Saturday, October 22, 2011

Things I learned in China this week

Where to begin? Astounding or automobiles? Astounding wins.

The cost of emergency tendon surgery (right hand/wrist area) and 2 day stay in the hospital in Ning Bo is 4500 RMB, this included his meds to take home. Around 600 USD. Don't get excited, it was Big Daddy's boss. The reasons they can keep the cost so low is so simple. Number 1, they only use local anesthetics. This is the second time we have heard of this. The first was a friend with kidney surgery.  Number 2, they have no food or water available for anyone. This was confirmed by all the patients in their personal pajamas and casts walking out to the street to buy the food and water. You want personal attention, you hire someone to stay with you. This is the person that buys your food and water if you are not able to stumble to the street. Besides the meds the instructions were to eat pigeon soup and do not eat any oranges.

I scared another toddler. When we were all smashed into the elevator at the hospital all the Chinese peeps were laughing at the hysterical child. Child was pointing at me and shrieking. Our driver confirmed it was me that scared the little darling. It has got to be the light blond hair, a color never seen on the Chinese head no matter how much bleach they use. Although I did notice some people are giving up the orange tresses for bright grape.

Our train tickets were messed up (clerk kept making mistakes and reprinting and BD was so flummoxed he forgot to check the dates on the final tickets) and we had to seek alternate transportation home. One supplier in Ning Hai drove us to the hospital in Ning Bo where a different supplier drove all of us on to Shanghai. We drove over the longest bridge in the world, a fact disputed by Louisiana. It must have been low tide because the bay looked like mud flats to me. There were huge boats that looked abandoned in the mud. But it was really foggy there so who knows. 

The China Daily had an article today on how clean and safe the taxis are and how inspection is rigorously enforced. The taxi to the train station lacked bolts in front passenger seat, I know this as I bumped back and forth the entire ride. The taxi to the other train station had no lock to secure the trunk lid. This was only a problem if the unsecured can of gasoline had fallen out. I did not know any of this until we reached the train station. Oh, and we could not get a foppia as the machine thingy did not work. I think I need a chat with the hotel on their taxi fellows.

The Toyota Sienna, our second ride, was a huge disappoint. The interior fits and finishes were pitiful, V-gaps, bad parting lines, trim to headliner gaps. At 110 kpm's the IP exhibited an annoying BSR, it seemed to come from the center stack. At 140 kpm the shimmy from drive train made it feel as if we were going to launch sideways at any moment.  Also minimal storage, I swear the Jeep Commander had more room.

By the way, still cannot get the movie, The Help. We got SJP's new movie, "Don't Know How She Does It" (should have been a Lifetime Channel movie of the week) Hangover part 2, Midnight in Paris, and Horrible Bosses. Need to go back to see Mr. Woody.


  1. I have been across the Louisianna bridge. It was remarkable, but my children, very young at the time were frightened as it was nothing like their normal Texas panhandle eXistence.

  2. It's the 6th sense: I see V-gaps and flash wherever I look.

  3. Pawl, I have to agree, everywhere I look I see something not quite right.

    esb, When I see that bridge flying into NOLA I am amazed. I don't like bridges or flying so it is not my favorite view.