Monday, November 9, 2009

Antique Nirvana and Photo of the Week

Another good weekend of exploring.  We hit a really neat district that had some great jewelry shops and some other fun stores.  Actually, Nick and I are just enjoying walking around to get a good feel for the culture and people watching.  I wish I could video or photograph almost everything I see because it's such a rich, rich attack on your senses.  We haven't really visited any of the big tourist attractions yet, but we'll get there.  We need to pace ourselves a bit, but there is a lot that I want to do before I leave in early December.

I forgot to post something about my medical exam last Monday.  It was fine, just odd - and my escort/translator didn't speak English very well at all, so I'm wondering how she got that job.  We drove out to the Immigration Medical Center and were ushered into a room.  We had to sit down at a table with a fish tank in the center with some incredibly sickly and creepy fish in them.  I thought, "Great, this is the place where they are going to poke and prod me and they can't even manage to keep their fish healthy."  My escort proceeded to fill out my entire medical form, including checking "no" off each medical condition without asking.  For all she knew, I had gout, sleeping sickness and malaria, but she checked "no" anyway.  When she handed it too me, I had to go back through and write down my infertility surgeries and cross out where she put "no" under surgeries.  Awkward. 

To make matters even more interesting, the gentleman to my left was Nick's new general manager for China - a very charming Frenchman, so he got to hear about my fertility stuff.  Lovely.  I guess it was a good bonding experience, though.

I stripped down to my pants and a bathroom and was sent to seven different rooms where some kind of test was performed - blood work, chest X-ray, ultrasound (where I tried very hard to explain to the technician that I only had one kidney.  I really didn't relish the thought of her only finding one and then quickly sending me to a hospital where I'd never be heard from again.  Luckily, I think she understood), general exam, eye test,  ENT check up, heart test, height and weight.  There were probably twenty different people (men and women, Canadians, French, Indonesian, etc.) who had to wait in a hallway until a room was available.  We were all shuffled around and it was one of the most efficient operations I've ever seen.  I was in and out in less than an hour, and apparently passed my exam because I got my medical certificate and go tomorrow for my interview, the last step to getting my special resident visa (one where I can travel back and forth among countries). 

Today, I had a really, really fun experience thanks to our apartment complex.  They schedule special activities a few times a month and today's was visiting an antique restoration business.  They walked us through each step of the restoration process and helped us understand Chinese/Tibetan antiques better.  My mom, aunt B and Becky would've been in heaven with me. I have an affinity for Asian decor, so it truly was amazing.  Then, they drove us to their store and I almost bankrupted our savings (just kidding, but I could've).  So, I will take Nick out there at some point and we'll pick out a neat piece or two or three hundred. 

The Chinese version of the junk room, only you can't buy these pieces!

They do not use power tools in the renovations, and the carpenters make their tools by hand.  Instead of a jigsaw, this carpenter made a hand saw out of a piece of bamboo and a string of wire and delicately cuts out an intricate little decorative piece.

If anyone has ever heard me say that I'd like to import antique Chinese artwork and furniture - this is why!  Loved it.  Wonder how I can work on that goal while I'm here.  Not sure that Indy has the market for it, though.

thousands of square feet of antiques for sale!

Photo of the Week

I guess there's no bugle playing in this roundabout!

1 comment:

  1. I am literally giggling at the last photograph! What in the world?!!? So glad that you and Nick are having a great start to your adventure. Have a great week!