Here are the Winners of the eChinacities Blog Contest!

Here are the Winners of the eChinacities Blog Contest!
Jun 28, 2013 By

Voting has closed and you, dear readers, have chosen the winners! Our list of top 10 blogs included a diverse range of topics and writing styles, each as enjoyable to read as the other. But before we announce the overall winner, the two runner ups and the five 3rd place contestants, we’d like to thank all of you who participated in this competition.

So who were the lucky winners? After removing duplicate and fraudulent votes (yes, we have a way of checking!) the winners are….

echinacities blog winner

3rd prize (choice between free VIP subscription to eChina Dating for three months, a universal travel adaptor, or a 100 RMB Amazon gift card):

The Content of My Character – chamaflauge
What Chinese Learners Think of English – leshel
Buying an E-Scooter in China – TedDBayer
Hate, Love, Change – You in China – Hylith
Cars! – HoldenColfield

2nd prize (500 RMB Amazon gift card):

Cultural Limbo – Mojo
Chinese Self-Perception – Samsara

And the overall winner is(1,000 RMB Amazon gift card):

My First Visit to a Chinese Hospital! – DaqingDevil

Congratulations DaqingDevil! For all of you who haven’t read it yet, here is the winning blog:

My First Visit to a Chinese Hospital!

Just the other day I was reading an article in a Chinese paper online about doctors and the medical system here in China. My interest had unfortunately been brought about my catching the local version of the flu and it was a brutal reminder that in times like that you really need some expert help and confidence in the system. In the article it told about a young guy who had been misdiagnosed and the doctor had prescribed a rather expensive course of medicines and treatments even though the patient’s illness was terminal as was subsequently found out during a second opinion. The unhappy patient wandered back into the hospital and stabbed the doctor to death in frustration! About 5000 people offered comment on this incident with 800 saying that what the patient did was wrong and the rest basically said “Good job!”

Now my illness wasn’t terminal (although during  a couple of nights I thought I was going to die) but due to the reputation of the medical system and hospitals in particular I wasn’t prepared to admit to myself that maybe I needed to visit a Chinese  hospital! I eventually succumbed and went to the hospital here in my district of Longfeng. The buildings and grounds of the hospital were vast and with my assistant I wandered into the place, greeted by massive corridors, deserted rooms and that Siberian wind blasting through the open doors. As sick as I was I was still observant.

I paid 2 yuan to see the doctor (about $0.30) and followed my assistant down to what I guess was the consulting room. The door was half open and my assistant walked in and beckoned for me to follow. I looked in and the doctor was actually seeing a patient.I said; “Shouldn’t we wait until he has finished with this guy?”

"No, it’s okay," she said! I disagreed. Sheesh! In the room, when I eventually entered and which had 20 foot ceilings and was the size of a badminton court, there was an examining table, a 3 legged stool of about 1955 vintage which was where the patient sat to talk to the doctor and that was about it. The doctor had a computer on his desk and a stethoscope around his neck to give him that professional air I guess. My assistant explained my problems to the doctor who found a thermometer for me to put under my armpit and who then asked me to lift my shirt and he tapped away at my back a couple of times before sitting back down. I might add that an aspect of my flu was that my chest sounded like a chainsaw running out of fuel to an unaided ear so I was intrigued as to what the doc reckons he would be able to hear with a stethoscope! There was some to and fro conversation between my assistant and the doctor after which I asked the big question: What’s he reckon? He says you’re sick she told me!

