Yesterday, we spent almost four hours at the Guangdong International Travel Healthcare Centre (GITHC). It is one of the steps you have to take in order to become a resident of Guangzhou. And we need to be a resident of Guangzhou in order to get the type of visa that allows us to leave and come back to China during our time here. Quite an important visa. Remember all those trips throughout SE Asia we have planned?
In order to visit the GITHC you must have an appointment. Appointment does not mean the same thing in China that it does in Canada.
After waiting patiently with everyone who also have an appointment, you get registered and pay an outrageous fee before being sent across the street for your “health exam”. It is best described as a “health exam circuit”. Carrying your forms you move from one exam room to another. Papers in basket, go in room, poke and prod, check, take your papers to the next exam room basket and repeat. Try that 10 times with other people sharing the space and you start to understand what a rat made to run a circuit might feel like.
Oh and another interesting bit we learned from this adventure, Guangzhou services close for lunch. No exceptions. Got your form in a basket waiting your turn? Sorry. Come back after lunch. So technically, it took five hours, not four to get our health exam completed. Check.