Archive for July, 2011

Today, after nearly 12 hours of sleep in order to get me on track, I start my investigation. I have my list of contacts and I’ll start by going to the The First Clinical College of Harbin Medical University and talking to some of the nurses on staff in the maternity ward at the time. There are at least 2 that have agreed to talk to me, but they explained they will need to tread lightly, which I can respect. First I have Nurse Huáng and then I will meet with Nurse Guō. I’m sure they can give my more people to speak with as well. Thankfully, both of them know English so I didn’t have to hire a translator. I already had to spend a good chunk of change. Did you know that outlet converters are surprisingly expensive? Good ones anyway. The cheap ones have a habit of frying your computer or phone or what-have-you. Since I needed one for my laptop, phone, kindle, and my DS (not gonna lie about that one, I’m sure I’ll have some down time where I can get my game on) I bought a voltage converter that has a universal output socket and plug, plus easy input selection switches, and plenty of other cool features. Behold, the LiteFuze 500 WAtt Heavy Duty Voltage Converter Transformer!

Pretty right? But I digress,  I just got overly excited about it. It will come in handy for future travels. Anyway, I am off to investigate a mysterious death. I really feel like I should look as if I have stepped out of a Film Noir. Perhaps I should buy a fedora and khaki-colored trench coat, or maybe I should focus on this for now. I can create a super mysterious outer image later.

And I’m off!


is it racist…

Posted: July 26, 2011 in Uncategorized
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if I think that Chinese children are some of the cutest I have ever seen? I mean, all children are cute, but I feel like these kids just have a certain edge, ya know?

rice and rice

Posted: July 24, 2011 in Uncategorized
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I landed in the airport and promptly fell asleep waiting near baggage claim. I’ve never felt so tired, but I’ve finally made it to my hotel room, a bed has never been more comfortable. I’m going to go to sleep now, possibly for an entire day.

I’ll update as much as possible during this trip. Or at least try to.

Before leaving the airport I stopped and got a quick bite, some of the best ginger chicken over white rice I have ever had. I am certain I won’t get tired of the food here, though I will have to watch my sodium intake, or just drink way more water.

I always feel stifled in a plane. Thousands of miles in a seemingly limitless atmosphere and I am strapped to a seat in some metal contraption. It is almost a tease. I am confined to this chair for at least 18 hours. Sleeping might prove impossible and I doubt I will be able to concentrate enough to write any words that flow as effortlessly as I’d like you to believe. All I can do to pass the time on this flight is read all the other articles that have been written about this doctor or hospital. Things seem off, maybe they have fallen prey to bad editing or censorship, who knows right now. I shouldn’t have this much trouble finding information about a doctor. I feel like I am being lead into continuous dead ends. At least on the way there, while trying to find a direction among all these “leads” I can see things like this:
Sidenote: there is a woman 3 seats back from me who is wearing the most ridiculous outfit. It’s this fuchsia, hooded jumpsuit contraption, and it has footies on it! She’s like a giant baby, but an extremely busty baby with poorly kept hair. And don’t even get me started on her husband/boyfriend, at least that’s what I hope he is because he needs to be getting something out of that arrangement. She seems insufferable and he just sort of looks like droopy dog or a more sad Charlie Brown. If it was possible for Charlie Brown to be more depressed.

After a very long conversation with my editor in chief about the piece and all the information relating to China, I ended up quitting. I want to find out so much more about everything I have gathered. I am so compelled to follow this as far as it will take me and my boss just doesn’t understand. I bought my ticket and arranged my lodging.

You see, Clara finally called me back and everything she told me just made me want to find out what is really going on. She said everything stinks of secrets and cover ups. Maybe there is something amiss in the medical system we need to worry about. I have a lot of disposable income thanks to a lofty inheritance from my grandmother on my father’s side. We were never close to her, but she felt the need to leave money to us.  So I can afford to take this trip, and if I can produce an amazing expose I should have no problem finding jobs after I get back.

I gotta go get everything organized, I leave so soon. I just had to tell someone, but other than Jane there aren’t many people to tell. You will have to suffice, people of the internet.

I’ll have to do some touristy things once I get the article done, like this for example:

I think we can agree that whether you avoid tourist-like areas or not, this is something worth seeing.I stole this photo from an article about China from an old National Geographic. I had a subscription when I was younger, dreamed of becoming and writer that traveled all over the world, writing about everything I experienced, both enlightened and dark. I like to think of this as step 2.

I don’t think what I am doing is crazy.

I keep my countenance,

I remain self-possessed.

Except when a piano, mechanical and tired

Reiterates some worn-out common song

With the smell of hyacinths across the garden

Recalling things that other people have desired.

Are these ideas right or wrong?

This is one of my favorite sections from any poem by T.S. Eliot. It is from the poem Portrait of a Lady, an obvious allusion to Henry James. The poetry I like is very few and far between. Selective. I think part of it is the bitterness for my lack of flare for it. His work fueled me through most of college. I hadn’t been interested in him much until I read his biography for one of my classes, then I became obsessed. But that obsession eventually turned into disappointment in myself. Now that disappointment has peaked. I haven’t done anything worthwhile. Nothing worth anything. There’s just a long string of lackluster articles and an unfinished novel.

I am entering some sort of quarter-life crisis. I need to do something. I can’t keep going through my days like this. I feel like i’m wallowing in self-pity. It’s not that hard to change, is it?

new awareness

Posted: July 5, 2011 in Uncategorized
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I am still researching that doctor from the medical malpractice case. I have made calls to China and got a hole of some interesting information from a former classmate who works for NBC news now. Clara, she’s a low-level researcher, but she has plenty of connections.

Anyway, I wanted to look up more information about the doctor’s history in China. It’s very…unusual. After that other woman died in the exact same manner he went to jail for 5 years. Now he is practicing in america, where he essentially killed another woman. This, to me, creates a pattern. That event should have been a one-time mistake.

Clara said she can’t find almost any other information on him. Just that he’s a doctor who worked at the First Hospital of Harbin Medical University. We put in some calls to some other doctors, but there was a language barrier issue and a lot just refused to speak about him, some didn’t remember. It was 19 years ago.

Clara agrees that there is something going on, she jokingly cried out “cover up!” After a little while we both felt uneasy as we realized that there was a very real possibility of that being the truth. Sounds crazy, but at the same time isn’t that something every journalist looks for? Clara said she is going to check a few more links and will get back to me.

It’s…weird. I have a very strong urge to learn everything I can about this. Perhaps journalism is changing the way I look at things. I didn’t even intend to do this.