Overcoming Obstacles, The Great Wall

There are some things in life that seem impossible.

For me, walking up the stairs of the Great Wall, was one of those things.

As a child, I didn’t know I had asthma.  After exercise, my lungs caught on fire, my breaths labored, and my chest ached.  It wasn’t until a near death experience that I realized how restrictive asthma could be.  I honestly thought I would never be strong enough, lung capacity wise, to visit the Great Wall.

But impossible dreams became reality.  Over a year ago, we planned a family trip to Asia, and stopped by Beijing en route to Hong Kong. After exploring Gui Jie (簋街) and Tianamen Square, we were ready to embrace the Great Wall.

Long, yellow willow branches swayed in the breeze, like the glory of a woman’s hair. Driving to the Mutianyu section, Chinese pop songs played on the radio. But in my heart, I was glimpsing the serenity of China’s countryside and listening to the serenade of violins. Clusters of Chinese villages lined the road, protected by a bordering village wall. What were the Northeastern Chinese lives like, before the rise of big cities? Had their ancestors used their own blistered hands to lay down the stones of the wall? Did they gain a new hope of protection and security? And for the current residents, were their lives now completely centered around tourism? 

Finally, we arrived.

We climbed a few steps and found ourselves facing a ski lift (they call it a cable car, but it looks like a ski lift).  We had specifically chosen this section of the wall because it was less strenuous of a climb compared to other sections, riding up via ski lift in lieu of hiking.

My sister-in-law’s eyes widened, in panic.

But it was too late to turn back; the chair swooped her and Dad up and they soared into the mountains. Continue reading

“If there is a doctor or nurse aboard….”

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and just when i was learning to relax…

please notify your crew member. We have a medical emergency on flight.”

Hearing those dreadful words over the intercom, I froze in my seat.

Oh no. Someone’s in trouble.

I paused. What if they’re sicker than what I can handle? What if I don’t know what to do? We were already in the air, so if it were a real emergency, we’d be in trouble.

I pressed the call light anyway, hoping it wouldn’t be serious. I hope I don’t have to start any IV’s because I can’t remember the last time I inserted one… Continue reading

おはようございます, Morning from Tokyo!

finally met Hachiko, in person!

finally met Hachiko, in person!

Tokyo is better than I thought it would be!

My only glimpses of Tokyo have been through film and books. In real life, it is more vibrant, colorful, and lively.

Yesterday we visited Shibuya Station, one of the busiest intersections in Tokyo and where I finally met Hachiko, the loyal dog who came to Shibuya to meet his master daily, even after he passed. We devoured steaming hot Takoyaki (octopus) balls, took off our shoes before entering a traditional Japanese restaurant, observed the tranquility and peacefulness at the Meiji Shrine, strolled the boutiques and fun shops in Harajuku, and savored sushi at a nearby restaurant. (Thankfully, watching all that anime in high school has come handy! I remember more Japanese than I thought).

We don’t have much time left and there’s more to explore. Will give more updates upon our return.

Mata ne!

你好 Nei hou, from Hong Kong!

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one of my fav meals to have in HK

Tonight, we slurped delicious won ton noodles from a dai pai dong, savored real Chinese desserts like sesame soup, and walked through countless shops for our favorite snacks.

With each day, I am mesmerized at the complete mesh of cultures, like robust tea so beautifully paired with English milk, to form the perfect combination of lai cha.  Or the trams and trolleys traveling down the streets, carrying loads of Chinese passengers to and fro.  Or the old Eastern medicine herb shops nestled between glitzy department stores and boutiques.

It is a wonder, a sight to smell, to taste, and to explore.

Thus, please pardon the lack of updates on the blog for the time being, as I am currently traveling abroad.  =)

But I’ll have plenty more adventures (and nursing stories) (aaanndddd kit kat reviews, i hope!) to update you with upon my return.

~ ~ ~

P.S.

Anyone have any recommendation on MUST SEE’s/ MUST EAT’s  in Hong Kong?

And any must see’s in Tokyo? Going there for a quick layover and have 1-2 days to explore. Go! =D

We be the Only ones

The lush hills along Hana Highway

The lush hills along Hana Highway

“So you’re a nurse in the hospital?” he asked, biting into his appetizer.

We were at a dinner celebrating the accomplishments of some pretty amazing people, all affiliated with the hospital. Thus, it wasn’t surprising he assumed I worked there too.

“I am, but now I work in the community full time,” I explained.

He blinked, a bit bewildered.

“When people lose their job, become uninsured, and they’re forced to go to a different clinic because their old doctor only takes private insurance, it’s not their fault, you know? Or when refugees are resettled in the States and they’re traumatized from war, can’t speak English, and get lost in the healthcare system, they need a place to go that understands them. Or the at risk, teen mothers who might not be able to afford the best hospital around….to me, I think they still deserve to have the best healthcare.  Because if they can’t afford the best, or it’s unaccessible to them, then you have to go to them, to be where they are.”  Well, that’s the way I see it.

“We need more people like you,” he nodded, like he understood it. Or seemed to.

Shrug. Continue reading