Monday, April 14, 2008

Off the Vine

Saturday was a free wine tasting at Carrefour by our apartment. It's probably not a great idea to advertise free, alcohol, and cheese to foreigners. It was quite a bit of fun. I'd write a review of the wines, but I'm no connoisseur. Also, after the first twenty or so, they all start to taste alike.

The highlights of the evening included the entertainment. They had cheerleaders. I'm still wondering how that mixes in with fine wine. On top of that, the evening concluded with bagpipes. I know I always think of great wine when I think of Scotland. By the end of it all, it turned into a self-serve party. We met some nice people who kept going to the wine tables and grabbing the open bottles that were no longer guarded by staff.

Sunday I decided that free drinks are not good for me.

On another note, I ran into my co-worker at the event. I found out that her husband is having some serious problems with renewing his visa. Because China decided to tighten visa rules ahead of the Olympics, many foreigners are having a more difficult time. But this one is truly baffling. They have been in China for six years, have a business, and own an apartment. But that's not enough to renew a visa. Usually a spouse can be included in a residence permit (which my co-worker had), but the police said their marriage certificate isn't valid because they didn't get it approved by the Chinese embassy in their home country. Today, she also told me that the police have dropped by their home 10 times in the last couple months to check on their visas and other paperwork. We're really hoping that a miracle happens--his current visa expires tomorrow.

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