The Olympic year has been a tumultuous one for the Chinese, the Central Government and foreigners as well. There have been frustrations of inflation, which has almost doubled the price of many foods, which has the locals limiting their diets. The Central Government has been working non-stop to put things together in Beijing, get rid of the unwanted types and clean up the city (more on that to come) and at the same time they have had to deal with protests (not only in Tibet) and tragedy, weather and of course they had do complete all of these things with the efficiency and attention to detail that the Chinese are so famous for...
So then you have the foreigners; the over-paid, over-privileged, under-worked, and over-sexed group of people that have come all the way to China to get paid big bucks...but they also have problems. No one has been without some effect of the new VISA practices, either by losing a friend or by having to be the lost friend.
One of my friends from darts, got employed by a company who did the whole process and all the paperwork for this person to get a Z (working) VISA. This man went to Thailand to process it, and sit on the beach for two weeks, and was finally sent back to his home country - there'll be no VISA from here!
My VISA journey has been different than some others, as I am going from a work to a tourist VISA, For two or more months I have been calling the people in Hong Kong asking, "Can I still get a VISA?" and they have always replied...
"Where you from?"
"OKAY, No Problem, when you come here?"
But all the times that I called I must have been on crack because I forgot to ask if I was going to be able to get a VISA and then actually be able to watch the FUCKING Olympics. HAHA
I have been here for nearly five years and I stayed this last year only for the Olympics and actually only for Jiao Jiao, so she could see the Olympics in her hometown. What kind of knit-wit would take his wife out of her town before the Olympics?
Well, I guess I should have done that anyway because the VISA that they are giving in Hong Kong requires that you leave the county every thirty days. HAHAHA. What a bunch of SHIT! I waited a whole year to watch the over-hyped Olympics and I have to leave for a couple days right in the middle. It is not like I am in Guang Zhou and I can take a bus to Hong Kong, I am in Beijing and there is nothing close.
When I got to the hotel and asked the woman about the VISA and she told me about that restriction, I nearly didn't get a VISA. I said, "If you would have told me that on the phone one of the five or six times I called you, I would not have come!" I stopped, sat down and thought hard about whether it was worth all the trouble of staying...but now I have some sweet tickets, so I want to see the action...and I have already purchased two plane tickets to our next destination after the Olympics. So fuck... I took the shit VISA!
Even though Hong Kong is said to be the place to get your VISA to China, I have never had any luck down there. In 2004 when I went the first time to get a VISA, they tried to give me one with the same bullshit restrictions. To combat that, I took a one month VISA and bought a new VISA when I got back to Beijing, but now there is a higher price on that route...So I will be going to Hong Kong in the middle of the Olympics...Oh Joy!