Saturday, November 11, 2006

Back on American Soil (from 11.4)

*I posted this on Blogger last week, but somehow it appears to have disappeared from my former entries??

I made it onto US soil for approximately 45 minutes yesterday. Why did I return to America for such a short time? you ask. The answer is simple, although probably not the one you wanted: to visit the local embassy. Sorry to disappoint, but I'm not actually in the good ol' U.S. of A., although I almost felt like it when I stepped into the embassy district. It's so very unBeijing. There are no high rises and very few cars. There are trees and shrubbery for as far as the eye can see. But you know you are in China because at the gate of every embassy is a tiny little Chinese man (roughly 17 years of age, 100 lbs dripping wet) in an ill fitting green uniform. These security guards are a little hard to take seriously. First of all, it looks like they borrowed their older brother's clothes and a belt ten sizes too big. Secondly, they don't carry guns. Well, neither do the police here, but at least they look like actual grown ups.

You are probably wondering what I was doing at the embassy. Well, I found that my Friday afternoon class was canceled, so I decided to take a trip over there. I haven't received any word on the status of Ming's visa. The application made it to them, as they cashed the $170 check (the first of many to come, it pains me to say) back in August. I was able to talk to a more-than-helpful lady, a luxary you don't often find in China. I really love how kind my fellow Americans can be. In spite of her best efforts, however, she couldn't tell me much. Turns out they do all the processing for his type of visa in Guangzhou, which is in South China, near Hong Kong. Fat chance I'm going to be making a trip down there, leaving us with pretty much our only option-to continue to wait. Please cross your fingers for us!

With luck on our side the whole process can take about a year, but there is a good chance we will get rejected this first time. It's better for me not to even think about it!There's not much else to report. Although I would like to note that I got drunk off of one Ultimate Mojito at Friday's restaurant yesterday. There's nothing like having lunch solo and getting drunk at one in the afternoon while in a foreign country. I don't really recommend it.

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