10 October, 2016

Five Minute Friday - "Test"

Thanks to Paula at Smidgens, Snippets and Bits, I am trying this weekly challenge from Heading Home. I'm supposed to link at the bottom of her post, but my linking has been tested lately (see what I did there?) so I can only hope it will work.

Each week she Kate posts a different one-word prompt, and the challenge is to write for 5 minutes. This week the word is "Test".

The word "Test" brings to mind many things, especially as I am starting a new job as an English teacher in Beijing this week - My entire life is a test right now, and I'll be testing students, or preparing them for tests. Tests. Everything gears on the test, doesn't it?

But just getting here, to this country a full 12-hours ahead of my home timezone in the US, was a test in itself. There were so many hurdles to just getting our visas, and figuring out what we would be doing, and what to pack or not pack. 

Several weeks into the process, a sense of peace came over me. We were committed for "at least one year". After that, if we hated it, the school would pay our return trip. We both have student loans, and were hoping to begin paying them off by saving money in a lower coast-of-living location, so had figured 5 years was a reasonable expectation.

In my private meditation time, I suddenly felt confident about 10 years. Beijing could be our new home. A new start.

I mentioned this to my husband, and he said that he, too had come to that sense of peace with our decision to move to China.

Less than a week later, the tests started in full:
We can't get a medical check up in the US, which is required for the work visa.
Wait! It may not be necessary.
Oh yes, it's definitely needed.
We can't get an answer about where in the US is a qualified facility.
My car is not sold yet.
Finances don't transfer from China easily. What to do?
Still no answer on the medical check up. Can I buy tickets with confidence?
Time is getting short. We are committed to break our lease at a certain date, so we HAVE to move!
Okay, maybe just get the tourist visa and finish in China.

All the while, I had to remind myself: This is right. This will work. The confusion may just be a different culture at work, and a symptom of my American-ness.

We are here, and there are new tests daily, but it is good.


  1. Couldn't they have told you, before you left the Us, you would need a medical check up for a work visa? Yes, you are being tested. I am glad you are going to write with me!

    1. They knew we would need one, but what exactly the requirement is and how it has to be carried out keeps changing so fast that no one is sure what the current requirements actually are. And communication between agencies appears to be non-existent. It is unnecessarily complicated.

    2. We tried for months to get the medical check in the States. Nobody at the embassy would answer, to even tell us where we could get a certified check up. (Because everything needs to be certified or verified by a Chinese official. Even our marriage license.)


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