YES. … you read my title correctly. This week has left little for the imagination. On Thursday after eating a seemingly “normal” Chinese lunch, I became sick at work. It was initially diarrhea but then became vomiting. I told my boss that I wanted to go home and so we left maybe 20 minutes later. Well, once I got to my apartment I had to walk up 4 flight of stairs. I became lightheaded after the first one ! It’s raining and my staircase is open to the outside, so I am leaning against the wall and then slowly sitting on a step. GUYS….I literally almost passed out on the stairs. I was taking deep breaths…imagining my Mama finding a switch and hopping a plane to China because I’m “acting like I don’t have sense”! I barely made it inside my apartment before a backside explosion. I was leant over the sink smelling tea tree oil trying to stay alert. I was drenched with sweat, clammy and light headed. I mustered my strength and made it to the bed where I woke up a few hours later.
Yep….I passed out. When I woke up, I spoke with my boss who requested I go to the hospital. The final decision was “it’s her stomach”. Uh..yeah, you think??? I was sent home with a prescription and my own mental note to hydrate..hydrate..hydrate.
Okay, so the next day, my boss takes me to the police station for paperwork. We had gone to the station weeks ago to register my address and fill out other paperwork. I will also state that my boss’ English is very basic.
At the police station, the boss and owner of my school are speaking with the officer I assume is the police chief. They would have heavy conversation and then would stop and look at me. My spiderman instincts were telling me that something wasn’t right. I literally was eyeing the situation and sipping tea like Kermit…
After at least 2 hours, the owner takes me back to work and drives off. He speaks no English so I couldn’t ask him any questions. I did not see my boss for the rest of the evening so sent her a text asking, ” is it okay?”…basic English, right? She calls and explains to me, ” NO problems”.
The next day at 10 am, we go back to the station where she tells me a translator will be coming. He will ask me questions regarding why I am in China and etc. I’m looking at her like…hmmmmmm. Okay, lady. The translator gets there and explains to me that this interview must be videotaped so we have to leave to another police station. He says that my employer did not complete my resident permit in time so they must be “punished”. He stressed that I was NOT being punished. However, procedures must be completed or I would not be able to remain in China.
There were about 5 police officers that came with us to the other station. We were met by more officers. They take me to a padded room for the interview.
They asked me multiple questions…one being if I understood that I’ve breached “China’s Law”. After the interview, I signed documents and then had to stamp my fingerprint on each signature with red dye. I’m thinking we’re done now.
Not at all.
They take me to another room where I have to write my name on this slate. They ask me to stand holding it for a picture. It is then that I realize I am being “booked”!!!!!!!!!
Mentally…I’m saying, “Hold UP. I don’t even have a mug shot in America. I went all the way to China to have my first rendezvous with the law??!” Oh…hot isn’t even the word. After my photo op, we did fingerprinting, blood drug test and urine drug test. I won’t even bother with those details. Let’s just say, I was scared, done, and pissed. My boss was like a mouse in that station.
The translator was really putting in effort to reassure me that I was “not being punished” but my employer would be fined. Excuse me sir, I don’t see her being humiliated…now run along.
The officers were all kind and apparently told the translator to tell me they thought I was beautiful. Unfortunately, I had already shut down and could only muster an annoyed, “Okay. Thank you”. I held on to the little bit of dignity I had and refused to shed the tears that wanted to fall. My response to any communication during this process was a simple “Okay.”
My boss tried to have conversations and assure me that there were “NO problems”. I couldn’t even interact with her.
I can’t even deal with own self right now! Apparently, I came to China and decided to do the most. If it was extra credit, I’d have an A+.
And then I still had to tell my Mama…