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An American in China

Archive for September 2nd, 2010

Beijing Subway Station- Crowds in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 2, 2010

Subway stop in Beijing, I think its Fuchengmen, but am not sure. Lately the subway has been swamped.

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My Chinese Hospital Visit Part 4 of a Multi Part Story of My Visit to a Chinese Hospital

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 2, 2010

Part 4 of this series, I will write till the saga ends.
Overview, true story. I’m in a chicom military hospital, at the emergency room, and they do close the emergency rooms down in china at lunch time. I have paid about 70U$ for a ton of meds, a ‘check up’, blood work and xrays. I have gotten part of the ‘check up’ and had blood drawn (see old posts).
I now must take my blood work to the doctor who is still in Bermudas. As of yet, I still have seen no one use antiseptic swabs nor wash their hands, haven’t even seen a sink yet.
I shuffle back to the ’emergency room’. The doctor is on the phone, assorted Chinese of all shapes and sizes now inhabit the room. The doctor is not happy nor unhappy to see me.
I wait, some old lady stares at me, I smile, she burps, I look away. The doctor beckons me, I sit, he growls at me and sends me off to the xray area.
XRAY area, the sign says. Its in funky Chinese characters and English. My English speaking ‘doctor friend’ pushes through the door and we enter.
Inside there are about 7 people in various forms of undress. Guys with t-shirts reading cartoons, two ‘doctors’ smoking (this is true.) My buddy and I stand, no one greets us. By scanning the room, I can tell how the chicoms operate, they eschew productivity for comfort. Feet are on tables, people are eating rice, all doing anything but work.
My friend, quickly negotiates with one of the ‘doctors’ who grunts, doesnt seem happy. They argue, and my doctor smiles, tells me all is well, I have my doubts.
In the other room there is something like a hyperbolic chamber, or one of those places that underwater divers go to decompress (same thing?) or maybe some crazy room for psyche experiments from the 60’s. I peer through the glass at the other side. The room is empty with the exception of what appears to be a USSR model nuclear device, I swear the thing is giving off steam and hissing.
One of the doctors is at a desk, in front of him are monitors and screens, he seems to be the guy in ‘charge’. My doctor friend convinces him that it is worth it to check me out and I am herded off to the hyperbolic chamber. Inside it looks cold and dangerous, I look back, my friend pushes me in and they slam the door behind me. I’m pissed, I have no idea what is expected of me. The ‘doctor’ behind the monitor speaks into a mic, he sound like Daffy Duck. I look at my ‘doctor’ friend, he mimes what he wants me to do. I think he wants me to get in front of the steaming nuclear device.I’m like get in here and help me, they all look smug, start to boss me around, move their arms like shooing me away, into the device.
I move towards the thing, its huge and cold. I get next to it, they complain, tell me I’m doing it wrong, from the looks of it they want me to mount it like a steed, I try, they go ape. Some guy is screeching at me in Mandarin, none of them really speak English so I tell them to suck me and dismount the thing.
I find what I assume to be the front of the device and face it. More callous Mandarin erupts from them followed my more waving of arms and such. I get pissed and yell, “if you dont like it then get in here you lazy bastards” I stare at them through the window. The guy behind the monitor is pissed.
I turn around and face away from the device, they seem calm, my buddy tells me to relax. I got a freaking nuke steaming behind me , I just want to leave.
The thing starts to groan and shake, I almost jubmped out of there, but the door is barred so my options are limited, I yell at them to step it up. The guy behind the monitor says somehting, I call him a dickhead. All of the sudden the machine is going up and down like a freaking MRI, and I’m just here for a chest x-ray. I get pissed, but being a good soldier I freeze and wait.
Then the thing stops nut high, like at my waist. The machine is whizzing making that sound and I’m sure that the guy is blasting my goodie package with noxious alpha and gamma rays. I wait. he radiates me. I scream, “Hey assholes my lungs are higher up” face red.
I hear nothing. Then the machine groans, pivots and makes me feel like its HAL from 2001 A Space Odyssey.
They tell me to leave. The guy behind the monitors does not look at me but at his screen. I steal a glance, I think the machine’s busted, the xray is shite, looks like mashed potatoes thrown on felt, i ask if thats my lungs, he smacks my hands, assures me all is well and tells me to leave. I ask for a copy of the xray, says its all digital, i can go now. As I leave I see a guy with what looks like my xrays in his hands, he’s shaking his head, tosses them in the trash.
My buddy drags me back to doctor Bermudas who is waiting. He gets a call from the guy in the xray room, leaves, comes back. Tells me all is well, or maybe he says I have developed asthma or bronchitis, emphasema or maybe black lung, I’m not sure, I dont speak Chinese and their English is marginal. He smiles, assures me all will be ok, says I need some injections. I have no idea what the cure for the above ailments is, but am pretty sure its not an ‘injection’ but figure what the hell, its China, I gotta ride this thing to the bitter end.
-to be continued

Posted in Let me educate you..., Ranting in general, Working and Living in China | Leave a Comment »

Chinese Business or Pick up…

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 2, 2010

Right now I’m in some greasy spoon restaurant in Beijing. Its American style and the food is just as deadly. Pancakes, eggs, the whole nine yards. The place is excellent, by that I mean the food and environment is just like you wold find in Gary Indian, or Pittsburgh Pa, its got that ‘lvied in feel’. Nothing too fancy, no yuppies , well almost.
To my left are to Asians, just happy to be ‘like an American’ eating this food, choking it down really as its not quite as good as Chinese fare. But, to them its a place to be seen, to show that they are ‘international’. Behind me a couple of whites, its almost 8 but they still look hungover, all the other patrons look like the type who receive checks from the government at regular intervals, the type of guys who have a ‘disability’ or so they say.

