Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for September 27th, 2010

Hutongs of Beijing

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 27, 2010

These are the older alleyways of Beijing.

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Street View of Beijing

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 27, 2010

I currently have over 2500 photos on my cell phone,, I am trying to upload them, but at this rate it could take almost 7 per day for year to do so

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Beijing Subway

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 27, 2010

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago. Its line one in Beijing.

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China Photo

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 27, 2010

This is either Shanghai or Beijing, I am unsure…

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My Visit to the Chinese Red Army Hospital Part VII (I think)

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 27, 2010

Ok, this is part 7 I think of my visit to the Red Army hospital. Summary thus far, I got diagnosed with something, not sure of what, they took xrays, gouged my finger for blood and last time they sent me off with about 12 bottles for an ‘injection’.
The funny thing is that in China when you get an IV, they call it an injection and they prefer to give you ‘injections’ over pills because ‘injections’ they must administer and thus they make more cash on them.
So, they gave me a dozen bottles for my IV and 6 little black vials and sent me off to the injection room (pictured). Now remember, as of yet, I have seen not one wash basin nor doctors gloves, the whole thing has been sketchy, the one room had docs smoking and my ‘primary care physician’ as I like to refer to him, was wearing Bermuda shorts- wtf. but the price was right and we’re only talking about my health so what the heck..
Ok, so I lugged all of those glass jars to the ‘injection room’ see photo 2508…3594, where about 5 nurses were waiting. They were waiting, but not for me, at the site of this foreigner and all of those glass jars they scattered, slid away like mercury. One brave soul approached me and seeing that I spoke neanderthal and could grunt, so that she understood, we entered into an agreement of sorts, I gave her the stuff and she ignored me. I sat down figuring she knew her job and and she began to bang he bottle around and jot notes on a large pad.
I sat in the heart of the room, no use hiding in China when you’re 6’1″. The room was odd, it seemed like something from the 1200’s or a public gallows. On the periphery were about 15 chairs, all old, all made of wood and all reeking of ass, despair and sickness. In the center were 6 more chairs. Above each chair was a silver pole with a little hand, from which to hang the ‘injections’. The set up was nothing if not efficient.
My primary care nurse returned to my side with about 4 bottles. She pulled up one of those Jack Kervorkian assisted death carts and then swabbed me down with what was either ketchup or some type of sanitizer, I didnt ask which. She wore no gloves and I was used to this by now. She tied off my arm and looked for a good vein. I’m not as skinny as a whippet, nor am I fat and have some nice juicy veins, but this one was having a hard go of it. She poked prodded and then got a running start, screeched something in Chinese and ran at me like a world class javelin hurler and successfully jabbing a vein-(or something else that leaks blood) with the long horse needle (photo 2708…3612). Accomplishing this task, she rubbed her hands with glee, patted my head with her blood stained fingers, pointed at the three hanging bottles then at her watch and moved off.
I sat there, I had no idea what she had said, or what was in store so I began to glance around….

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Chinese Trash Trike

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 27, 2010

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Stinky Chinese Toilets and Their Implication for the World

