This was a real Hangzhou weekend as we went there on Friday to visit the Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital (Danny did some tests don’t worry he is okay) and again on Saturday. The Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital is the one we were recommended by several people as it has an International Clinic and doctors who speak English and are qualified etc etc. So we duly arrived there after having made an appointment by phone with a delightful receptionist fortunately fluent in English. We waited precisely 5 minutes in the reception area which looked more like a Hotel Lobby and then we saw the doc who did all the necessary tests with remarkable speed and efficiency.Everything was clean with carpeted hallways and nice comfy chairs and we got all the results back immediately and returned to the doc. Then the nurse took us to pay (about 600 NIS we will get back from Insurance) and went to fetch the medicines for us.It was all easy, quick and above all devoid of stress- nobody pushing or shoving or shouting. We only saw about 5 other patients there probably as it is too expensive for the Chinese ,although we did see lots of Chinese milling around downstairs but not at the International clinic part.
We then went to eat at our favourite Chinese Fastfood restaurant Yng He Da Wang cheap clean and quick and bussed home.
Saturday we were set to meet up with two friends- first we met with Leon Yuan and his wife Yuan works for a tourist company ,and was introduced to me by Flora Wu who is a friend of our Indian friend Aadil from Virtual Tourist. We were going to meet her in Hangzhou but she is on a tour right now so put us in touch with her colleague Yuan who showed up,to our delight with his wife,whose name I didn’t catch. After a quick Cappuccino they took us to a place called Yellow Dragon Cave,only 10 minutes walk from the place where our bus plonks us down in Hangzhou but which we had never heard of before.The cave is a popular spot for locals as it is believed to bring good luck especially for people looking for a marital partner. The cave is in a lovely park with people doing Tai Chi and dancing and playing traditional Chinese music.We didn’t actually go in the cave as it was too crowded (leave it for a weekday) but we saw loads of parents and grandparents looking to find a partner for their kids. Many were holding signs with their offsprings’ details on ( height,age,education etc) and some fixed their signs onto trees near the entrance to the Cave,It was a laugh and some of the people asked us if we have eligible children and asked how old they were etc. So apparently Chinese granmothers and mothers are just as bad as Jewish ones.!
Then they drove us in their brand new BUICK(??) to another part of the city,where we walked through a small market which to Danny’s joy sold a kind of pita type thing,and out into the above West Plaza which looked more like a square in Europe.There was a huge shopping centre there and outside they were building a stage for afternoon singing and dancing performances. There were also a lot of little booths selling all kinds of toys and kick-knacks.From there Yuan and his wife took us to Gudun Road where we had a lunch date with another English teacher. We said goodbye to Yuan and his wife (what’s her name?) and agreed to meet again soon for another fun weekend and went off to meet Nathan.
Nathan is a fellow English teacher from Oxford whom I met via Raoul’s China Forum. We had arranged to meet at a cafe called Myth Cafe, mainly as he wanted to try the English Fry-up.The food however turned out to be crap, most of the items on the menu didn’t exist. But we had a good time chatting to Nathan and comparing notes about our various jobs and experiences in China. He has already been here a year,and moved to Hangzhou from Chengdu principally to be closer to his girlfriend who works in Ningbo,so he is there most weekends and this is the first weekend we have managed to meet up. Anyway we came home after a long day with more great Chinese experiences and memories,and have discovered that there is a lot more to the city of Hangzhou than we first thought.