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China: How It All Began – Sysiphus‘ Toil

Published: 12.4.2014
At the airport, I get in the bus heading to my university. There are always traffic jam in Beijing. I have a lot of time to think. How it was back then. I had already settled, bought several necessities to get by… and then I just had been waiting for my roommates to show up.

It was not just about my curiosity. The receptionists were not able to tell me when and how registration for school works. For a while, I was just walking aimlessly until I found an office. It was closed. Of course. According to the receptionists, my roommate knows when it will open again. This time (according to the instructions in my letter of acceptance) showing late for registration would send me back home right away. Ha ha. My classmates arrived even several weeks after the last deadline.

Peking

The roommate came like a tornado. German. Had I known that she hides antidepressants in her cupboard, I would not take her that seriously. I was rather confused that she was like a sunniest sunshine. A few minutes later she seemed that she is about to cry. The important thing was that she had information regarding registration. Thus I could go to register and I felt relief.

Peking

If you do similar bureaucracy in  China you will think that the persons responsible for it do it for the first time in their life. You will hope that they do it also for the last time, at least for you. As one of the few I had a half-year scholarship and I was not within the tables. It turned out, that I did not need a complicated examination (some of my classmates, however, had to do it one more time in other cities). I submitted all required documents, including eight passport photos. When, several days later, I returned she seemed that she don’t know whats going on. She rebuked me for not giving her any photos. For a while I was confused. When I asked her with my broken Chinese, to look one more time, suddenly the photos appeared.

Peking

Well, I had to do one more thing, a bank account. For about tenth time I filled the same form, because instead of dash I put there pound. And later it turned out that I have to buy Chinese SIM card. Across the street, she they said. I was about to tatter all those papers. Fortunately (and, as it turned out later, unfortunately as well) one of the officials took care of me and helped me to fill out about thousand forms, come back to the bank with brand new SIM card and finish all the procedures.

Peking

Then I thought that it is a real Sisyphus’ toil . I could not believe that when I will go to China again, it will be worse and I will go around campus for dozen times. And still, so far I enjoy a Beijing ride, have no idea about what is coming because one just tries to get rid of bad memories. Again, this time, I cannot wait how everything will turn out…

Text/photo: Hana Bašová



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