The Jinhua Chronicles...


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October 2nd 2017
Published: October 2nd 2017
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The little darlings...The little darlings...The little darlings...

One of my classes chillin' before the bell goes...yes, Chinese Universities still use bells to indicate class times.
Well...I got my health check document back--it's actually like a mini-passport only with entries for things like blood pressure and if I've had syphilis (I said No). All is within normal parameters, which is amazing.

The health check is, apparently, mandatory if you are applying for a work permit as opposed to a regular visitor visa. Which, apparently, I am. The Bureau for Probably Diseased and Possibly Contagious Quarantinable Foreigners is on the other side of town from my apartment and an easy cab ride. I go as close to opening time as I can because I'm smart, and think I'll get there ahead of everyone else. Of course 'everyone else' has the same idea and the place is mobbed with Foreigners and also a bunch of giggly high-school kids there for immunization for some kind of trip, with the same idea.

I elbow my way through and show them my note In Chinese that says I'm there for a medical check. The 12-year old girl at the desk glares at me like I'm a fool with that look that says "Yes--we know--that's what this entire building and all these people wandering randomly around in lab coats are for."
Wal-Mart produce sectionWal-Mart produce sectionWal-Mart produce section

Note the freshly dug peanuts...


Another form to fill out. This one declaring I have no quarantinable (their word, not mine) diseases. I fill it out thinking maybe that's it. Of course not. The girl takes yet another photo, this must be about 20 so far in this painfully protracted work permit/visa process. But no. She gives me another form and points me upstairs for the offices and Doctors/technicians that take a blood sample, urine sample, do an X-Ray, ECG, Ultrasound, ENT check & Eye Test, blood pressure, not to mention general prodding of the nether regions and tutting by the Man Doctor muttering "Too fat" under his breath.Thankfully no hunting for the last pickle in the pickle jar, though. And all you chaps know what I mean by that.

Anyway, all those 'procedures' were about $70 CAD (!) and I got my little medi-passport out of it, which has all my medical details in it, so if a traffic cop or anyone else in authority like the cashier at the Supermarket (I'm not joking, they wield serious power) wants to take a look to see what my cholesterol level is, all they have to do is ask.

I finally have my
Wal-mart produce sectionWal-mart produce sectionWal-mart produce section

Impressive produce selection...green oranges are coming to the end of the season.
actual officially stamped and approved Foreigner's Work Permit and ID card on which I am listed as Category A Foreign Expert (which apparently means I am the BEST)...who knew?

It is still very hot and possible more importantly it is "The season of older (well, my age) ladies who should know better walking around with great big hickies". The first time I spotted this phenomenon, I thought, understandably, "Crikey, she's not letting age slow her down. Good on yer." Didn't think much more of it, but then I keep seeing other sprightly yet definitely senior'ish ladies with the same adornment. I thought "Well, maybe Jinhua is the centre of aging Chinese sex fiends. I'm going to have to find our what's afoot here (or necks, in this case)".

After some extensive digging (I asked Zero, one of the kids at school) she told me that her Mum gets it done and apparently it's some heated cup thing they apply to their necks and upper shoulders during the hot season as it's reputed to release excess heat from the body and it leaves what looks like a hicky. Phew! That's a relief, I thought I had unwittingly wandered into
Wal-Mart chicken sectionWal-Mart chicken sectionWal-Mart chicken section

Not sure we would see this in Canadian Wal-Marts...
some weird parallel universe. But it's just China.

Jinhua and school is plugging along nicely, although still very hot: upper 80s-f and into the low 100-f range: I went out last night at around 7:00 pm and it was probably around 85-F and humid--not comfortable. I thought I might slide into my newly found local bar, but they were closed for the National Holiday (October 1st). So I picked up a couple of tinnies from the combi convenience store and headed back to my palatial digs to try and watch Netflix for more than seven minutes before it dropped out completely. Nah.

The bar/pub is 'decorated' in a strange Bavarian Hunting Lodge motif incorporating about fifty deer heads and deer-inspired sculptures and is called, yes, you guessed it, The Deer Bar. After the usual communication acrobatics I managed to secure an icy-cold Heineken for 15 yuan. Yikes! That's expensive, I thought. But I checked my handy currency converter and that's less than 3 bucks Canadian, so disaster averted.

So I had a Nearly Dear Beer in the Nearby Deer Bar.


Additional photos below
Photos: 7, Displayed: 7


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Condom display at the check-outCondom display at the check-out
Condom display at the check-out

Best condom brand name ever: Jissbon...
The Deer BarThe Deer Bar
The Deer Bar

No caption needed...
Dinner at the cafeteria up the road...Dinner at the cafeteria up the road...
Dinner at the cafeteria up the road...

Hot and sour soap with tofu, sweet and sour crispy something or other--I think it was pork, rice and a big beer: about $4


2nd October 2017

En"light"enment
Dear Mervyn, It's Monday morning here and I appreciate reading your both interesting and entertaining Blog commentary,a relief from the latest dire news provided by the newspaper and radio reports. Glad to here of the good results in your health passport,sounds like quite the ordeal. Hope all continues to go well for you. love,Teresa
3rd October 2017

Thanks Teresa!
Yes--it does look grim out there, but we need to keep the positive stuff going, which I think outweighs the negative. Isn't there a song in there somewhere? :-) Love Merv
2nd October 2017

Another world!
I am enjoying your blog Merv! Very enlightening to learn of other cultures and their charming differences. Keep this blog going as it is a pleasure to read. XOOX
3rd October 2017

Thanks Jacynthe!
I am glad you enjoy the blog! I'll try to keep it going... love and stuff Merv
3rd October 2017

Ha!
Hi Merv. You have a great style of writing! I laughed out loud at the "hickey" and "health check" stories. Your humour is wonderful. I admire how you cope with the heat and humidity there. Keep well.
4th October 2017

Thanks Jean!
Well...it's all true...you don't have to make this stuff up...
4th October 2017

Deer me!!
Had a really good chuckle at your latest blog. What a fun name for a bar and was wondering what kind of food they serve? As always really appreciate you taking the time to share. Zhídào xià yīcì

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