Beijing & The Medical Check-up

Remember a blog entry or two ago I said that I had to go to Beijing for a medical check? Well, that was the start of a very interesting week. It was over a week ago. I went up in the company van with A., another wife. (I am no longer the only wife, there are now three! A. just went back to Denmark for 2 months though, so actually we are two.) A. is incredibly brave because she is going to have a baby here in April. She has been to the hospital in Shijiazhuang a few times and she says it is very modern, clean and all the staff were nice and excited about her having the baby there. (This is a country of a billion people, surely they have tons of experience!)

Anyway, the drive was only 3 hours and the traffic was light. I was looking forward to it because I really wanted to see if the countryside was the same as around the airport, and yes, I can tell you that between our city and Beijing, it is all exactly the same – tons of small villages and tons of fields. We saw a lot of sheep grazing on the fields. We arrived in Beijing in the late afternoon and were taken to the same hotel that DH and I stayed in our first night here. Actually, I think I was even in the same room.

The next morning we went for our check-up. The clinic was in a small building, about 4 stories high. ( I was expecting a monstrous hospital.) It was very easy. I had a Chinese Foreigner Visa check-up before I left Canada and it was much more thorough. Here, they basically just took my blood pressure, height & weight, did a blood test for HIV, an ECG and a chest x-ray. It was over in 30 minutes.

The trip wasn’t as exciting as I thought it was going to be because we were in the suburbs of the city the whole time. Hard to tell, though, because there are so many high-rises spread all over you can’t see the classic outline of a downtown of a city.

Back in Shijiazhuang, I discovered that I had caught the traditional Christmas season cold that I always get. At least I only had two days at work before the weekend, and a trip back to Beijing!


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