help.  I showed it to the guy who greeted me at the door and he gave me a paper to fill out.  Of course, it was all in Chinese, so I had a really difficult time filling in all the blanks.  Another guy tried to help a little, but most of the form was left blank.

We sat down and waited, watching the numbers tick away.  About 20 minutes later, a guard came over and tapped me on the shoulder.  He reached down and took the number I was holding in my hand.  I was confused why he was taking it because my number had not been called yet.  He pointed over to the side where some other consulting areas were located and I saw a woman getting her area ready.  I put two and two together and walked over and sat in the chair in front of the desk.

Since I hadn’t heard her talk yet, I wasn’t sure if I should speak  in English or my broken Chinese.  I went with the good ole’, “Ni hao”(hello in Chinese).

“Hello,” she said back to me in perfect English.  “How may I help you.”  This made me smile.  Maybe it wouldn’t be that hard after all.

I explained my situation to her and handed over my passport and my police report just in case.  It seemed that she had experience in this and started pulling out several forms that I would need to fill out.  I must have signed my name no less than ten times.  Just like on the phone, I had to answer questions about my account to prove that is was me.  She was just about down with all the paperwork when Phil suggested that I mentioned that the card I lost was issued to me in Linyi and ask if it was still possible.  So, I did.

As soon as I asked, her eyes seemed to get bigger or maybe it was just my imagination.

“Linyi?” She repeated.  “No, that is not possible.”

My heart sank.

“It has to be from Shanghai.”

“Well, it’s not,” I said.  “Can I at least get my money?”

She looked at me and you could tell she was thinking really hard by the way her eyes moved.  “I don’t know.  We have never done that before.  Please wait while I talk to my manager.”  I felt like I had been put on hold and that any minute a stupid ditty would start playing.

As she walked away, I crossed my fingers and prayed to every Chinese God there ever was, specifically, Guanyin, the goddess of mercy.

After she talked to her manager, they disappeared around a corner for a while.  The woman came back with what seemed to be more paperwork and handed it to another man sitting behind one of the main desks.  They talked for awhile and then he sat the paperwork aside.  He fiddled with something on his computer screen and then waved me over.  I looked over at all the other people waiting patiently and wondered if they were mad that I had skipped ahead a few places.  No one threw anything at me or yelled any insults my way, so I guess they didn’t mind all that much.

The man before me asked me a bunch of the same questions about my account, making sure once again that I was indeed who I said I was.  Hey, at least they are cautious.  His fingers danced across his key board for a long while before he spoke to me again.

“Okay,” he said.  “Forget about your account.  It does not exist anymore.”  My heart stopped.  “If you want you can open a new account later.”  Still no heart beat.  I was beginning to get  a little light headed.  “I can give you the money remaining in your account,” he said, and my heart fluttered back to life.  “But,” he continued, and my heart flat lined again, “I will need to charge you 25 yuan for losing your card.”

“Oh, that is fine!”  I probably sounded hysterical, but I was so happy.  My heart almost leapt out of my chest and hugged him.

He just looked at me and then said, “That will be 20 yuan, please.”

“Oh, yeah, sure.”  I opened up my purse to look for some money, but all I had was a few yuan and some lint.  I looked over my shoulder at Phil waiting patiently on a metal stool.  “Please tell me you have 20 yuan.”

Phil reached into his wallet and handed me the most beautiful 20 yuan note I have ever seen in my entire life.  I snatched hit out of his hand and quickly shoved it into the metal tray so the guy could get it.

“But just forget about your account,” he said, taking the 20 yuan bill into his possession.  “It doesn’t exist anymore.”

Ten minutes later, after counting and recounting, I had my money and I didn’t have to go all the way to Linyi to get it.  I danced out the bank’s doors.  Everyone thought I was nuts, but I really didn’t care.

Life may not always be easy in China, but man, when things go smoother than you expect, it makes you giggle like a school girl.  And now that I have written a short story and bored all of you to tears, I am going to jet.  And since the secret it is out and I don’t have any more excuses, I’ll be more of a regular here from now on.  Next time, I’ll try to post some pictures or something.

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Once Upon a Time in China Part 8: The Story of the Accidental Emergency

bya Gabrielle at 3:53 PM

I can’t believe I have never told the story of when Phil and I stayed in the super fancy, 5 star hotel right next to our apartment in Fuyang. You can click to see the picture of the hotel here.  The outside doesn’t look that great, but the inside looked really nice.  I can’t remember if I took pictures of the room, but I know I have a brochure of the hotel somewhere.  I’ll try to find it.

