Hot Night at the Obsession

(Click for full size photo)

It was a cool, late November evening and the usual suspects were gathered at the new Obsession Jazz Music Restaurant and Bar. Things were warming up quite nicely when the Guiyang Orchestra finished their jazz concert. Apparently some of the musicians weren’t done playing because they came to the Obsession. Then the night really got hot. . . .

A Hot Night at the Obsession (Youtube)

A Hot Night at the Obsession (Youku)

(Youtube is best outside China and Youku is best in China)

By the way, I was working with a cell phone — Huawei 10 Plus, which is quite a good little unit for sound and video. Unfortunately there were a few operator errors. You might catch the hand in front of the camera. Also, I accidentally chopped a guy’s head off (sorry about that). Maybe the most annoying problem was with the guy beside me that kept pounding on the table. His table was next to mine and was actually touching. You can see him kind of keeping beat by the disruptions in the video . . . oh well. Finally, the oversized music stands are good for hiding behind if you are a shy musician, but they are murder if you are watching the show or trying to film it. In fact, there are a lot of problems with this video, except the music.

 

Chiang Mai Suneta Hostel

A low cost getaway to Thailand from Southern China is Chiang Mai.  The Suneta Hostel is a good, clean alternative. It is just a few hundred yards from the gateway (Tha Pae Gate) to the old city. It is located at 20 Chang Moi Kao Road, Chang Moi, Muang, Chiang Mai  50300
See: Suneta Hostel . Phone Number (66)53232345 where 66 is country code. In Thailand delete the 66 and use 053232345 .

Prices are typically 440 Baht to 550 Baht about 13 to 14 dollars USD a night, depending on the season and discount. A private room for one person is about 16 dollars.

Checking in is normally between 2PM and 11PM. If you come earlier you may  be able to call and get an earlier checkin time. The front desk is not staffed between 11PM and 7AM. Be sure to learn how to use the night key.

The airport taxi should cost you 150 baht (about 5 USD). You may want to take a blue bus from the airport for 20 baht, but it takes almost an hour, compared to about 20 minutes by taxi.  The airport taxi may cost up to 300 baht for a new van.

The staff is friendly and can help you find services, such as massage and tours. They can even find some discounts for you. You can contact the hotel directly by email at: chiangmai@suneta.net .

This Tha Phae Gate is very distinctive, and everybody know where it is. There is a McDonalds, Burger King, and Starbucks in close proximity.

 

 

 

This is the entrance to the street where the hostel is located.   It is opposite the Tha Phae Gate. The hostel is about two hundred meters down  this one way street, on the right.

Bangkok Chiangmai Heart Center

I’ve had two trips to Chianmai and checked out the medical facilities there. Living in China I decided to have an escape plan if I have some major medical issue and can’t get back to the USA promptly. This visit I checked out the Bankok Chiangmai Heart Cener and its Hospital. I found an extremely modern situation with top doctors.

Medical care is a significant concern in China and Thailand is known for advanced, Western trained doctors and hospitals. One of the top hospitals in Thailand is Bangkok Hospital.  It has a branch in Ghiangmai, relatively close to Guiyang.

I had swelling in my ankles and a couple doctors suggested that this might be related to a heart condition, leaky valves or something is possible. I forgot to mention it to my USA doctor until I was walking out the door this summer and he suggested maybe I should get a blood test to see if this heart condition might be present. Cutting to the conclusion, I am fine and my blood pressure medication has been modified to reduce or eliminate the swelling.

I found the staff to be friendly and efficient. My doctor was the head of the department and gave me a complete examination. He explained everything to me about heart stuff. The reception area was not crowded and very pleasant. I left feeling that I had top service comparing with any in the USA. The price, including ten days medication was $38.02 on my Mastercard. We’ll see if that can be covered by my USA insurance, but I’m not worried about it. The hospital even has a free shuttle from the city center.

 

New Obsession Jazz Bar is Open

Sunday evening, Oct 28, I visited the New Obsession Jazz Bar on Suidong Lu at Hong Yan Bridge. Martin was wonderful on the piano and the Jazz Band did well with an international selection of musicians.

Click on thumbnail Photo for picture attachment.

You can call the manager of the New Obsession, Mr. Wang Bin — 13984028732 .

