Can I just tell you about the Chinese hospital?

Okay, so a lot of cool things have been happening, not least of all the fact that I’m finally in my new home.


The Chinese hospital. We arrived by the busload on the 20th and took our paperwork to the third floor, where we stood in line to get a picture taken that then served to tell every doctor and nurse who we were.

We were then set loose on the third and second floors to play a sort of scavenger hunt of medical examinations. There were about seven things we had to get done in total. Our papers had room numbers on them as well as a bunch of Chinese characters, and so we’d just find the room we needed to be in and stand in line. Fifty of us waiguoren (foreigners) all roaming through a hospital without any supervision.

I started with the blood test. I sat down in front of a nurse who put a tourniquet on my arm and drew blood from the crook of my elbow. No big deal; I give blood, not a problem. BUT THEN SHE STABBED ME IN THE FINGER WITH MY OWN BLOODY NEEDLE! She wanted me to hold the bandage against the spot, but when I moved my other hand to do so, the needle was in the way and it pricked my finger. Then, instead of putting a bandage on it, she kept squeezing it and wiping away the blood with these big Q-tip type things. Finally I had to say, “Maybe you could just put a bandage on it?” Because I’d been sitting there for ten minutes and it should have only taken three. So she put a bandage on it and I left the room and started telling someone about it, and then I started crying because I am a big baby and the nurse had completely stressed me out.

Then I did the urine test. The bathrooms (squat toilets, of course) were covered in pee because apparently the ladies who had gone before me have terrible aim when peeing into cups. I accomplished my own task without making a mess and put the cup onto a tray that was just sitting out in the middle of the hallway with everyone’s cups. So now I’m well aware that everyone else should probably be drinking a lot more water and a lot less pijiu (beer)!

Then: an eye test (they tested me for color-blindness, too. Wonder if I would’ve been deported for that), a doctor looked up my nose and in my ears, my blood pressure was taken and my heart listened to, got a sonogram without any privacy (at one point I sat up on the bed and could see everyone in the hallway which was just awesome because I had my shirt off), and got an X-ray with kind of sketchy lead vests.

Downstairs for a quick teeth check and out the door. A convenience store across the way sold beer, so I tried a new one called Snow (I don’t know why, because drinks here are only cold if you’re lucky). We sat on the hospital steps with our beers. Because that is A-OK in China.

Then a homeless puppy ran up to say hello to us, and since the hospital had its doors propped open for no apparent reason, the puppy (small, white, plumed tail) ran inside and played in the hospital for a bit. Because that is A-OK in China.

This country is confusing and weird and I love it.


5 responses to “Can I just tell you about the Chinese hospital?

  1. i love this blog. i’ve laughed aloud like ten times. and missed you so much it hurts. the hospital ordeal sounds awful yet in hindsight entertaining. the train ride sounds ridiculously long and uncomfortable. dear god i’m so glad i don’t have to pee standing up all the time. and i’m so glad to hear you had a positive experience/adventure in beijing! keep writing!

  2. I love reading about it all and I’m glad to hear you love it. This reminds me how strange it was to live in a country with fewer rules, laws, and regulations (at least in some respects)

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