Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for August 27th, 2010

Chinese Diapers

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 27, 2010

Typical Chinese diapers – they dont use them, just let the kids do it when they need to….

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My Chinese Hospital Visit- Part 1

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 27, 2010

This is part 1 of my multi-part series on my trip to the emergency room at a Chinese hospital. I dont know how many posts it will have, I will just write till I tire…
Ok, so I was feeling a little ill, my lungs were like lead, so I wen to the nearby military hospital.All i wanted was some medicine, my friend had given me the name in Chinese and i just need the script. In the hospital, they have all the services, internal med, pediatrics etc. The only thing I qualified for was the emergency room, so i wandered in.
The place is white with a pea green trim and is pretty quiet, feels more like an asylum than hospital. I had been to the place before with a friend, so was a little acquainted with its layout. I entered the first floor, and walked to the emergency room and stood.
Now let me make two statements :
1- this place has the most polite well-mannered staff I have ever seen
2- at no time did i ever see anyone wash their hands nor wear those plastic gloves that all hospital workers in the west use…

The room is small, has two desks, a bed and two doctors. They stare up in shock, I’m not military nor Chinese, the one doctor has a patient, all three look up in surprise. I smile, walk to the desk, after establishing that I cannot speak Chinese, I show them my phone with the name of the meds in Chinese.
The smaller ‘doctor’ glances at the phone, the guy is wearing plaid bermudas and flip-flops, he studies the screen shoots Chinese at me, i shake my head. He pushes his current patient away, tells me to sit. I do so. He licks the stethoscope, begins to ram it into portions of my body, listens intently. His crony begins to stutter at me in English, asking if i cant breathe, I nod in the affirmative.
The patient whose seat I’d taken stares on amused. The doctor is all over me with the slimy stethoscope, palpitating my lungs kidneys, private parts.
He sits back, hands in front of himself and makes a proclamation which i do not understand. The crony tries to explain but its futile.
I write the letters B-R-O-N-C-H-I-T-I-S ?
The crony nods. I’m thinking that to check for bronchitis they usually xray and take blood so its a quick diagnosis, i tell them , its ok, just give me the meds. The guy then hems and haws, says its not that easy. Basically he told me I need just that, blood tests, xrays, and a more thorough exam. Chinese can be blood suckers and I was hesitant, I told him the meds would be fine. He seemed pretty intent on getting his way so i obliged.
They told me that I must go now and check into the hospital and pay for the consultation. I was pretty pissed, figured they wanted to gouge me for some cash.
So the crony and I go to the receptionist and they try to check me in. The problem is that Chinese names are tiny as they use characters. So at this place, they apparently do not have the ability to input a name with fifteen characters. The old reception hag shrugs her shoulders as if to say, she cant help me. The crony argues with her and they settle on some vodoo spelling of my name, the lady bangs a calculator and shows me the price to pay. for the check up….
2.00 RMB, I was like wtf
2RMB, that’s like U$ 0.30 or thirty cents. I whip out the two notes pass it over. Shen then screeches at the crony who tells me that I now will pay for the xrays, the blood tests and associated meds, I held my breath. She beat the calculator once more, shoved it at me,
155 RMB, I was like WTF again,
Thats like U$ 22, I quickly pay up….

Then its off for the complete exam….

Posted in Let me educate you..., Ranting in general | 1 Comment »

Predictability in Chinese Media- Face Saving…

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 27, 2010

One thing you can predict in China is that you can never predict anything. But maybe there is a caveat to this assertion. maybe you can somewhat predict the Chiense media. For instance, the other day China had two bad plane accidents of which China’s pride was greatly bruised. They have basically hidden the reasons for the ‘incidents’ from the media, and will no doubt seep them under the rug. (they did fire the man in charge of one of the airports- as if this rectifies anything.) But back to my original thought….
So they had a few bad incidents, the foreign press kicked their butts, clamoring about the impending collapse of China’s infrastructure etc. And what China did was run a front page article about a Jet Blue ‘hard landing’ injuring 15 people at LAX. In reality, this one incident, seems pretty minor, I mean the hard landing at LAX, and thus hardly front page news, but this is China, they are desperate to save face. So it hit me, this is a common chicom way of saying that China is not some backwoods craphole who is behind in many things.
I then began to examine old posts and reflect on observations about how the Chinese media operates. Remember the Chinese men who were killing kids? When this happened the media ran ANY story about a foreigner killing ANYONE and it was on the front page. Then when there is a corruption scandal, they will run the fact that they (the Chinese) have dealt with it, and then look for ANY? scandal in ANY country and run it.
Thus, it would seem to be that their modus operandi, is to show some of their bad news, but placate the masses with what to them is equally disturbing bad news from abroad, so their citizens and foreigners do not look down upon them. I will check out my theory from now on…..

Posted in Cultural oddities, Let me educate you..., Ranting in general | Leave a Comment »

China Fact-Income Inequality in China— Oh My Goodness

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 27, 2010

China has opened her doors to the west and its money, but not all Chinese have benefited equally. In this sense, China is somewhat equal to Russia, vz the rich get filthy rich and the poor eat mud cakes. Here are the facts:

13,000 Chinese own over $100 million in assets. But, the “extremely poor” however, which in China, means people with a daily income of less than $1, includes 260 million Chinese which is roughly 20 percent of the population. In addition, the poorest 10 percent own a paltry 1.4 percent of national wealth. These statistics are alarming by anyone’s reckoning….

Posted in China Fact | Leave a Comment »