keskiviikko 27. toukokuuta 2009

Science faction

Regular blogging service will return as of.... right now. While in Finland, I just seem to be running out of time. Or, to put it another way, I am busy enjoying everything.

I returned to Shanghai on Sunday. When the plane touched down, as always, there were already several passangers on their feet, ready to grab their bags and get out of the plane. But this time we were in waiting for a little science faction show. Namely, several governmental healht inspectors "raided" the plane, and inscpected the planeful of passangers.

They were dressed to face plague, radio active waste, extra terrestial aliens, or... a planeful of possible swine flu carriers. And armed to shoot every one of us. Thankfully only with a some sort of thermometer. They came to every passanger, asked the passangers to close their eyes and aimed to the forehead.

Some persons were questioned, but I could not hear what they asked...

I was just thankful noone showed any symptoms, otherwise I can imagine we all would have been put to a guaranteen for a week. At least. And if they put the whole planeful of passangers to guaranteen, would they all get a private guaranteen? Otherwise the swine flu would spread IN the guaranteen.

Anyway, we were let to the country, and all is well.

keskiviikko 13. toukokuuta 2009

For sale

I have already told you couple of times, that in Shanghai you can buy anything you could possibly want, like for example official receipts, live frogs, fake eggs or children. Or documents. Any documents.

Swiss James from I Spy Shanghai had noted an add providing an easy way to staying home "sick" for couple of days without loosing your salary (or job). Or you can simply choose to defraud your insurance company.

The world is your oyster, just pick your favorite sickness and contact "Michelle0924". The hottest thing in town, swine flu, might be out of stock right now, but she shoukd be able to get more next week.

P.S. I didn't find any babies or kids under the "Baby & Kids" section.

maanantai 4. toukokuuta 2009

Borderline Hysterical Flying

I am in Finland now, arrived yesterday. Monday afteernoon, just when I was getting ready to leave the office a colleague of mine (non-chinese, not that it matters) said that "You must feel uncomfortable flying now, with the swine flu raging around and all. And through Germany! They have already confirmed cases."

To be honest, the thought had crossed my mind, but I was nowhere near the level of precautions of my other colleague who cancelled his family vacation to Malaysia, which was ment to take place in JULY, because of the swine flu. The flu is already in China, what does it help to not travel to Malaysia in July? Non of my business, of course. And I figured I haven't usually gotten a flu when I fly even there is always someone coughing and sneezing, so I have no reason to think I would now get this flu, just because it happens to be a very famous flu.

Where were we? Yes, I was leaving the office, and in the elevator I met another colleague, who asked rhetorically that I must have bought masks for the flight. "No, not really." "Think about it when someone is coughing just next to you. We bought masks for our family."

And so, they awakened the hysteria in me. I marched to the drug store and bought a packet of one-time use masks. What's the harm? I don't have to wear a mask, even I bought one. In the airport I noticed few passangers were wearing masks, but hey, this is China. In China, you can see people wearing masks anytime and anywhere. All the officers working at the airport had masks, though, so that much was new.

I got to the plane and left the packet of masks to the overhead compartment. I didn't see but a few who were wearing them. And the goddamit flu hasn't really been fatal outside Mexico. I think. I am not wearing the mask. Definately not.

A nice lady sat next to me. She doesn't look sick, I though. But then it started. People in all directions started coughing. Sneezing. Coughing more. Blowing nose. We looked at each other with my neighbour. Someone coughed just behind us. I saw her eyes growing in fright. We both felt the anxiety.

What if I get sick, and then I have to think back and wonder if I could have avoided the horrible pork flu just by wearing the stupid mask. "I know this might be ridiculous and hysterical, but I have face masks and I think I'm going to wear one" I said to my neighbour. "I'll have a baby in two months, I cannot get sick." She said with worry in her voice. "I have a whole packet of these things, so please go ahead and help yourself."

I have always - always- looked at people travelling hiding behind their masks a little silly. And there I was, with my pale baby-blue mask. Because they didn't turn the light off, I even topped that off and put on my eye-mask so I could sleep. My stupid eye-mask, which says "Genius at work", which I got from SAS flight. And then, because this combinations looked a bit more embarrassing than I can take, I put my baby-pink hood of my hooded-sweater on, to hide from the world. And I had my iPod headset on. I happened to get a glimpse of how I looked, from the reflection of the personal entertainment screen. Oh boy. Like some comical bank robber. Oh boy oh boy oh boy...

But I slept really well. Which I don't think would have happened without the mask. But I started wondering, what is the use of the mask, as I need to take it off anytime I eat or drink anything? Does it dimish my change of getting the darn flu by any degree? Or is it just to calm down some nervereck (=me) crazy (=me) passangers (=me)?

And what makes this embarrassment truly stupid is that as soon as I stepped out of the aircraft, I took the mask off. I could not imagine myself marching to the "Lufthansa Senator lounge" wearing it :o) And, in my connecting flight to Helsinki, I did a quick health check and deemed my fellow-passangers healthy, and forgo the mask. My hysteria was cured by then. I still have about 8 masks. In case it strikes again.

sunnuntai 3. toukokuuta 2009

Keepin' up the appearances

My Past Saturday I went jogging. I don't run much outdoors during the winter months, but the spring is here, and the blissful outdoor runs in Australia awakened the need to run outdoors, despite of... everything.

I put on my grey running pants and my new old rose colored Puma sports top and was ready to go. Except that J. said: "You are not going out dressed like that, are you?" "I sure was going to." "Chinese women do not wear pants like that. Shouldn't you at least wear your sweatpants?"

Err... I am going out for a run. To a nearby park. We live in a city where people go out in their pajamas! We live in a city where some of the girls in office wear the so called "come f**k me boots" and skirts that end 30 cm above their knees. IN the office. We live in a city where neon pink sweat pants and golden pumps are a disturbing, but not a rare sight. And I could not go running in my clean, below knee-ending pants and top which doesn't reveal anything more than my arms? I should wear sweat pants for a run when it is +26 degreed warm? Oh. No. No no no no no.

Sometimes I have got to wonder goes on in the head of that man of mine.