there are almost no words

Posted: August 17, 2011 in Uncategorized
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I know it has been quite awhile since I last update and for that there are very good reasons. I found the place after days of searching. That building, whatever that facility is exactly has captivated all of my attention. I tried getting in, but I couldn’t even get to the parking area. I have been sitting under a tree nearby watching (maybe 100 yards), taking notes on the people walking in and out, trying to get glimpses through the windowed rooms and hallways. If I didn’t know better I would assume it was the Pentagon, but it’s clearly a medical facility of some kind. There are people in lab coats going in and out of the building and in between different stations. But there are also armed guards. I just…what is this place?

I need more information and I don’t know where to get it. This country is far more secretive than America, and the language barrier doesn’t help. Maybe I need to go back to the hospital. If this is a medical facility someone has to know about it. Right? I tried taking a photo with my camera but it always turns out blurry or like there’s a glitch with the image.

My regular camera malfunctions too, maybe there is some weird polarity in this area, like with magnetic fields that occur or when solar storms disrupt satellites. I don’t know, never paid much attention in earth science.

If I don’t learn anything I’m coming back with binoculars and a notebook.

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i feel like a stalker

Posted: August 6, 2011 in Uncategorized
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After finding out about the facility the other day I tried to go find it. While looking over a map off a side street I saw him. Dr. Zhao was walking down the street, briefcase in hand. I thought these sort of coincidences were left to film or literature. I followed him from a reasonable distance, at least by half a block. He walked very briskly and determined, expecting people to move out of his way. He took a phone call, very quick and then walked into a bar on the side of an alley. I followed him in, it was easy to hide, let me tell you. Bars are usually dark, but this one was so dark I almost couldn’t see tables or chairs around me. I was annoyed that I couldn’t even take notes, but I did take this (sorry about the poor quality):

He greeted a man near the head of the bar and followed him into a separate room. I had no access to it so I just waited until he left. I sat for close to an hour, stirring my water nervously. The bartender, surprisingly, was a white man. He was eastern European from what I gathered by his accent, I didn’t rally press him on it. His name was Michal and he was fairly friendly. Normally I would have asked him more about himself since he seemed like a fascinating man, but I’m on a mission already. Though I did learn he knows this city like the back of his hand, he nearly lived in the streets before he found this job.

I asked him how often the doctor came in here. Twice a week, always at the same time and meets the same person. His boss is the one that lets them use that side room. He doesn’t know why.

Dr. Zhao left and I followed him again, but he got in a cab and I lost him.

Now I am back in my hotel room. I am mentally drained and part of me wants to give up on this.

notes, part 2

Posted: August 3, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Things got very…unusual today.

1. I went to the University hoping to find some more information about Dr. Zhao. Basically found a labyrinth of information that is nearly impossible to navigate. First off, getting into school records is harder to do than I thought. I imagined a dusty basement that was by no means guarded. No…not in China. It was all digitized and in a very secured room. Movies lied to me. Luckily, there is always someone, somewhere that you can bribe. And, this is where movies stand true in this situation, the janitor was perfect.( sidenote: our american dollar is not worth very much after exchange rates)This would have been amazing if the files hadn’t been in Chinese. I should have been more prepared, maybe taken a quick language class or something. This pocket Chinese-English dictionary is useless to me. I just…frustration!

2. I did find his picture in a hallway lined with photos of notable alumni. There was a doctor in the same class as him who is now and teacher there. So I decided to track him down. He was in his office reading over something when I showed up. He was not at all eager to talk to me, but when I did ask him about Dr. Zhao he had no idea who I was talking about. I told him the picture was next to his, but he just shrugged and ushered me quickly out of his office. The pressure of his hands on my back almost turned my stomach. I have never had that reaction before now.

3. This was the most important thing today. When I got back to my room there was a note under my door. The handwriting was terrible, but readable. All it said was “He’s here.” And there was an address and facility name that followed. I wasn’t lucky enough for it be tracked down on the internet. I suppose more sleuthing is in order. But I do feel more like I am in a movie. Maybe I am. Is any of this real?

Despite all this travel and investigating I sort of feel like I am losing myself. It’s not as if this case is distracting me from other interests, but like the person I am is fading into the background of everything that is happening. When I get back to the hotel room this is all I can think about. I haven’t even tried to talk to Jane.

notes, part 1

Posted: August 1, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Here is what I have learned so far:

1. Nurse Huáng is the nicest woman I have ever met.

2. The death of Mrs. Revelin  appears as if it is a unfortunate normality, but it just shouldn’t have happened. The anesthesiologist, Dr. Zhao, is the one responsible, according to Nurse Huáng. She said that during childbirth anesthesiologists are only necessary when an epidural is required or when a C-section is needed to be preformed. With these procedures being so incredibly common there is almost no margin for error. Within minutes of her son being born her vitals plummeted and she died. Tests revealed it was the anesthesia that did her in. Specifically, a fatal reaction due to the monitor that controlled the amount of medication sent through the catheter spiking and doubling the amount just after the baby left the birth canal. She basically overdosed.

3. Dr. Zhao is like a ghost. Nurse G explained that he was brought in as a consultant for another case, but due to some rushing going on in the trauma ward he was brought in to place some epidurals and he was happy to do it. Mrs. Revelin was the only one who died though. When I tried to track him down at his hospital on the other side of town there was no record of him there. Which is beyond unusual. I checked to see if he used another name by chance. No such luck. Nurse G said he went to Harbin Medical University to get his doctorate in medicine, so tomorrow I will start there.

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.