Guilin: My third near-death experience in China
Guilin Travel Blog› entry 128 of 129 › view all entries
I arrive in Guilin and head south directly to Yangshou. Iâ��ve already been to Guilin. I traveled here in the fall of 1991 and met a Cantonese speaking student who took me around town and let me stay with his roommates in his dorm at the university. I was a big hit at the university, not least because at the time I spoke Cantonese but not (at the time) Mandarin.
I intended to see yangshou this time. The very day I arrived, my fever reached the level where I felt the need to see a doctor. I was coughing up vast amounts of liquid as well. The hostel sent a house doctor to my room.
I woke up the next morning (having never expecting to), and felt almost normal apart from the raging infection in my lung.
The doctor let me rest for most of the day and decided I should remain in hospital for a few days of observation. Each evening my symptoms of numbness and panic seemed to return. Then the excitement began. On the third day, I received a bill for some few thousand US dollars. At the end of my long voyage, it was way beyond what I had. The bill was obviously grossly inflated. I was to be held hostage at the hospital until payment was made. After a few phone calls between the hospital and my parents (I was not allowed to talk to them), they (also not having the money) decided to involve the State Department who eventually negotiated the bill to a more reasonable (but still inflated) amount. After a wire transfer amost two weeks later, I was free to go. (I found out later after being reunited with my family that I had been falsely accused by the hospital staff of hitting nurses, probably as a way to squeeze more money out of me and my family).