Greetings from Yiwu.
Last week I was telling about dumplings in ancient China, on a trip to my wifes' hometown. You can read about it here.
We got back to Yiwu on Monday to discover it was a bank holiday, these days I don't know what day it is nor does my wife and she is Chinese.
The tomb sweeping day when China folk go and pay respect to their ancient ancestors. Banks are closed, but the city and the huge market still seemed to be working except most of the bosses had gone to the countryside to visit tombs, fly kites and burn fake money. It's a big family outing, both sad and happy.
Apart from working long hours, and trying to complete too many projects all at once... I can't tell you :(
I have been working late nights to the wee hours on the plans for Euro warehouse.
So feeling a bit jaded and overworked.. don't feel sorry for me I'm loving it!
But my wife thought I shouldn't look so tired so I was taken (kicking and screaming) to the local hospital, for a full body check.
I don't really like hospitals - all starched aprons, bleach smell, corridors with painted lines and flapping curtains. Really if there is something wrong with me I don't want to know.
Big city China is a refreshing new world. Nice landscaped feng-shui gardens, free parking and helpful young trainees eager to help anyone unsure what to do. And even signs in English as well as Mandarin. At a desk marked "Healthy Plans", we were shown a list of options, we went for the full monty, check everything possible VIP special... about £120.
Did they put me in a waiting room, with moth-eaten (and probably plague carrying) copies of Country Life for the company? Nope. A young lady immediately took me to the first door, where my blood was taken, then the next room where I was given a high-tech bag to breathe into for five minutes (until a little panel turned orange) .. there was a circuit of rooms, minimal waiting, each job taking ten minutes, and all the information uploaded to my record on the central computer. I must admit; by the time I'd been prodded, mildly electrocuted, x-rayed, photographed up every... you know what - I was feeling quite grumpy. But the whole job was done in an hour and a half in a brisk but friendly way.
One week later you get a nicely bound report stuffed with technical data and a list of all the failing parts. Plus of course, this been a money making business - all the services they can sell you.
So for a week, I lay awake worrying about my heart, liver, lungs.. clearly, they are going to want to take me apart.
The report came the other day... it's all in Chinese I can hardly read a word.. so I asked apprehensively, tell me the worst. Oh, she says.. nothing wrong with you. erm, you might be drinking a bit too much.
I haven't touched a drop since :)