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  • Writer's pictureAnja

The transparent person. Yes? No? Maybe?

After our adventure in the snow village, we arrived safely in Changchun. And soon everyday life had us back.

That includes keeping our appointments, of course.

For our last routine check, we wanted to go to the hospital 10 days after the snow village. There is the international practice where we have to register.

We didn't get there at all.

We were stopped at the entrance and not allowed to go any further.

Reason: According to our "green arrow" we were supposed to have been in a risk area.

More precisely, in the city of Mudanjiang, in Heilongjiang province. This province is next to our province Jilin and was declared a risk area at that time.


Screenshot with star.

The text says: You have been in the following places for more than 4 hours within the last 14 days.


However, we had researched very carefully that we would not leave our province with our snow excursion in order to avoid exactly such a mess. Unfortunately, it didn't help us at that moment, they wouldn't let us pass and we couldn't keep our appointment.

In order to make a new appointment, we need a "clean" green arrow, so we let a nurse guide us to the Coronatest Centre. However, the kind woman walked past the normal centre to the back corner of the property. Here we were then tested in the high-risk patient corner. The test, although the same, cost twice as much, but wasn't any faster....

With that, our part was done, we had to wait for our result, which always comes in the afternoon, then by mail.

Until then, Denny and I checked again whether we might have crossed the border by mistake, or if we hadn't looked properly the first time.

No, we can't reproach ourselves, we looked correctly and didn't ski across any provincial borders on our trip.


Small red circle: Snow village

Large red circle: Risk area

Grey line: Provincial border


So what was the trigger for our little star?

We noticed, even while we were there on holiday, that we only had mobile phone signal in some corners and also, for example, at the top of the mountain. Down in the valley, it was very sparse. We had Wi-Fi in the hotel.

We assume that due to the lack of large cities in the area, although Changchun does not count as a large city in China, so rather due to the lack of larger villages, transmission masts were dispensed with. So our mobile phones probably dialled into the masts in the neighbouring province.

So we had discovered the weak point in the Chinese system. All the QR codes and arrows run via the mobile phone network. Accordingly, you must have been where your mobile phone has been dialled in for more than 4 hours. Nobody is interested in the fact that we weren't there.

However, I don't know if we would have had a star if the phones had been left off or in the hotel. But since this was not an option anyway, as we were really in a completely deserted area and also needed a map, it was not an option.

Especially as the mobile phones should be worn on the body in the cold temperatures, otherwise the battery is empty in no time.


In the afternoon we got our test results, and of course we were negative. Surprise, surprise. Who would have thought it, we only had to deal with 10 people during our holiday.


By the way! The star had also disappeared in the afternoon. That gave me a little bit of respect. We had given our mobile phone number to the Coronatest. I thought: "Wow, that's quick and effective.

Denny, or rather a colleague of his, then clarified the situation:

In the afternoon, the city or province was declared no longer a risk area. So it wasn't because of our negative test result.

Screenshot "clean" green arrow


Our appointment at the hospital, for example, only had to be in the afternoon and we would have got in without any problems.


So it's actually not the person who is transparent, but the technology they use.

In the meantime, we bought a tablet here, without a phone card, but with GPS. That had also provided us with the necessary map material and our green arrows in the mobile phone might have escaped unscathed. If something had happened to one of us on the tour, we wouldn't have been able to make an emergency call with the phone anyway. 1. only a signal at the top of the mountain and 2. at the latest when someone at the other end picks up, we wouldn't be able to explain to them what had happened.

Maybe food for thought for our next trips?


So Denny and I know from now on: if there is a star in it, we have to think of something else or take precautions.


Many greetings (clean and without a star)

Anja & Denny

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