Phil and I couldn’t decide what to get each other for Christmas, so we decided to treat ourselves to our first ever 5 star hotel – South China Hotel Fuyang.  We walked past it nearly everyday and got sick and tired of dreaming what it would be like to stay there.  So, about a week before Christmas, we walked into the lobby to find out how much money we would have to burn through to enjoy ourselves.  Apparently, several weeks prior to this, we had been at the same bar with the lady behind the desk.  She remembered us, and decided to drop our room charge in half.  We couldn’t decided if we wanted the regular room or the suite for a few more dollars until she let us see what latter looked like.  We had seen the other one several weeks earlier, when Tim’s(another teacher) parents came and stayed there.

As soon as we walked through the door we were wowed.  It was huge. It had two bathrooms. The one with the bath tub was almost as big as the bedroom – the room not the tub.  :)  The bed was equally as huge and super soft.  In addition to that there was another large room with a couch and a table – the kind you eat at.  It was sorta like a living room, and I think there may have been a TV(there was another TV in our bedroom.)   I guess it was your typical suite layout, but since I had never seen one before, it looked super awesome.

The room ended up costing us 870 RMB – at the time that was about $108 – not bad for a night in a five star hotel suite.  Without the discount it would have cost us 1500 RMB – more than I would have paid to sleep in a bed anywhere, even if I could take a bath for 24 hours.  And that leads me into what this story is all about.

A week later we showed back up at the hotel and were given our respective keys.  The first thing either one of us wanted to do was take advantage of the huge garden tub.  Our apartment didn’t have a tub, just a shower, so it had been nearly 3 months since we had had a nice American bath.  When you don’t have access to a tub, you really start to miss them.  Our shower was pretty kick ass though.  It was a sauna/shower, and had it worked 100% like it was supposed to, we would have had jets of water coming out of the walls to clean us.  We never could figure out how to get them to work though.  :(

Well, anyway, Phil and I were standing in the bathroom, taking in everything it had to offer us.  There were all sorts of bath related items that you could use for a price, of course, big lush towels, heat lamps, and a button.

We both looked at it, curious as to what it did.  There was no sign or anything.  It was just a button, sitting pretty as it pleased in the wall, next to the bath tub.

“Should I push it?” Phil asked.

“I dunno.  We don’t know what it does.” I replied.  I saw Phil’s eyes grow wide with wonder and excitement.

Phil has a history with buttons.  In a DnD game that I dragged him to a long time ago, he decided in his inebriated state of mind, that it would be a good idea to push the button that read 13, when we all clearly knew that pushing a button would make a monster appear.  Number one had made some stupid kobold appear and we killed it in all but two seconds flat.  Anyone should have been able to understand that pushing a higher number would make an even larger monster appear, but Phil didn’t care.  He wanted excitement.  So, he pushed it, and the biggest, meanest, ugliest, most difficult creature to kill appeared.  We ran for our lives, and barely survived.

Phil doesn’t play with us anymore.

So, yeah, Phil was standing in the bathroom, staring at the button.  For a brief second he was five years old again. I could tell by the way his eyes were glowing and twitching – like he had found the mother load of mischief .  Oh, he was going to push that button.

And that is exactly what he did.  With his index finger he stabbed the button.

There was silence for a moment and then I started to think that maybe it is like our light switch in the hallway back in our apartment.  Maybe it doesn’t do it’s job anymore.  And then there is a voice.  An English voice.  Talking to us in our five star hotel bathroom. In China.  In Fuyang.  Where 9 times out of 10, people can’t understand what the hell I’m saying. And vice versa.  But I understand this.

“Gentleman, are you in trouble?” (I can’t remember exactly what he said.  I just remember it sounding awkward.)

I looked at Phil and Phil looked at me.

“Oh, we are fine,” Phil said

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, we are fine. Just accidentally pushed the button.”  (Accidentally my ass.)

“Ok. Have a good evening.”

“Thanks, you too.”

As soon as the voice was gone, Phil and I bust out laughing.

Apparently, Phil had pushed the emergency button.  It made total since afterwards, but you still would think that an emergency button would have emergency written somewhere on or near it.  Hey, at least they didn’t come barging into our bathroom.  I can only imagine what kind of comedy would have ensued if they had.

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Once Upon A Time in China Part 2 – The Story of the Secret Passage

bya Gabrielle at 12:02 PM

If you’ve read at least ten of my posts concerning my experiences in China, you should know that 1) crazy things happened and 2) nothing was, well, easy. My first trip to a Chinese hospital was no exception. It is probably the most insane, embarrassing experience I had during my year and three days in China and quite possibly my life. With that said, I want to let you know that what you are about to read is extremely personal. If you don’t want learn about my experience in the gynecology section of the Shenyang hospital that I visited one fair day in March, I suggest you exit your browser now and come back in a few days when I have written about another memorable experience. However, if you decide to read on, and some part of your soul wants to learn what it is like to be a woman in China when her womanhood goes wack, I promise I’ve tried to take as much of the graphic grossness out as possible. One last warning, if you are still reading this – this story is personal, it’s a tad bit icky, and it will probably make you go EWWWW.

