This morning, I escaped a huge storm that hit South Vietnam and fled to the north to Hangzhou, China where I will be staying two nights to attend the Keqiao International Textile Expo. The flight took off at about 8am this morning under some heavy rainfall. There was one 3 layover in Guangzhou where I got a chance to stretch my legs.

Something I forgot to mention in my previous posts that while I was in Saigon, I got the opportunity to visit a walk-in medical clinic where I got my blood taken and a chest x-ray. No particular reason why I had myself examined. I just wanted to know my status quo. I am happy to report that my cholesterol levels are normal, my liver enzymes are normal, my triglyceride levels are normal and my chest x-ray is also normal. All of this cost me about 13,300 Dong which is equivalent to about 8USD. Eight bucks for a blood workup and a chest film! In the US, you’d have to spend at least 300 bucks for it.

So anyway, I brought this story up because in Guangzhou Airport, my mom and I stopped by a Starbucks knock-off for a cup of joe. Total bill for two medium coffee: 100 Yuan, which is equivalent to 14USD. Ok, ok, It was dumb of us to buy the coffee, but we obviously did not do the calculation before buying. Needless to say that one cup of coffee in the Guangzhou airport was a total ripoff compared to my medical examination. Something is F**d up in this world.

But other than the temperature and language barrier Great Wall, I think Hangzhou is pretty cool. After checking into the hotel, we went for a walk around the town. My mom estimates that we walked about 6 miles. Here are my impressions:

  • Overall, the city here is MUCH MUCH cleaner than in Ho Chi Minh. (That place is a dump)
  • The general look of the people here are pretty modern: the stores sell modern fashion and there are a lot of hipsters.
  • There are LOTS of electric scooters/bicycles. It’s neat to see them buzzing around, barely making any engine noise (pssst… theres no engine)
  • The air quality sucks. Just as bad as Ho Chi Minh City.

Tomorrow, we hop in a cab and drive an hour to Keqiao to visit the expo hopefully to find someone there who can understand a little english and hopefully make this trip successful. For now I’ll head to bed and await tomorrow’s adventure.

Zai xien!