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.

My Neighborhood

It is hard to explain what it is like to live in a nice part of Guiyang, of Guizhou Province. It is best to just show a video of my neighborhood.  My neighborhood is maybe ten or fifteen years old, and has been surpassed in values by newer, and better construction in and around Guiyang. My neighborhood is still very nice. I have a little electric bicycle that gets me up and down the hill in front of my apartment.  I am on the twelfth floor and can ride my bicycle to the elevator . . . no stairs. 
I had to to out for bread so I put the cell phone in my shirt pocket and tried to give you a flavor for what my neighborhood looks like. It is considered one of the nicer parts of Guiyang.
Click to view:
Riding Home from the Bread Store

Macao by Gaotie (Fast Train)

I was about to post what an uneventful (pleasant) trip to Macao I had when I had occasion to find out what happens when a passenger loses a ticket. In short, you go to the ticket office, show your passport, and buy your replacement ticket. You can then get a refund in the place where you bought your ticket. I had removed my overcoat with the ticket and remembered it before forking over the 337.50 RMB for another full fare ticket.

This is the Zhuhai Railway Station. It is right next to the border crossing (Gongbei Port).

So the cost of a bullet train (Gaotie) ticket from Guiyang is less than a plane ticket. On a good day, the plane ticket costs about 900 RMB round trip (rt). The Gaotie ticket costs 675 RMB rt every day.

Comparing plane vs train is interesting. The plane is about 1.5 to 2 hours flight time compared to about 6 for the train. The train takes about twenty minutes for the security check and boarding time, while the plane takes two hours to be safe. At the destination the plane needs another hour to park and retrieve bags. It’s about five minutes for the train.

This is the Gongbei Port border crossing. It takes about five minutes to walk from the railway station into the border crossing building.

I need to cross the Chinese border every 60 days to stay legal under my tourist visa. So arriving by plane in Zhuhai or Shenzhen still leaves me at least an hour from my border crossing (Hong Kong airport is cost prohibitive). The Zhuhai/Macao border crossing is only a 5 minute walk from the train station. The two parcels are literally adjacent to each other. There is no need for a taxi or bus.