Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Email 3

Which fish would you rather eat?!

1) I am just not used to seeing.. un-neutered dogs. People here own small dogs. Dachsunds, Bichon Frises, and of course Pekingese. There doesnt seem to be an initiative to lop off the reproductive bits of the animals, but then I figure-- these animals dont really get to run away and proliferate anyway. Thought that was a funny little anecdote

2) Now on the people proliferating: I dont think theres anything like a CVS where the drugstore is separate from food items. So, condoms are just next to soaps and toothbrushes and other such things. Condoms in China cost 41 RMB (average) for 12. Basically, that's about 8 bucks. It seems even MORE stupid not to use protection. An uncle and I were talking about prostitutes in mining regions in poorer areas of China-- there ought to be some sort of initiative for condom usage. Will think about it more.

3) In the States, I realized that first names are generally more "in common" than last names. Meaning, we differentiate, like, "Which Mike?" "Oh, Mike.. Baker" In China, its more like, "Which Dr. Liu?" "Oh.. Liu ZhengGuo". Thought about that when I sat in on rounds in the radiation oncology department yesterday.

4) My medical Especially in the realm of oncology and technical things, such as "CT"...but cancer is devastating in any language. Today's rounds were strictly in the chest-- esophageal, lung mostly. Saw one patient whose lung cancer had metastasized to his brain, which manifested as a (plegia)? of the left side of his face. Upon neurological exam, you could tell the deficits came from the facial nerve mostly. But his eyes moved with the following of the doctor's finger, and there was no ipsilateral deviation of the tongue (which means that the hypoglossal nerve was okay). I breathed thanks to Arnie Scheibel and Neuroanatomy 102. But the patient-- looked just so tired. Radiation is tough and wears on the body so.

5) If all goes well, tomorrow will be my first milonga experience. When dancing in the States its very rare that people invite others to dance using the "cabaceo"... an initiation protocol using well directed eyes. Im not sure in China what a smile and good morning in general during the day means. In the US, its a pleasantry, but I noticed that I sort of avert my eyes. When I look straight at people, I never see theirs.

6) I adore the subway. I think I've said this before, but theres no feeling quite like stepping down into the subway station into the cool, kissable below, the dark, sordid underbelly of a city.

7)In Chinese there is an idiom, which translates into "People mountain, people sea" literally. It basically means that people are so densely packed they constitute the magnitude of mountains, and vastness of oceans. Beijing is ridiculous in this way. It took almost 30 minutes to go about half a mile through WangFuJing, a main shoppiing area. People dont heed traffic signs. Cars dont heed traffic signs. Its really, more than anything a big ridiculous game of chicken. Crossing a road. :D

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