I recently had the unfortunate experience of getting my blood taken in a Chinese hospital. My health is fine… or at least it was when I went into the hospital – I’m not sure about it now that I’ve been to sanitary hell and back though.
To imagine this situation accurately, picture the room from the first Saw film, but the size of a tennis court. In the middle of the side wall, add a glass window similar to the teller at a movie theatre. Behind the glass are two 17-year-old Chinese girls who are learning how to take blood by trial and error… (Good news and bad news: Fortunately, they have lots of practice, because taking blood is the standard method of diagnosing anything and everything. Unfortunately, these brainiacs ended up taking blood because they failed their middle-school completion exams and went to a 2-year preparatory program to be doctor’s aides.)
Now to this setting, add about 200 people. Half of them are sick, and the other half are unnecessary space occupiers in order to reaffirm the ever-too-real stereotype that Chinese people never do anything alone. (A student will leave class with a stomachache [ridiculous in the first place, I know] and need a friend to accompany her to the doctor’s). All of these people are crowding around the ‘ticket window’ like a bunch of high-school girls buying tickets to the midnight show of Twilight. In no line whatsoever, they are shoving their bare arms through the window as soon as the last person takes their arm out. After giving blood, a cotton swab is provided to help stop the bleeding. Of course, when the bleeding does stop, there is no need for the now-bloody swab, which is thrown onto the floor where is rests indefinitely as a biological weapon directly targeting my mental well-being. This isn’t the most pressing threat to your health however, because all of a sudden, a giant tetanus wheelbarrow barrels by carrying what appears to be the oldest and dustiest personal computers in the world.
So…What’s the difference between a Chinese hospital and a Chinese train station?
NOTHING! Except a Chinese hospital is full of sick people!