We finally arrived in China October 5th at approximately 11 am, what a trip! Our plane left from LAX at 11:45pm October 3rd destined for Hong Kong. W-Five was at the airport to film TK and I starting off on our journey so we tried to exploit the situation by attempting to get upgraded to business class given the national media exposure created for Cathay Pacific but is was sold out. Too bad because even though I thought Cathay was a good airline, the seats in economy were not very comfortable! The flight to Hong Kong was over 14 hours which seemed much longer! We left in the dark Friday night and didn’t see the light of day until Sunday morning due to the change in time zones! We had a 2 hour layover before boarding another plane for Hangzhou at 7am when the sun was finally coming up. I think I only had about 4 hours sleep as a result of my aching butt and lower back, stiff legs and other problematic MS symptoms but I was able to take in 3 movies! The next leg of the trip was much shorter and we arrived in Hangzhou at 9:30 to be greeted by a driver from the hospital and a translator. After a 40 minute drive we were in the hospital and checking out our room for the next 30 days!
The stem cell treatment centre is located on the 20th floor of the hospital and our room overlooks the city of nearly 4 million people. Looking out our window we see a very diverse cityscape of 30+ story buildings, 3 story dilapidated apartment complexes, an inner city garden plot taking up approximately 10 square blocks and a river canal system meandering through the entire area. It’s all very interesting and unique! It is about 20⁰ Celsius, humid and very hazy outside. Apparently they don’t really get to see blue sky, the moon or stars here.
For the rest of our first day we toured around the facility, met some staff and patients, I was examined by a doctor and basically just got settled in. TK and I took a ride on a 3 wheel cart which is like a chariot towed by bicycle or moped about 3 blocks to a large department store looking for a restaurant...what an experience! You really take your life in your hands on these streets, it’s crazy! Other than the 20th floor of the hospital, you don’t see any other Caucasians and no one speaks English. We finally found the restaurant and managed to order some food, it wasn’t easy but kind of fun. Everyone was looking at us, smiling and laughing. I guess it was quite a unique site to see a big breasted blonde woman being tailed by another blonde gimped up guy hobbling around on a cane. Turned out to be quite an adventure for our first day!