If you are still with me, thanks. Now on with the story.

I actually thought I had written about this long before, but when I searched through all of my old posts, the only thing I came across was the mention of my visit, but none of the details. Knowing I had written my experience down somewhere, I finally found it in my email. I had written home about it, but I had never made it public. Thankfully, the day that I sent the email was the same as the day I went to the hospital. Therefore, everything you are about to read is very accurate. I’ve gone through it though and added or taken somethings out because it was written during the time that my English had gone to super crap, but not too much.

Before we jump into the email I sent my parents though, I should go a little into the back story. It’s half of the reason I had to go to the hospital in Shenyang in the first place. Grr.

While we were being held against our will in Beijing, I somehow managed to get a yeast infection. I wasn’t all that worried at the time. I had had one in Fuyang, too, but with the help of one of my fellow teachers, I was able to get some cheap medicine down at the local OTC(Over The Counter – Pharmacy). Within a few days, I was back to normal and all was well with the world again. I meant to save the package just in case I had ever had another one, but when we moved, I lost it somewhere. Well, anyway, in Beijing, I discovered that I had another yeast infection. I went to the school there and asked Mandy, one of the school aides, if she could help me get some medicine. I showed her the word in my dictionary, but she didn’t quiet understand what was wrong with me. Finally, after some research on the internet, she thought she figured out what to tell the pharmacists and off we went. I would have just used the medicine that my mother had sent me some months back, but I had sent it on to Shenyang with all the rest of our stuff.

We walked into the OTC and Mandy started talking to the pharmacist for me. The pharmacists asked Mandy some questions and then Mandy translated for me. I tried to answer them for her the best that I could so she could correctly tell the pharmacists what my symptoms were. I think the pharmacists got the gist of what was wrong with me. She ended up giving me these strange blackish herbal things that had a horrible smell. I was instructed to put them where they hurt. I was sad that they didn’t give me the same medicine I had gotten in Fuyang, and a little scared that these smelly round things were going somewhere I’d rather not send them. I didn’t have much of a choice though, so I took them and prayed for the best.

Three days later, we arrived in Shenyang. The medicine the woman had given had done absolutely nothing except possibly make me worse. I could barely walk. There are just not words to describe how it felt . . . down there. After I got all of my suitcases and boxes unpacked, I was able to use the medicine my mother had sent me, but I was so far gone at that point that it didn’t much matter. It was time to ask for some professional help. And that is how I ended up at the Shenyang hospital.

March 12th, 2007 – An email to my parents.

Well, I just got back from the hospital. My yeast infection was driving me mad, and even though I took the medicine mom sent me, I thought that it was a good idea to go and get checked out. I feel better than I did this morning, but I think that I will take the new medicine I got to make sure that it goes away. This has been the worst yeast infection I’ve ever had. I mean, it’s painful just walking around. I’ve never had a yeast infection make me feel like I’ve gone horseback riding for eight days straight.

Hrm . . . where do I start? Well, I guess the first thing is that Chinese hospitals are very unlike western hospitals. I wouldn’t say it was clean, at least in comparison to the hospitals I’ve been to back home. All the paint on the walls was peeling and the floor was discolored and brown. It didn’t even have the typical hospital disinfected smell. I’m sure you know what I mean. I think that it had something to do with the bathrooms, but who knows. There was just so much to take in as we walked around. You’d really have to visit one yourself to know what I mean, although, I wouldn’t recommend it. I had to go though and I’m glad I did, but man, it was an experience for sure. Since there was no way I’d be able to get there and explain to a doctor what was wrong with me, I had Alice, one of the two teacher aides, take me. Phil tagged along for support.

It took Alice a while to find the gynecology section of the hospital, but after asking a few people she got it all worked out. Once we got to the right department, she registered me, but since she didn’t know all of my information, she wrote down a made up birthday, a name and her phone number. I don’t know why she just didn’t ask me. I would have told her. We then went into an office where they asked me what was wrong. The doctor asked Alice questions in Chinese and then Alice asked me the same questions in English. I gave her answers in English and then she gave my answers to the doctor in Chinese. This went back and forth for a while until they knew all of my symptoms. They wrote them all down in a little blue booklet and handed it back to me. (I’ve still got it somewhere. If I find it, I’ll take pictures and post them for you). It was hard for Alice to translate everything, but she did a good job with the limited English that she knew. I understood most of what she was saying. Then we had to wait for a bit. We got called back to the room for more questions, and then we had to wait again. Alice kept disappearing as we waited, apparently paying for services as we went or before we had them done. I’m not sure which, I just know she kept coming back with receipts. The only thing I figured out was that I wasn’t going to be able to leave the hospital until my debt was paid. China in general is very disorganized, so I wasn’t all too surprised to find the hospital acting in the same fashion. It was all sorta frustrating. I just wanted someone to make me better, and quick. Some time later we were called back into the room. And this is where it gets strange.