See also: Original Obsession

More Fun on the Bus

I was waiting for the bus at Dayingpo and it seemed to be taking a long time.  Bus 86 delivers me directly to my front door in Poly Hot Springs area so it is convenient. My back hurt and I was thinking that maybe “They” were right, that maybe I am too cheap and should take a taxi. The difference would only be less than two USD, 14 rmb  vs  1.8 rmb.

I was leaning against a tree and something kind of big hit my shoulder, like a big cockroach or something. I quickly brushed it off with a well practiced evasive maneuver and it turned out to be bird turd, which was the blackest, largest, and juiciest bird turd I have ever seen in my 67 years. It could have hit me in the middle of the head . . . MamaMia, three more inches. All I could think of was the old nursery rhyme: “Birdie, Birdie, in the Sky dropped a bird turd in my eye. It don’t hurt. I don’t cry. Gee I’m glad that cows don’t fly.”

It was a crowded mess at the bus station so I started searching for a package of tissue, but no stores were nearby. A lady was handing out flyers for some silly sale, and it was on really cheap paper, not shiny at all . . . very absorbent.I thanked her and pulled the other hand out of my pocket to hold the coat while I wiped the shoulder off. The flyer worked great. So a young man stepped right into my face waiving a 100 rmb bill in front of my nose. It had fallen out of my pocket when I pulled my hand out of my pocket.

I smiled, took the money, and tried to thank him, but he was gone. Only in Guiyang can you interact with nature and a couple friendly citizens in a 90 second time frame. The 86 bus showed up and in fifteen minutes I was feeding my blackened jacket into the washing machine. . .

See also:

Fun on the Bus with Chris and Riding the Bus

Voting in the USA – Chengdu Consulate Rocks

For those of you concerned about voting in the USA, I suggest you get after it.  I was disenfranchised by the Express mail two years ago.  I paid China Post a lot of money and the ballot, which was supposed to be delivered in five business days, arrived at the Clerks office a week late.  See: Fast Mail and Voting

This year I got after it earlier and by contacting my Township Clerk’s office, I was able to file a request for absentee ballot and receive it the same day.  I filled out the request and took a picture with my cell phone. I emailed it to the Township Clerk and she immediately sent me the ballot by email.  I checked with my advisers in the USA on the various ballot issues, Supreme Court Candidates, School Board, etc. and completed my ballot in a couple days.

The American Secretary of State has a website on voting and there is a postage paid envelope available which I used. First I had to get the envelope, with ballot enclosed to the Chengdu Consulate. They put the envelope in a diplomatic pouch and it gets mailed from the USA. A Chinese friend from Chengdu was visiting her parents in Guiyang during the October holiday so I gave the envelope to Daisy. She was going to deliver it to the Chengdu Consulate.

Daisy showed up at the Chengdu Consulate today and was turned away by the Chinese Police guarding the consulate. She wasn’t permitted to enter unless she had an American Passport. She called me, and while she was on hold, I went to the US Embassy website for Beijing.  I called the number and told them the problem.  They put me on hold and called the duty officer. in Chengdu. The Chengdu Consulate was closed due to the holiday.

They put me through to the duty officer, named Ben.  Somehow my call was being handled by the emergency hotline.  I gave Daisy’s phone number to Ben  and the spelling of her name.  He got after it.  He was near the Consulate so he either went there himself, or had somebody go outside to find Daisy. Case closed. The ballot will be in the diplomatic pouch tomorrow morning.

I spoke to another American about voting. His state, Washington, has a pure vote by internet system available.  I think each state has it’s own system   I believe that they all take this subject seriously. If you want to vote, you can go to your State’s website, probably the Secretary of State in your state to find out how to do it.  I hope you vote. A democracy is a terrible thing to waste.

Foreigner wins Guiyang Heavyweight Boxing Competition

Urison Kokulbekov of Tajikistan won the Heavyweight Boxing Competition in Guiyang.

Even with the drastic differences in amateur and professional boxing a lot of guys do make that transition and have a lot of success with it. One of the top scouts in Guiyang these days is the current Heavyweight Champion of The Tank Boxing Association. Urison Kokulbekov, is a student of Guizhou Institute of Engineering and Technology and is currently a talent scout for the Tank Boxing Association.  He focuses much of his efforts on boxing which flows in his arteries, veins and capillaries. He’s credited with winning the current Tank Heavyweight Championship in Guiyang.

His dream is to become a successful entrepreneur, as well as boxer. He looks forward to do his higher studies from a top university. He likes Harvard or the London School of Economics.