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As part of the work visa and living permit application process, I needed to get a physical examination to make sure I hadn't brought any foreign infections into China.

 When filling out the application at the clinic I realized how pointless this was. If I were sick, it was probably from something I caught while living in China for the past two months, not from something I brought from home.

For the exam, I entered six small rooms, answered questions, gave blood, read letters on a wall and had an X-ray taken. And that was it. 

On the way out, I noticed a sign pointing to the clinic. It read "Physical examination" and had an arrow pointing in the direction of the exam area. A closer look revealed the words "for aliens." Physical examinations for aliens. I had to laugh. I'd never thought of myself as an alien before. 
 


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