Published: June 4th 2012June 4th 2012
Xining has a center very crowed, full of shops, especially Mobile phones. I visit two Buddhist temples that are pretty hide in town. I was surprised to find one of them just surrounded by a Shopping mall and the police stations. Then I entered to a local market where I bought fruit and vegetables. Here the stores for fruit and vegetables are different ones. I also bought some gojis and some kimchi of onion, garlic and other vegetables.
Then I have not done much here, I have being sick in Xining for the last 2 days, and it sucked but now I am better. The drastic change of weather from where I was coming for, the air condition in the train, and the shower here with cold water, impacted me and got a cold.
I was supposed to go today to Rebkong the town of tanka Buddhist artists and start my journey in Amdo. But the health system there could be more challenge than here so I stayed one more night in Xining and I decided to go to the hospital, this time not driving by curiosity but a need to be treat it.
Blood Test Results
Red Cross Xining Hospital
I am glad that I have my health travel insurance with IHI, but actually the Health service here is pretty affordable and much less burocratic and easy than in the US. My experience was amazing. The only problem here is that the facilities are not very nice or clean and the staff and doctors do not speak English. I got the number from the only doctor around here from the Emergency department, Dr Martin, from Namibia, that was able to help me. He works only in the mornings and I was there at midday. He came back to the Hospital to see me. He made all the questions he need to give me a diagnosis then he checked me and after that he become a nurse and a guide thru the hospital taking me to the Lab area where they took me blood and made me pee in a small plastic cup. In the same day after 4 hours I have the results. Everything is fine! But he suggested taking medicine with me for my trip in remote places. I am glad I went to see him. I could be a little bit hypochondriac, my family will tell that I am a severe hypochondriac, but here you never know. He suggested me not going to high altitude areas while I have the cold. I am now at 2500 meters height and there areas I will visit around 4800 m so I cannot do this for the next 7 or 8 days.
I had a nap and pack of 6 days. I will leave my uncomfortable bag in Xining.
Then I went to eat in an enjoyable and playful barbecue restaurant. It seems to be a Korean food style. Vey healthy because you put vegetables or the stuff you want to burn on some little grills (similar to Swiss racquet equipment). The problem as always was the language.
They gives a paper list of the ingredients and you should mark and choose what do you want them to will bring you. It was impossible to make me understood; I took my shoes and step to the chair to point a shrimp in the only picture available. But still I was far away from being understood. Suddenly a kid in his 16 comes to my table to help me.
In China teen-agers are the only ones that can articulate some English in more remote places. Nowadays English is obligatory at schools, the problem as always, people learn to pass exams. They read and write and understand some listening but they do not speak well.
You are supposed to prepare your meal and manage the little barbecue yourself, but the waitress was very happy to assist me and she did not let me move a finger. She puts me a plastic apron to protect my cloth and toast the fish, vegetables and shrimps and not moved from my table until she witnessed I was eating everything and I was satisfied. Sometimes I feel I am a baby here.
Then kid came back to chat. He left his big family table and brought me to try things I have not order but he thought I should try. He was eager to practice his English. He asked me many questions and after he told me he will become a doctor and he loves Xining, he went back to his table.
Language is so important, we take it for granted but here just to ask for the restroom, for a tea, for some direction, could take you forever. Image if you want to be sure that the fish will be boneless….Forget it…do not imagine, just envision that I generally lost in my intents. But those tiny achievements, the moments I get what I want are priceless…
After I finished my lettuce tacos of barbecue mushrooms, onions and shrimps, I realized that most of the tables that have kids actually have only one child. It is a country of families with one child, not many have the idea of having siblings…it is weird but it is the norm. Something very understandable taking into account the amount of people that lives here. It is very interesting the concept of family here. The majority prays to their ancestors. I remembered was Bob, my friend in the train, told me while I was looking at some elderly people eating their tacos…still with the doubt and astonishment of Bob´s answer. Florencia:- what does happen if you did not like your relative, or if he or she was a mean person, Bob: -it is your God anyway, he said….