Saturday, August 20, 2011

health check and local myths

One of the first steps to getting an Alien Registration Card (ARC) is to get a health check in order to obtain a work visa which is needed to get the ARC. Alex, the principal's brother, another go-to guy and the head of another school campus took us to the hospital in Hsinchu. Supposedly you should go to public hospitals for the form because the government won't accept forms from the private hospitals due to the fact that if you pay enough money, they will give you a completed health check form. There is actually a room for government health screenings where a whole bunch of people were filling out forms. Some of the forms had English, there was one that was only in Chinese. This is how I found out that Taiwan actually has a different calender, The Republic of China calender. As it states the calender started the year the Republic was formed. 2011 is actually the year 100 in Taiwan. When I was filling out my paperwork, I had to put down my birth year as 77. From the first room we had to move to several different rooms to get things checked off. A very brief exam to get my general health and body info then to radiology to get a x-ray and then a blood sample. All this cost me like $1420 NT. Alex told me that not long ago teachers were required to give a urine and stool sample. They literally give you a plastic cup, unlike the sealed ones in America. You will also have to buy medicine to force yourself. So glad I don't to do that. I was also told that the Philippino workers have a separate hospital they go to for their health checks where they are required to give stool samples which was why we didn't see any of them in the hospital we were going to. Also required of us was 2 passport sized photos which they had a convenient machine that took it and you could see yourself making it super awkward when taking the photo... So cheap it was like $150 NT which is around $3 USD for 4 passport photos. So much more expensive in America.

Afterwards as we are heading home Alex pointed out the Five Finger Mountain which is called that because the mountain looks very similar to the knuckles of a hand. There was a story involving the Monkey King and his punishment from Buddha. The Monkey King had done something very bad and so Buddha grabbed him in heaven and shoved him all the way down to earth. Buddha's hand then turned into stone and became a mountain that trapped the Monkey King for thousands of years. In Taiwan the Five Finger Mountain is the mountain in the myth.

Five Finger Mountain

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