The room that we had been going in this entire time didn’t have a door. All it had was a door frame and a sheet to act as a door. On the other side of the drape, there was a desk where two doctor-looking people sat. They were constantly taking forms from people, filling them out and typing something into the computers before them. To the left of them was a half wall with an opening into what appeared to be an examining room, but it didn’t have a door or a sheet.

When it was my turn to be inspected, Alice motioned for me to enter the room. Before me was the ever wonderful examining table that I’ve learned to file under the adjectives invasive and uncomfortable. I heard the doctor say something to Alice, but didn’t understand. I looked to Alice for guidance, even though I was pretty sure what was about to happen.

“She wants you to take off your pants and underwear,” Alice said handing me a blue paper-like blanket. “And put this over you.” Hey, at least they gave me a blanket.

I was pretty familiar with this part of the act. I’d done it before, but usually there was no one else in the room. I looked at the doctor and Alice for a second, thinking that they would disappear so that I could disrobe in private, but the two of them stood there staring at me, waiting. I took it as a clue, and off came my clothes. Neither one looked the other way. Eh, I thought, I’m never going to see these people again, well, except for Alice, that is. I just met this woman yesterday, so you can imagine the embarrassing moment I was going through. I seriously doubt this was in her job description. I jumped up onto the table and assumed the position.

OBGYN Examining Table

My table didn’t look anything like this one,but it served its purpose just the same.

The doctor snapped on her gloves and didn’t waste a minute. She tapped the stirrups(the foot rests – see picture above) and I obliged. Alice is still standing there, staring at me, taking in all their is to see. I guess after an experience like this, I can say that we have bonded in the strangest of ways. Down below the blue paper-like blanket the doctors face went and almost immediately her face popped back up. The face of total disgust she gave me almost made me laugh and also made me worry – dear God, what is wrong with me?!!

The doctor started speaking to Alice, probably telling her that this was the nastiest white woman she’s ever seen, but I guess I’ll never know. After a short conversation, Alice looked to me and started translating, probably leaving out all the dirty things the doctor just told her about me. Although, if she did, he face never showed it. All of the questions she asked me were pretty normal. Does it hurt? How long have it been hurting? And a few other rather embarrassing questions I am sure you’d rather not read about. But it wasn’t until she started referring to the “land down under” as the “Secret Passage” that I just about lost it. By lost it, I mean laugh. Eternally, I was rolling, but it was really hard to keep a straight face. I don’t know if she was trying to be polite or if she just didn’t know the real English word for it. For those curious, vagina in Chinese is ??, or yi-n bù, just in case you ever need to know.

Who knows, it could be on Jeopardy one day when I am rich and famous. Answer: During her year and three day stint in China, author Gabrielle Cook went to a Chinese hospital to make sure this certain part or her body wasn’t about to die. Question: What is a yi-n bù?

Anyway . . . all the while, there are 2 or 3 Chinese woman peering around the wall at me. Maybe they had never seen a white woman before or perhaps they were just very concerned. I probably should have been mortified, but I think I took it all very well, considering.

Chinese Hospital

This is pretty much exactly what it looked like, including the nosy peeps staring around the corner as though I was the first magical unicorn they had ever set eyes on. Yes, I just referred to myself as a magical unicorn. I’m that special!

The doctor took a sample and then I got up and put my pants on. The 2 or 3 nosy peeps’ eyes had not wavered from the corner of the wall. They wanted to catch the thrilling finale of this five star movie. We had to wait on the results for like an hour and a half. Finally, we got the medicine I had been dying to get all day – all 4 different types of them – diflucan(which was a shock – I never thought I would have found that medicine in China of all places), some more monistat like things, some other monistat like things, and then some wash. If this doesn’t cure me, I don’t know what will. And that was my experience of a Chinese hospital. Not as bad as I thought, but then again, this was the best one in Shenyang. All in all everything cost me 267 RMB – about 34 bucks. That includes exam, test, and medicine. If only it was that cheap in America.

End of Email

And now that I have written a freaking novel . . .

I will try and ransack my memory banks for some more interesting stories, but I’m not sure any of them will be as crazy as the one you just read. Hopefully, I didn’t gross you out too much. Just remember, I did try to warn you! :)

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