Wednesday, October 12, 2005

confused by visas

I went to the Chinese embassy in New York City today to apply for my tourist visa so that I can travel to Shenzhen and acquire a Z (work) visa. I took a number that was quite confusing--it was numbers and letters. From what I could tell, the number had already passed on the boards. I stood with a lost look on my face. I guess the guy at the window in front of me noticed. He waved me over, even though there were others waiting and this was obviously not my number. I was then asked some questions about my application. I didn't know I'd be questioned right there. "What kind of editing do you do?" Huh? "It says here you are an editor, what do you edit?" Oh... mostly law. "OK" Yeah, that should tip them off that I shouldn't be trusted--I work with lawyers. "And why do you need to have this visa in seven days?" Because I'm leaving in less than two weeks. "But why?" That's when I was invited to go to China.
The whole process took ten minutes from walking through security to getting everything filled out.
I had planned to use the whole day for this. I was back on the bus for Jersey by noon. I can pick up my visa Monday. Does this mean I get a visa? And I still want to know what the little Chinese note at the bottom of my receipt means. It probably says, "Stupid American Visa." And it's probably accurate.

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