Well, isn’t funny that most of us reflect on life towards the end of another year? Perhaps it has to do with having time off around Christmas.
Some of you have read my post on my experience with breast cancer. I am pleased to report that it is the long awaited 5 years mark. Why is it significant? According to the experts, if you reach 5 years post treatment, the prognosis is bright.
I was preparing to have a celebratory party after the last check-up. It was a month ago and I still did not have a party. Why? You may well ask. Firstly, they have not officially discharged me yet as my bone density was slightly down due to the hormonal treatment. Secondly, I thought I’d better not jump the gun and wait for the final test.
Enough of that!
This year, I have travelled with some of my family to a beautiful part of China and visited Chengdu and the Jiuzhaigou National park .
The park or reserve is amongst the pristine mountains, 3 hours from Tibet. It is 3600 metres above sea level . While we were heading to it in the tour bus, the tour guide was telling stories about people dying from altitude sickness and described some of the symptoms including headaches and breathlessness. But the Chinese government has developed this medicine which prevents altitude sickness. It cost $100 US! A lot of people bought that of course. I was thinking if it was that dangerous, then we will not be allowed to continue without taking the medicine. I did not fall for that.
Yes, I did have headaches and a bit of breathlessness on exertion when we were climbing but it subsided after a day.Was it a scam? You decide!
I have to say that the views literally took my breath away, not the altitude. It was so beautiful, with alpine vegetation, clear lakes and numerous waterfalls and Tibetan architecture spotted amongst the distant mountains.
We had a banquet every evening but 10-12 dishes of various vegetables and hardly any meat. We were practically vegetarians for 10 days!
When we left this beautiful place we were taken to a medicine place where they have Tibetan “see-foo” (master) who are trained in Chi Kung ( a type of energy from within).
They sat people in rows and then this Tibetan man came out and introduced himself as Master somebody or other. I could not recall. He asked for a male volunteer from the audience as he need to lift his shirt to show the effect of chi-Kung. Then he ran his finger down this man’s spine and there was a
sparking sound as he did that, then, he pointed to the red spots along the man’s spine where he had applied the chi-Kung. Well, a lot of people were convinced and he went around diagnosing people and recommended a course of herbal medicine which will cure them of their diagnosed ailment. Some people spent thousands of dollars as they believed it. Sadly, a couple of my cousins were also conned.
Everyone was diagnosed as having liver failure !
Then we were taken to a silk factory which only made silk bed clothes and quilts. No one bought anything and we were kept there for ages as the tour guide had an arrangement with them to keep us there until someone bought something.
As a lot of people have spent thousands already, they were reluctant. I decided to buy a set of silk quilt and covers so we could leave. Everyone clapped when I did that and were so thankful that I “saved” them. I spent $700 US!
All in all, I did enjoy this trip and spending time with family and friends and loved the place. I largely resisted all the scams as I resisted the fear tactic of the ailment etc .
Well, the silk bedding are very comfortable and serve to remind me that people will use all sorts of methods to make money and I do not blame the workers as they probably don’t get paid very much and will get a little bonus if they make a sale.
The lesson learnt is the old cliche, if something is too good to be true, it usually is. There is no miracle drug, whether herbal or not!
Happy New Year everyone, be wise and resist the scammers . They are everywhere !