Monday, May 08, 2006

Thoroughly Tested Alien

Refreshed of mind but tired of body I returned to work this morning after a fun week with friends. As I strolled past my usual breakfast street seller I bought myself a healthy fried bun to see me through till lunchtime.

Arriving on campus I found a sea of people all holding their medical forms ready for the yearly examination, all empty stomached. Still, I followed the crowd with my form in hand towards what I was unaware was going to be the examination to last a lifetime.

As people shifted happily from queue to queue, we had every part of us prodded and poked, screened and tested like I've never seen before, all in view of everyone else in line for whom those ahead made for a world of entertainment. They had only minor problems with me as they attempted to attach four suction cups to my chest as I was chained by both feet and wrists to medieval looking probes. Unfortunately, my chest doesn't conform to the norms of a Chinese chest in terms of hirsutedness. As they appeared to ponder whether to shave my chest, my Chinese strained at the seams and only my quick memory retrieved the sign language for 'don't you bloody dare' and saved my fine mane. With a suitable quantity of yellow gunk they attached the probes and assessed that my heart is doing roughly what it should.

My first ultrasound confirmed that I was not with child, however they did give me withering looks when they saw that I was with fried bun.

It seemed that I was the only person to turn down the chest X-ray which was sat in a rusty old bus where people queued right next to the machinery prior to being zapped. That, I felt, I could do without.

A plethora of other tests proved that I'm still alive and I returned somewhat more battered and bruised than before to my office to start the week afresh.

Non-chronologically, last night I had one of the most enjoyable meals I've had in Beijing. Incredibly simple with only three dishes, its pleasure was obtained by sitting outside at 11.00 at night on a pleasant balmy evening, relaxing with a cold lager. With crowds milling around noisily in this makeshift outside eatery, this was the perfect way to end the holiday.


Anonymous said...

You failed to mention you had the medical in front of everyone else when we spoke last. Hahahahahahaha

Sara said...

Congratulations on not being with child--AND you're alive. Those are true feats. What a weird carnival.

Unknown said...

SB. Yeah, that was a little strange.

Sara, I'm not sure I could ask for much more. Let the show continue.