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 27, 2010

Life is about learning, and maybe that is one of the things that draws people to China, the learning. What we learn can be both happy and sad, but is always imho- a good thing.
So, today I went to my gym, its a decent place, not too crowded, has a sauna and swimming pool (Chinese typically do not use enough chlorine in their pools, so I consider any ‘swimming hole’ in China to be akin to a large childrens pool or a urine infested quagmire, thus I do not utilize that particular facility, but I digress).
In the middle of my workout I succumbed to the call of my bladder and went to use the other infested quagmire or restroom. When I opened the door I saw a smallish woman diligently wiping or stabbing at the floor with an old ragged mop. I admired her tenacity as she, like Zoro wielded the hefty implement with the zeal and rapidity of a sloth and toiled away. I then bore witness to something else I have seen in China which still amazes me.
The woman sloshed the mop along the floor, its edges, just like all of us were taught, and then she did a truly Chinese thing. Apparently she mistook the squat pot, or the big porcelain basin into which people urinate and defecate for a mop bucket. She dunked the mop in there, swished it arouind and then began to “re-clean the floor” with it. WTF? I watched, hoping she would sense the errors of her ways, but she merely pushed me aside and continued to slosh that bacteria infested slime around, as it it were Tilex. I could feel the toxic spores race up my legs as it hit me, an epiphany as it were. This woman is China, she represents the place.
Let me explain:
This woman is from a farming community and in China that means illiterate subsistence farmers a-la the 1820’s. This poor thing was dumped into a world that would be akin to you traveling to Jupiter, she does not have the skills to deal with what the big city is throwing at her, so what does she do? She does what she was taught. And what was she taught? Nothing, this is China. So she just goes along and pushes the broom, so what if a little urine gets spread about, its better than a bullet in the back of the head for civil disobedience.
See, the chicoms took over this place about 61 years ago and Mao was smart, and Deng Xiao Ping studied abroad, but from what my friends have told me, the chicoms were and still are, to a great extent, peopple who come from ignorant stock, or the less educated. Lest you think me an elitisit, I must say that I come from a rural area and think that country people are the backboeon of any country. but illiterate ignorant bullies who prey on the weak (read this as you wish), imho should be dealt with accordingly. Anyway…. the short versioin is that Mao et. al. killed and or tortured a ton of educated people in the 50’s , thus leaving the less educated to run the place. Here is my epiphany, these people are just like the lady sweeping the floor. They have not had adequte prepartion in governance, management, law, not even basic life skills. These people took office and began their careers when it was common for a band of thugs called the Red Guard to run around and torture and re-educate people who supposedly did not share in their love of Mao and his teachings. Thus, they like the woman sweeping the floor, are merely sloshing around heaps of bacteria and urine as they know of nothing else, they do not have the education to see what they are doing, and the fear of the past keeps them from questioning- after all, its better than a bullet to the back of the head…

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Man Dies After Swallowing Water From a Swimming Pool in China- Fecal and Urine Content of 90%

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 27, 2010

File this one under “cheap Chinese who will do anything to save a buck, even if it includes endangering public health by not providing adequate safety standards….” well maybe thats too long , so file this one under “This is Chinese Living”, and if that file is too large then put it under “Truly disgusting story from China”.
The quick version is that a guy ingested some water from a swimming pool near Beijing and then died. The toxicologists said that urine and fecal matter made up 90% of either the water or what he ingested, it is unclear. They also stated that in China, it is not uncommon for people to bathe in public pools, so one can imagine the filth and stank that they must contain. I went to Sanya at a beach resort and witnessed a man take his kid to the pool to stand and pee. They were a short distance from their homes and decided it was better to urinate in the swimming pool then a nearby bush…
and as an aside, the Chinese guy quoted below is named “Lao Xing Ding Dong” haha, who names a child anything with Dong, let alone “Ding Dong”- his parents must be sadists.

Story and link:

“Hundreds of paramedics and doctors were in attendance at the Mao Mao Municipal Pool in the Eastern province of the city 23 km from the Olympic village on Tuesday.

One man was fatally poisoned when he swallowed a mouthful of the pool’s water which was laced with the urine and fecal matter of 47,000 swimmers in the gigantic Chinese public swimming pool.

“He was doing the breast stroke when a wave of yellow water entered his mouth. He swallowed the lot and he started choking and shaking violently,” one of the swimmers who witnessed the incident recalled.

The man died immediately after swallowing the deadly soup of urine and faeces that was in the swimming pool. The Chinese swimming pool in the Yao Stink district is able to accommodate 230,000 swimmers at one time and on Tuesday was at low capacity of just 47,000 eager swimmers.

A toxicologist noted after taking a sample of the water that even though there is a heavy concentration of chlorine in the pool’s water, the urine and fecal matter consisted of nearly 90% of the mix.

“You can imagine what happens when 50,000 odd swimmers relax their bladders or bowels in the water. Some of the swimmers actually use the pool to wash in as well because they do not have bathrooms at home,” Lao Xing Ding Dong told the Beijing People’s Daily paper.”

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