Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 24 - 8pm - My first jaunt outside

3rd Floor Cafe
Mom heard of the 3rd floor cafe yesterday and wanted a cup of coffee.  I was itching to go out so I accompanied her. 
Mom had fresh orange juice and I had rose milk tea.  She was asking the waiter if the orange juice was fresh and the guy said yes - fresh!  When mom sat at our table, I told her that I wasn't sure if the guy understands the word fresh.  He knew rudimentary English.  All menu items had pictures so it was easy to point and order.  I thought 'fresh' may not be part of his vocabulary.
So I was pleasantly surprised when we heard the whir of some juicing machine and the smell of fresh oranges.  All their juices are made fresh!  Although watch the prices.  Mom's orange juice cost 18rmb (US$3).  Same price point as Starbucks.  We heard a bad review on the food so we skipped on their food items.
The Outside World
I really wanted to walk outside so Mom gave me a tour of her favorite stores and introduced me to English speaking store owners.  It was a nice day out.  It must have been in the mid-70's (Fahrenheit).  It was a typical Saturday afternoon.  Kids running around.  Families out and about doing laundry or just hanging out.  We were out about half an hour.  It was nice to touch the ground with at least my toes.  Saying Hi! to Mother Earth from the opposite side of the planet!  (Awesome!!!!)  Soaking in energy from this side of the world.
On our way back in, as we were getting into the elevator, a lady asked if we were Filipino.  She just got here and wanted to ask someone about their experience and how things work. She was meeting her mom here.  She travelled from the US (TX) and her mom was coming from Manila.  Her mom will arrive 10pm tonight.  She was downstairs to get a meal card. 
Another Fuda fact for newcomers:
The hospital does not take cash for food.  You need a meal card to eat either at the cafe or the delivered food service.  One thing they never tell you up front is that they require a 15rmb deposit for the card.  So the first time you give money (let's say 100rmb), they only load the card 85rmb.  You get your deposit back when you check out and return the card.  The next time you reload the card, they put in the full value.  The cashier doesn't explain this very well.
Back to our new friend... That was an awesome thing she did.  She looked for someone to talk to.  Her only requirements were that we spoke English (most Filipinos do) and that we had the time and inclination to do so.  The first patient (family) she tried was checking out and hurrying so she didn't really get a chance to talk to them.  We hung out with her at the cafe for a couple of hours giving her tips and tricks for newcomers.  When looking for "mentors", find someone who is settled in.  Between treatments, there really isn't much to do.  I find most patients (and companions) very open and friendly.  You'll find them in the lobby, at the hall near the nurse station, or at the shared kitchen when they cook.
By the way, since our new friend had not had lunch yet, she ate at the cafe.  Not too yummy.  Neither was their fresh apple-carrot juice (they had run out of orange).


Linda Hertz said...

It is Sat here around 12 noon. I just spoke with Lisa because she has been seeing Burke at her place. Burke is quite an incredible child. I will try to go to gymnastics this week to say hello.

You are amazing. Keep up those spirits!! I had some tears forming while I was reading your blog...but tears of happiness. I love you and you know I am always thinking about you.

Aggie said...

Glad to know that you and Ninang are adjusting well to your experiences at Fuda. I shared your blog with my Tita Dang so she can share it with friends who might be interested in Fuda. Our prayers for your healing and recovery, and continued good spirits. Love to you and Ninang.