Janice and Nancy
Displaying their new haircuts after a day of shopping, the spa and the hairstylist
The school year is officially over as of last Friday and most people have headed back to Canada for the holidays. We are sticking around for a couple more weeks and heading out on July 19. It has been a busy month since my last entry with exams, end-of-year parties, hospital stays, and moving days. The weather has been incredible for a long time. Other than a few thunderstorms, it has been in the 30s for as long as I can remember. On a good note, I get my new CJ750 motorcycle on Sunday...on a bad note, Nancy was released from the hospital last week after being in for a week with pneumonia. I am down to the last English novel I have in the house, a copy of Gone With the Wind that I picked up from a departing teacher months ago. It is doubtful that I will finish it before I leave next week! Annnndddd...Facebook and Twitter have now been added to the growing list of blocked sites here as of a couple of days ago.
A couple of weeks ago, Nancy was sick for several days, coughing and hacking and getting worse by the day instead of
better. Finally, I took her to the hospital where they tested and x-rayed and discovered she had pneumonia. The taxi ride to the hospital was quite interesting. Nancy was coughing continually and we could see the taxi driver was getting agitated. He opened up his glove compartment and handed us an information sheet in Chinese. All we could recognize on the paper was H1N1, the rest was all in Chinese. The next thing we knew, he was on his cell phone babbling away to somebody. We could see he was panicking so I called one of my Chinese friends and handed him the phone. She proceeded to tell him that we had been in China for a couple of years and this was not a case of the swine flu! We both saw him breathe a sigh of relief and calm down!! Nancy was admitted and put on antibiotics and other stuff. I had to include a couple of videos of the room, or I should say rooms, and the view out her window just to give people an idea of what her room was like, in a nutshell it was very posh. Our insurance here covers everthing so we
don't have to worry about that part of it.
She was located on the 21st floor. It says 19 but there are a couple of other floors thrown in along the way! It is the "VIP" floor and most of the rooms are quite nice. It has been a hell of a year for the staff and several of us have spent time in the hospital for various reasons, from not-so-serious to very serious reasons and operations. Every person's experience has been different but Nancy's was great. The room was very nice, the doctors and nurses were very friendly and most spoke fairly good English. The major difference here in the hospital is there is no food service. It is up to the family to provide food
We helped several people move to new apartments before they left. It is that time of year and several teachers moved to bigger or nicer places before they took off. Nancy's scooter came in handy as a moving van and ended up being loaded down several times to get people's belongings from point A to point B. This week, a new teacher rolled in from Shanghai on his 125cc scooter, a
The other room
This was all part of Nancy's private hospital suite.
little 900 km cross-country jaunt. He couldn't get it shipped here on the train with his other stuff because he didn't have the proper paperwork so he rode it. He has been staying with us for the last few days getting to know the city a bit. While here, he managed to rent a place for the fall and we helped him move in as well. All in all, a busy few days.
Today, a couple more firsts. I ordered my first handmade suit on Tailor Street and we went to our first movie here. For 600RMB, about $100, I will have my new suit ready in a week, tailor made from scratch. And we saw Transformers in English, yet another Wuhan experience. As we left the theatre, a young couple asked us what we thought of it. As always, we were the only foreigners in the place.
I picked up my old, new CJ750 bike on Sunday night and have taken it for a couple of short rides. The license and registration are quite the process . I won't get the actual plates and registration papers until August 4, but at least the wheels have been set in motion. Most of the motorcycles here are not registered or licensed so I am one step ahead of the game if I get pulled over. As I have said before, it is like the wild west. When it comes to vehicles and traffic, there are no rules. Many people don't have plates or driving licenses, and traffic laws are a non-issue, except for the driving license exam.
Well, that is about it for now. We are heading back to Canada next Saturday, July 18, for a three week holiday. It will take us about 30 hours to get to Ottawa and then the next day we are flying to the states to visit Nancy's family for a week or so. Then it is back to Ottawa, a drive to Thunder Bay to a wedding for a few days, back to Ottawa and then returning to China on August 9. We may do a bit of traveling around here if time and money permit. After all our cross-country traveling the last few summers, we decided to make this summer trip short and sweet.
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