Having established that I was sick we waited for the thermometer to register a fever and in that time another doctor wandered into the consulting room. He struck up a conversation with me in Chinese and of course I understood not a word of what he was saying. My assistant translated for me and said that this doctor had his dream come true meeting an English speaking foreigner in the hospital and that he was quite overjoyed to see me. I thought he was going to ask me for an English lesson right there and then but maybe he sensed that I probably was not feeling too well evidenced by my hacking cough, snotty nose, fevered brow and unhappy looks. I reckon he could have made a similar diagnosis as his colleague without too much trouble and without a stethoscope. The consulting doctor had a look at the thermometer and confirmed I had a temperature then put the thermometer back in its stainless steel container ready for the next patient. Lucky they don’t check your temperature by placing the thermometer under your tongue I thought, picturing the look that might appear on a patient’s face as he tasted something unusual on the little glass tube after it had been under my armpit for 10 minutes! The doctor scribbled out a prescription – well I say scribbled because they write in Chinese characters and you would need to be reasonably neat writing them wouldn’t you? One false stroke and who knows what you might end up taking 3 times a day! Anyway we went to the hospital pharmacy on the way out and we were followed by the doctor still pursuing his dream ( and me) yabbering away, still in Chinese until he realized that perhaps the dream was walking out the door. He said goodbye by saying “Hello!” and that about sums it up. Everybody evidently knows “Hello” and “Bye-bye” and walking down a street in any of the areas here you will hear “Hello” thrown at you by passers-by and from open windows of passing cars. I always yell back “Nihao” which is hello in Chinese and that throws them into fits of laughter. Oh yeah, the foreigner entertainment continues.

The medicine at the pharmacy cost me about 50 yuan (about $8) and Erin (my assistant, I better give her a name) told me the dosage I should take and then said that the medicine we buy at the hospital pharmacy is somewhat stronger and better quality than what you buy at the local chemist! I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the manufacturing company was the same and that she might be wrong. Chinese are given, and still get, a heap of misinformation about many things and in some adult classes I teach I get incredulous looks when I shoot down one of their little beliefs. For those readers that would like to see just how wealthy a Chinese Governmental pharmaceutical company is here’s a link:

Back outside in the freezing wind I taxied back home, took the prescribed pills, rested that afternoon missing just 1 class and was up and back at work next morning. I still felt a long way from 100%, maybe about 66% but ultimately the hospital visit and the pills took me from the Dark Side to a better place. Last week my mate had an appendectomy. That’s another hospital and another story!

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Keywords: eChinacities Blog Contest Winners


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I got a rock. B]

Jun 28, 2013 13:06 Report Abuse



I think it is great that Ted gets to be a VIP and will probably get a date or 90 of them over the next 3 months

Jun 28, 2013 11:54 Report Abuse



Wow! I won!? Thanks to those who voted. It did become a war of attrition between Mojo and myself over the past few days and Chamaflauge has hit a truthful note about number of friends having a bit to do with it. I confess that after receiving an email (which everybody got) saying we should get all our friends and relatives to vote that I ended up doing that. Apologies! Maybe next time the judging can be done differently. I thought some of the entries were very good and in fact I voted for MOJO which, while fair-minded, might have cost me first prize but I certainly thought it was well written as was the entry by Chamaflauge. I would like to also mention the blog by Samsara and mArtiAn, both of which I thought were excellent blogs. I'm not sure whether views and comments translates to a better written blog because in the end you can look at a blog and read it, even make a comment because you have empathy with the writer, but the vote might not still go your way. The fickleness of the reader / voter. Political parties are experts in that area. I would like to add that while just 1 blog from me was selected for the competition I did submit about 5 during that time, I think, and even after the competition, I have continued to submit blogs to hopefully entertain the readers. I am saying that I enjoy writing not as a means to win prizes. However, recognition is important. Many thanks to for the opportunity to submit my blogs and of course for the prize which I will put to good use. Thanks also to all those that put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboards these days, and submitted so many stories. I am sure you all now know how hard it can be write sometimes. DD

Jun 28, 2013 11:43 Report Abuse



Sorry to be the sore sport but I call B.S. on this.... Chinese Hospital deserves 1rst place and Chinese Self Perception perhaps deserves 2nd...but Cultural Limbo doesn't deserve 2nd. I feel I deserve 2nd... My argument....Look at the views and comments on her article 57 views and only like 3 comments... While I have 135 views and more than 15 comments My article was clearly more engaging to people who came to read it. She just won because she has more friends than I do....That's not how a writing competition is won.

Jun 28, 2013 10:50 Report Abuse



Congratulations everyone. I forgot to vote myself, but I enjoyed reading some of your blogs.

Jun 28, 2013 07:34 Report Abuse