We found a Brit in a pool of blood this morning, on our way to the bakery. He was looking really ill, surrounded by people, but nobody did anything. At that point he wasn’t able to speak, or move around, later we discovered that he had cut his wrist by accident inside his apartment, where he lost a considerable amount of blood, made his way downstairs and basically fell on the curb where he was bleeding for 30 min. more. Ofcourse the group of bystanders, of which two Chinese/New Zealand students, had called an ambulance 30 min earlier but they were told that there were none. We called again but didn’t get through. Luckily, the police drove by and proposed to drop him off. We lifted him in the back of a police car, on our way he told me that he felt he was going to die. I identified his bloodtype in case he would pass out and we got him inside the ER and arranged the paperwork. He didn’t carry much on him but had some ID and insurance info in his pocket. I felt helpless trying to explain the English details to the Chinese staff, they couldn’t understand me. A few minutes later, the two New Zealand / Chinese bystanders arrived at the hospital with my wife to help out. The hospital was sure to confirm insurance before treating him after which he was properly taken care off. We stayed for a couple of hours and saw to it that he got the proper care. I also called the British consulate, who apparently put me though to the emergency call center in London. The operator didn’t speak Chinese so explaining him the Chinese hospital name and Chinese street details lead to a very confusing call. Seemed like a sluggish system, considering the amount of Brits that live in P.R.C.? I have to say that the Shanghai police really helped him out, first of all taking him into a car (taxi wouldn’t allow that) and trying to locate his friend. In a situation like this, you cannot depend on the ambulance to come and pick you up. I’ve seen pedestrians hit by cars and eventually put inside taxi’s to the hospitals. It’s not rare if bystanders don’t react. If you see an actual ambulance, they are poorly equipped and drive much slower then they should. My wife has studied Chinese for quite some time now, she mentioned they studied a lot about culture and history, but never did they talk about what to do in a medical emergency, something that would have been useful. All you foreigners abroad, be sure to carry your ID and insurance with you at all times.
With friends from so many different countries, it seemed fun to organize a potluck party and bring all their best food creations together. Last Sunday we all came together at our house and enjoyed games and various foods. Whilst combining so many dishes could be a risk, it turned out quite ok!
My actual birthday was on Monday, so Suna took me out for dinner in the evening! We went to a Mexican restaurant called Maya and enjoyed a nice dinner together. In the end, she had a surprise dessert for me!
Suna and I went to Qiandao (1000 islands lake) with a group of expats this weekend. It turned out to be more legendary than we expected, a group of people organize this trip annually, this year it’s 5th year in the running.
After a 5 hour bus drive from Shanghai we arrived at the hotel, merely a checkpoint to drop off the bags and head back to the bus to continue the journey upwards to the mountain. When arrived, we had to wear life jackets and a construction helmet (which turned out great for scooping water out of the boat), and off the shore we went. The start was actually a raging torrent of water, after some time we got the hang of it, and even could enjoy a tiger beer along the way. When we came back down, the 2 hr float trip was finished (long enough, water everywhere) and we headed back to the hotel for a great American barbecue.
The Chinese staff aren’t used to so many foreigners staying over (and being so loud) so their son and friends got curious. Before we knew it, they joined the party and brought some drinks for everyone to enjoy. it was a lot of traveling for just a short time in the boat. However, all and all it was great, also to meet some new people.
Even though we have been in Shanghai for a while, a trip to the infamous Huangshan (yellow mountain) had never occurred. The mountain range, described by one blogger to “have influenced most paintings in Chinese restaurants” This labor holiday, we had a look for ourselves and scratched it off our todo list. First about the trip: We had our entire provision, including instant noodles, bread and chocolate in our backpacks and left room for one celebration meal at return. The plan was as follows: leave in the early morning by bus in Shanghai and aim to be at the our sleeping place (close to the summit) before the dark. The next day we would get up early to hike to the (200m?) to the top and see the sunrise, and then hike one of the designated paths back to civilization. The trip was quite spontaneous so we didn’t plan too far ahead. We made it a sport to keep costs at a minimum, while still enjoying the outdoors.
We traveled the 500km by bus and decided to sleep in a tent instead of a hotel. Smell the nature… Going there, In the back of the bus two Huang Shan residents quickly turned out to be quite friendly. One turned out to be an excellent tour guide for his home town. He spent more then an hour filling us in on every detail about our upcoming journey. Due to traffic, we arrived barely on time and had to keep pace up, we arrived at the hotel just before sunset. The tent was already setup for us, so there was no problem. We had a meal and looked around before we slept.
The next morning we got up at 4am. Frankly, we were aiming for 4:30 but our neighbors woke up with a lot of noise, but it was perfect actually, we climbed (with flashlights) to the top of the mountain and could settle a nice place as we were one of the first spectators. After sunrise, we looked around for a bit. It’s tranquility was amazing. Still a few hazy clouds, just hanging on the base of the mountains, creating a bit of a mystical landscape.
The highlight for me was the Lotus peak. Although it got a bit more cloudy and it was a very steep stair climb, we were lucky with the weather and that it wasn’t crowded with people. The view was magnificent. We really are thinking about buying a more serious camera soon.
Afterwards we enjoyed a meal and a footmassage down in the village, before taking the bus back to Shanghai. If anyone reading this is planning to go, it seemed that our decision to stay the night and see the sunrise saved the day, would highly recommend it. We didn’t have to wait anywhere we came. When we came down the summit it quickly became busy and when we walked by the queue, waiting times were reaching 2.5 hours to go up by cable cart.
Just like last year, I went to the training session of Shanghai formula one. Together with Marc, Grace, Scott Elaine and first timer Suna. We watched the formula one training and saw all the legends race on the foggy, rainy track including Vettel, Alonso and Schumacher. But of-course we were there foremost to see the Porsche asia cup training afterwards. Unitedstyles colleague and promising racer Alexandre Imperatori (won 8 of 10 races of this cup last year) and team mate dutch/Chinese racer Ho-Pin Tung (formally reserve racer for renault formula one and making his debut in Asia) It was a very interesting training to see, apparently they were not allowed to change tires, and some cars slide of track. Alexandre became third and Ho-pin seventh after an off track slide. After the race Alex and Marc met up in front of the track, so Suna now had a picture with them (below). Now back to office for rest of afternoon, its promising to be an exciting weekend for the racers. A very nice experience!