My name is Dragriffin and welcome to today’s topic :
Needles and Expats
Beginning the life of an expat seems exhilarating and fun. It is. Having no plan is also quite exciting too. I got this great email from a friend back in Canada where he told me that everyone should experience the freedom of having no plans at least once. And I agree and I thank him for that. I know I’ve been gone for little over a month and a half, but not knowing what will come in 1 month, or even in two weeks is a lot less stressful then one might think. Because whatever comes will come. As they say in Quebec when something unexpected is about to happen, “here, hold my beer and check this out”! That’s the mindset with which I’m attacking this adventure.
I mentioned in an earlier article that I need a work visa to basically work. For that, well, you need to go to the hospital and get poked, tested, measure, scanned and all. They just want to make sure you are not a walking bio-hazard. I didn’t film there anything for the blog. Nor did I take pictures. I don’t like hospitals. This one is not different then others. It’s crowded, I can tell you this much. And they have a BRUTAL efficiency. For the blood test, there was a line up of 10 people at each of the 7 booths. Yes, booths. You sit down, they slap your vein and put in the needle with a brutal, yet expert hand. They scare the blood out of you and before you know it, you are already out the door. Yes, scare because that woman gave me shivers. (O.O) Are you scared of blood or needles? No time for that. Go pass it off outside. At some point, I guess that when you have some many people, you must put aside people’s feelings in order to deliver on what people really need. Medical care. Or just “medical” at this point. “Care” involves some sort of compassion. (**shivers** thinking back of that cold woman…)
There’s quite a lot of things to do to get a work visa. Thank god, I have some help in Canada from none other than my mom (HI MOM!). She’s helping me getting the documents in order (THANKS MOM!). I’m a troublesome child, I’ll admit that. But “Oh how cute I was when I was younger…”. (LOVE YOU MOM!).
This week, one of my roommates left from the apartment I just moved in. She’s not a cockroach. But she’s an expat from Russia. And she’s been very helpful. Aged only 23 years old, this girl has lived more than what people go through by the age of 30. She told me one thing that stuck with me through our many conversations. As an expat, you are alone. You are away from home, family and friends. You need all the help you can get, regardless if it’s from someone across the ocean or from a roommate you barely know. As my English teacher used to say back in high school “Put your pride in your pocket!” New country, new language, new culture. Take all the help you can get. My roommate spent the last 6 years here in China. She came alone. She helped generously a lot of people around her, me included. Cheers to this incredible young lady and thanks for your help. I wish you happy travels and I’m sure we’ll meet again!
That brought me to the second reality of being an expat. Normally it takes longer to realise this, but given that I have another roommate leaving in about three weeks, I understand that expats come and go all the time. You make new friends again, and again, and again. And you see them all go, the same way you will leave at one point too. Eventually, you have a friend almost anywhere you travel too in the future and distance doesn’t matter so much anymore.
PS. Why did you set a Buddha as a featured picture? What’s the link? Well, it comes with the surprises of being an expat. You get all these discoveries all the time and I especially enjoy this picture because I truly felt so small compared to the carving in the cliff. Kinda like when I first started this whole thing. But I’m growing. Maybe one day, I’ll be a mountain. Who knows?
Today’s item on the list :
Make new friends.
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Here, enjoy this nice picture I took at the Summer Palace Park.