Thursday, January 17, 2013

January 17 - 19 by Krystal Shanks & Annalisa Pedersen

1/17/2013 Tuesday
In the afternoon we had another acupuncture lecturer. We have a better translator now, so it was much easier to understand.
Today we went shopping. As one of the biggest shoppers in the trip, I am writing a quick Bargaining in China - A Guide to Shopping.

1. The goal is to get the item cheaper then a Chinese person has to pay. You know your the master when you get to this point.
2. If you love it, buy it. You might not see it again or have time to go back.
3. I think the store owners practice their sad faces for your price offers. Stay confident and remember your not a bad person.
4. Learn from them - make sad faces and say "please, please, please!"
5. Most of the time they don't let you try on clothes. XL china = XS America. Be careful with sizes. Try it on without asking. Foreign people do silly things all the time.
6. Travel in groups. Bargain for your friends. It's easier to stay strong with other's support.
7. Watch out for impulse buys. Everything is so cheap, it's easy to end up with too much stuff!
8. I'm a big fan of vendors on the sidewalk, they usually have cheaper prices since they have no shop overhead. It is better to carry small bills and give those to them.
9. I've made my best deals at closing time. The vendors want to go home and make one last buck.
10. For deciding what to offer: look at the item, decide what is is worth in American dollars (ex: that hat is worth no more then 10 bucks) Change that to Chinese yuan and offer 10 to 20% less.
11. Quality products that are guaranteed authentic are at the factory stores. But these places can be expensive. I wish I had prepared myself with the values of jade, pearls, and silk. Scratch jade on glass to tell its real, it will scratch the glass. To tell if pearls are real scratch them together and they will make a powder. If you are lucky and know these tricks you can buy jewelry in the markets for much cheaper then factories.


Clinical Day
We were paired up with different doctors to observe tuina and acupuncture. In my clinical group we were allowed to practice tuina on each other, but the highlight was when the doctor gave us
acupuncture in Large Intestine 4.  The picture below is a patient getting both acupuncture and cupping at the sametime in the clinic.

Giant Buddha Day!

Today we had to get up super early because we were leaving at 7 am. We were told to bring some snacks becuase we were in for a long day. Daisy told us the drive to the Buddha was going to be about 3 hours so we had some time to catch up on some sleep.

The first stop was at a tea shop that had some food vendor around. The food was a big hit because most of us did not eat breakfast. We found some meat buns that were super tasty and pretty cheap (6 for 10 Yuan, only wierd thing about the purchase was you had to buy 6 of them at a time, you could not buy them individually).


The next stop was the crystal factory. There were a lot of really nice pieces to look at during the tour. One of the pieces was about 3 1/2 feet tall that the tour guide said was always 15° colder than the atmosphere. He was right, it was pretty cold. Although it is a government shop the employees were still willing to bargain. Some people got really good deals on very pretty jewlery.

Next we had lunch, it was alright. Nothing to brag about, but the bathroom situation was interesting. There was a main door to the street, but the stalls inside had no doors (squatty potty). Not a lot of privacy.

Hike to the Buddha:
This hike was nothing like the mountain hike. We started with a temple and then walked down a very steep staircase down to the feet of the Buddha.

The size was IMPRESSIVE! Oh my goodness, it was big. It really makes you wonder how long it took to carve a Buddha in the side of a hill on the water.  We had some great photo opportunities throughout the whole thing.
Saturday Spa for Chinese Water Therapy
We arrived at the hotel, which was probably the nicest hotel we have stayed in on our trip. The dinner was also one of the most interesting. It included chicken feet, egg plant, a full fish ( with head), melon gel bars, seaweed, fried tea leaves, and bean curd (that we thought was lung), 2 soups (broth paste, and spicy noodle); they just kept bringing out food.

The spa was a hot springs. We were all tired and excited to relax. We found the massage center. Most of us got foot massages and some got back and neck massages. The massages were traditional Chinese tunia. The tuina practitioners were extremely skilled. Some of us were cringing in pain from our foot massages.


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