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My Turning Point exam wasn't nearly as dreadful as I feared.

When I arrived at 9, there were already 22 people before me, mainly women from their mid-forties to mid-fifties I'd guess, judging from wrinkles and greyness. I saw one much older lady, but I think she was a doctor. Shortly after I arrived, a tall and swarthy man came in, so I wasn't the only foreigner there.

I didn't wait long before the first test - the barium x-ray. I'm glad it was first because I was nervous. MJ projectile vomited when she had to do it. Tod had one last year and said it was difficult and nasty. But I didn't have any trouble with the fizzy stuff or the thick barium shake they made me drink. It went right down and stayed where it belonged. I didn't even feel like burping.

The man running the machine had a patter that never stopped and alternated, rapid fire, between descriptions of what he was doing, "I'm turning the table a little to the side now", and orders for me, "I want you to turn a little to the side now." Unfortunately the distinction was sometimes lost on me and I moved when I shouldn't or turned the wrong way. He was frustrated but we flew through it only a little more slowly than other subjects.

The rest of the examination was a breeze: height & weight, urine sample, medical history, consultation with the doctor - who did nothing but wield a stethoscope - then off for an electrogardiogram, blood draw, retinal photography and a chest xray.

I was out of there in 70 minutes.

Now for the important part...what did I wear and who did I meet during my roujin debut? I chose an ensemble that expressed my casual attitude about the whole affair (yes, yes, roll your eyes): a faded rusty plaid home-made skirt, an embroidered purple t-shirt, a brown hooded sweatshirt, and brown clogs. Despite my sartorial elegance, I didn't really meet anyone. The staff were friendly and pleasant but busy. Okada-san was always before me in line. We exchanged some small smiles of encouragement, but didn't speak a word. Neither did anyone else.

I guess I'll have to find my old-lady social circle elsewhere.

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