Here it is a rather blah Sunday (Terry’s note: this might have something to do with Geoff’s state of health after entertaining last night. It was actually a beautiful sunny day in Jiaxing) in the thriving (?) metropolis of Jiaxing. As usual, we had morning coffee at Starbucks and then went to Metro to do some grocery shopping – always an experience. Friday night we went to a restaurant whose big claim to fame is goat – 1/4, 1/2 or a whole goat. Now, one would think that if you were all about goat, you would have goat, but not in China. “No, no goat – you have lamb”. We did find out what clutching meat is though – it is like a lamb pot roast and quite delicious, despite its name. (Terry’s note: If Geoff wants to believe this is NOT organ meat, I am not going to fight it, but really–clutching meat? I’ll pass.)
Last week a new friend – Ross, from Kelowna, kindly let us stay at his apartment in Shanghai for the weekend. He is in apartment 2003 – as you can plainly see from the felt marker on the wall next to his door.
Okay – in Metro: Whole milk, skim milk, soy milk, goat milk, breast milk even, but…
Apparently this guy was just too something or other to continue.
Actually, it’s a scooter which is much lighter. I (Terry) think the bus was taking workers to a site somewhere and the guy wanted his bike with him. They only go 20km on a charge so of course the bike has to go in the luggage compartment. TIC.
This is how things are weighed by the vendors outside the markets. Very old school.
We have talked about sleeping…
Further to my hospital comments, some loyal readers focused solely on the state of the washroom/janitor closet, which is totally understandable, but I thought I should also comment on the plus side. First of all, the service was prompt. We checked in at reception and were escorted to Floor 2 very quickly after paying for my record booklet (all written in Chinese). The hospital we went to is not very busy–I suspect it will get that way once the area it is in gets more built up–so I was able to by-pass the number system and go right in. The number system is very like the system employed by some bakeries or other busy establishments in BC that insist you take a number and wait to be called for your turn. In the hospital, same same, except you register at the desk and then are given a number, which generally shows up on a reader board. We have seen this system used in the passport office, the Canadian Embassy, Hospital #1, and banks. Bakeries have not yet twigged to it but it is certainly a good idea for any large business in a country this populated. In the hospital, the corridors and waiting areas are very large and spacious so there is lots of room for the many metal chairs for waiting patients. Once you have seen the doc, you go directly to the lab area, followed by the dispensary. Both services are provided quickly. Quite impressive. This is the public system.
Our health insurance is private and the place we go is amazing. While many of the docs are Chinese, they all have great English and are all educated in North America. I went to a specialist whose degree was from Harvard, for example. You can book an appointment on line, cancel or change it by calling a 24 hour hotline, and get in to see your doctor or specialist in a very short time. The GP I see makes special arrangements for me via email because she knows I come in from Jiaxing. All very nice as are the facilities. I have been to Shanghai Center (home of the Ritz Carleton), Gleneagles, housed in Tomorrow Square in “The Pencil” (one of the most architecturally interesting buildings in Shanghai) and in Jin Mao tower, located in Pudong, right next to the World Financial Center. The Jin Mao is a fantastic structure, build in a series of 9-floor sections with each one defined by a pagoda-like cap. I learned that the word for 9 is jio (Jo), which sounds like the word for longevity, which is a wish for everyone, hence the significance of the design. In all our pictures of Pudong, this was the one that Judith, Geoff’s sister, admired the most. All of this is to say that the private health care system does very very well in China, possibly due to all the ex-pats whose cushy health care plans pays for it. What can I say? I like it very much.
The Shoe Blog
Recently we have hit a dry spell with The Shoe Blog. It could be the winter months or a fear of arrest. Either way we are reduced to showing slippers in our apartment. I will endeavor to get some more interesting photos in the next while.