Pee in the cup please

Today I took a taxi ride with my office manager to a nearby hospital. As part of the process of obtaining a work visa in Korea, you must get a health check up. We arrived there on Friday afternoon around 3 pm. I was prepared for long lines and bureaucratic hassles, but instead found a clean hospital with little or no waiting.

My check up began with me realizing (again) that I’m illiterate here. I don’t know how to complete a basic form. I needed my office manager to write down my address and birth date for me.

I was given a list of questions to review in English about conditions I might have, which she said as a leading question, “No, no no? All no?”. I didn’t actually have time to read the whole list, but I agreed. The questions included malaria, tuberculosis and others. I didn’t notice HIV/AIDS on the list, which was a controversial question in recent years.

My office manager escorted me the waiting areas for four different stops: height, weight, blood pressure. Giving a blood sample. Getting a chest x-ray. Giving a urine sample. Because the nurse at that stop didn’t speak English, it was a bit odd  to me (but maybe not for him), having my office manager explain all the details of how to complete a urine sample: how much to let pass, when to begin catching the pee, and how much to fill the cup.

I was relieved to have this health check completed because my office can not apply for my foreign registration card until this is done and the results are back.

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