Directly to my left is a an older white guy and a young frail Chinese. The old guy looks like a chicken hawk, not that i have anything against gays, but it is an integral part of this story. So this ‘chicken hawk’ looks like steve martin, hes thin, very white and has a jimmy durante shnoz.

So here we are, a hodge podge of travelers, drunks and locals, all enjoying the place, and the chicken hawk has the little guy on the edge of his seat. Theyre driking ‘wine’ from glasses that probably cost less than the bacon I’m eating, and toasting quite often. The scene has all the makings of a business deal in progress but something is wrong. The Chinese dont chintz on business, the grander the better, and they sure as hell dont drink cheap wine in a two bit greasy spoon but these two are. The white guy is telling the other about hong kong, sounds like he is inviting the other to visit. The young guy is biting his lip, giddy like a school girl. Just now the older guy’s who now is almost on the younger guys lap, is talking about a big deal, a very big deal indeed.
He lowers his voice, is talking about CEO’s and leveraged buyouts. I hear the white guy say that this company he represents is looking for Chinese investors, hes talking cash now. The guy says that if the Chinese buy, the CEO gets a 500million bonus. The Asian is almost having the big O, now..
The guys are close, the Asian is definitely interested, I dont know if he was gay before, but after the talk about all this cash, he definitely will be if the old guy is persistent.
To me this is pretty funny. It seems the old guy is running some con, just wants some play, whatever and the poor Chinese guy buys it hook line and sinker. The funny thing is that the game the old guy is running is how the Chinese play us, they see us as easy marks, fools who dont understand China, and we dont. So they bs us , they use us, and walk away with cash. It looks like the old guy is doing just that. As i glance over, the Asian has visions of millions in his eyes, and the old guy knows he’s got him.
I dont know what these two guys will do later, but I definitely sense deception here.China has to be one of the most bizarre places in the world. Where else can you see Chinese hustling whites, gay whites husting Chinese, all in some little greasy spoon over 2 dollar a bottle wine, throwing out obnoxious figures that no rational being would believe, but the guy falls for it. They are walking out.

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Gainfully Employed in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 2, 2010

These are people who pedal about and collect the recyclable waste. They probably make 2 to 5 U$ per day.

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Two Faces of China- Seeking the Truth in the Middle Kingdom

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 2, 2010

This photo, to me is pretty symbolic of China. It is a facade put in front of a dilapidated old building to make it look modern, it was put up for some passing chicom party members to see, thinking that the “new building” showed the development in the area. In reality there was no new building, but an elaborate hoax of a facade, with nothing behind it….is this symbolic of the true China?
This type of thing, ie. hiding the truth from the chicoms is as old as the communist party. When Mao made visits to the villages during one of China’s most ill-fated moves, the “Great Leap Forward”, plants were also planted, in barren fields, just so that Mao would see them and assume all was ok. Alas, all was not ok and millions starved.
In China this slight of hand is so obvious that you will be exposed to it, should you come. The thing is that China wants you to see only Shanghai and Beijing, basically the places that have been ‘cleaned , and prettied up’. In those places the people have been educated not to spit (hasn’t worked) and to stand in lines (also has not worked). For them, if you venture into either place, they are content. You can hurry along your way , go back home and never see the dark or dirty of China.
So, to me it is much more important to see the ‘real china’. The places that the brochures don’t tell you about. The people who really know and understand China have visited the villages, they have seen both ends of the spectrum and still like this place. In order to really say that you have been to China, you must do this as well.


Posted in Counterfeits and such, Cultural oddities, Let me educate you..., Photos | Leave a Comment »

Chinese Get C-Sections To Force Birth Before the Start of The School Year

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 2, 2010

Here is an excerpt from the China daily. To say this place is weird is like saying Mexican food has a little zest or spices…
In the excerpt, they talk about Chinese women forcing the hospital to give them cesarean sections so that their kids will be born earlier so that they can enter school instead of waiting.
The thing is this: all babies born after September 1 must wait until they are 5 years and 364 days old to enter school, while those born on September 1 or before, can enter school. Thus, those clever Chinese who at times do the strangest things, are requesting that they be cut open and the baby wrenched out, all so that the kid can be out of their hair at an earlier age and get to school. It logically follows that the kid will then be able to earn money earlier and support the moms and dads. What a freaking circus….

” … and she only wanted a C-section so that her child, who was due on Sept 5, could be born before Sept 1, the cut-off date for primary school admissions. “It’s the same case every year at the end of August,” said Wang Xin, head of the maternity department of the Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Hospital.
Primary schools in China only give admission to children who turn 6-years-old on or before Aug 31. Those born later – even on Sept 2 – have to wait a full year before entering school.
August saw a 17-percent jump in the number of C-sections compared with July in the Weihai maternity hospital in Shandong province, according to hospital records.Shan Ruiqin, director of the maternity department at the Jinan Maternity and Child Health Hospital, said nearly 900 babies were born in the hospital in August, compared with a monthly average of 700 births in the first seven months of this year.
Many hospitals in Beijing had witnessed a “clear surge” in the number of births over the past two weeks, with nearly “80 percent” of expectant mothers requesting the operation.Lin is not the only pregnant woman who wants her child to be born before Sept 1. “

Posted in China Fact, Cultural oddities | Leave a Comment »

China’s GDP in Pictures

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 2, 2010

When you see scenes like this, you can gauge how China is doing economically. In China there are always people, but when you see them filling the streets during work hours and pre work hours, it means the economy is smoking, if not then the economy is sucking. Right now it looks good.

Posted in Let me educate you..., People, Photos | Leave a Comment »