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Invincible I am not

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Unfortunately my May Day holiday ended earlier than expected due to a severe case of the flu. Dang, and all this time I was thinking my body was invincible 🙂 haha [chuckle..cough..chuckle..cough] Seriously though, I can’t remember the last time I got sick. I’m thinking two years ago maybe. I guess all this traveling and eating everything under the sun finally caught up with me. At least I was able to get something good out of this holiday – I enjoyed two days in lovely Nanjing, met some cool people, two days on a friend’s couch in Shanghai. (I’ll elaborate more on Nanjing and Shanghai a little later).

After leaving Shanghai it pretty much went downhill from there. On the plane to Guangzhou my head was pounding, I started burning up. I got off the plane and I couldn’t walk a few feet without wanting to pass out. I literally had to stop and rest every five minutes. I felt like I swallowed heaps of drowsy medication. With flu-like symptoms, and feeling extremely lethargic, I needed a doctor asap! I sent a text message over to Lulin (a friend of a friend) who lives in Zhuhai, small town right at the Macau border crossing.

Text: Hi Lulin, its Sophia, Waynes fren. On bus 2 Zhuhai, b there in few hrs. Can u meet me 2day? Not feeling well n need 2 see a doctor.

Lulin, such a sweetheart, picked me up as soon as I got to Zhuhai. She checked me into a hotel and we headed off to the hospital.

Lulin: “Ok you sure you want to go in because there’s a chance they might quarantine you. Swine flu and all….”

Sophia: “Really? I feel like crap. I’ll take the chance.”

After waiting lines, back and forth with a few nurses it came down to this: (Of course everything is being translated through Lulin)

Nurse: “She definitely has a high fever we need to take some blood samples before we can go any further.”

Sophia: “What? Can’t they give me some antibiotics or something? How long do I have to wait for the blood results?”

Nurse: “A few days.”

Sophia: “Thanks but no thanks. My visa expires in a few days so I won’t even be here for the results.”

Lulin: “Forget this. Let’s go. I’ll make you a Chinese home remedy tea that you can take for two days.”

I was cooped up in my Zhuhai hotel for two days straight – sleeping and drinking this Chinese medicine tea, which consisted of boiled ginger, dates and brown sugar. By the second day, I was pinching my nose shut and forcing myself to drink the tea. Just thinking about the tea is making me hurl.

To cut long story short, my fever came down and I finally made it to Macau. As soon as I got my visa I flew directly home. Still recovering but feeling a lot better…I promise I’ll write more about Nanjing, Shanghai and Macau on my next blog.

Shout out to Lulin – thanks again for taking care of me!

Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom, to all the moms and moms-to-be!

Mom, I love you and miss you everyday. Love your favorite daughter 🙂

Twilight fever in Dalian?

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

English books are hard to come by here in Dalian. Being that this city is home to a huge number of expats, I find that very surprising. According to my colleagues, there are a few bookstores that carry a small collection of English books, but if I wanted any of the latest releases I’d have to go get em’ in the bigger cities like Shanghai or Beijing. I finished the two books I brought with me last month and have been in search ever since. At this point I’d take anything. A colleague of mine lent me “The Sands of Time” by Sidney Sheldon (1990). An oldie but an enjoyable read.

Cynthia, one of the gals I tutor, offered me her “Twilight” book. Yes, you’re reading it correctly – Theeee Twilight! The vampire movie that all of America is currently going gaga’ for. Twilight international? I didn’t see that coming. The movie/book never really caught my interest but like I said, I’d take anything. I took the book home and ended up finishing it in five hours. And I have to admit – this damn vampire-romance novel got me hooked! Now I understand why American girls went crazy over the movie, the storyline is very romantic. Or was it because of the lead actor? Hmmm… Anyway, out of curiosity I’m thinking about grabbing me a bootleg copy of the movie. Of course it’ll probably be a disappointment (then again what book-turn-movie isn’t). Cynthia has the entire Stephenie Meyer collection so I’m currently on book two – New Moon. LOL. I’ll be sure to stock up on English books next time I’m in one of the major cities.

Birthday shout out to the big boss, Jason!! We all went out for dinner last night in celebration ~ German beer and chocolate cake, my kind of combination.

Note to self: Birthdays – keep cake away from Wayne 🙂

Wayne has a rap sheet of starting cake fights. I’m sensing that the cake fight between Wayne and Emma is far from over…..hahaha

new visa, new acoustic

Monday, April 13th, 2009

A few days ago, a friend and I were at the Chinese visa office applying for an extension. From the visa experiences I’ve had in the past, walking in, I was already expecting a sit down with a not-so-pleasant person ... [Continue reading this entry]

Qianshan National Park

Thursday, April 9th, 2009
Bingyu Valley was a no-go last weekend. Instead, the girls and I ended up hopping on a four hour train ride north to another city, Anshan, to visit the well-known Qianshan National Park -aka- "Thousand Lotus Flower Mountains". This ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lazy post, pics inside =)

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
Many Chinese spend their mornings playing cards or chess on a sidewalk. Every morning, I walk by this particular group. Sometimes I get lucky and catch some of them in an upset; which includes cussing out loudly at each ... [Continue reading this entry]

Scorpions, sea horses, silkworms!

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Bizarre delicacies - Oh how I love thee! Literally. My eyes light up each time I come close to sampling such dishes. Tarantulas in Cambodia, crickets & worms in Thailand, balut (duck embryo) in the Philippines, you name it, I'll ... [Continue reading this entry]

It’s official

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009
I'm trading in my beloved California burrito caburrito.jpg For some dim sum! dimsum1.jpg dimsum2.jpg I accepted a job in Dalian, a coastal city northeast of Beijing, for a school called ... [Continue reading this entry]

RIP Dan Kenn

Friday, February 20th, 2009
Dan Kenn, London, a friend and fellow traveler - Rest in peace brother. I met Dan back in Thailand, Sept 08. We, along with three others, also known as the crazy five, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Feeling Lucky and “Fresh”

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
So after two nights in an overly priced single room I finally moved into the dormitory at Y60 bed ($7). Yep I could hear my bank account thanking me right now:) I roomed in with four gals. (Therese Norway, Joanna ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Great WOW

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

"He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man." - Mao Zedong 

Ni hao from China! The past two days have been rugged to say the least. I never felt so helpless. My constant attempt at communicating in ... [Continue reading this entry]