I have to say, after spending two months in India, there are few places better to go than Hong Kong. It’s clean, super-modern and very comfortable. We’re loving our time here, we’re staying in Kowloon, which is kind of a tourist ghetto, but a Hong Kong tourist ghetto is a lot better than a Indian, or even Australian tourist ghetto.
There are a ton a little shops and markets all over. We’ve already done some of the more common Hong Kong activities – bought a fake handbag, a fake watch and tomorrow we’ll probably get a replacement for the camera that was stolen in Australia (hopefully not a fake). We almost had a copy of Spiderman 3 on DVD, but the cops showed up before we could close the deal so our vendor disappeared in no time flat.
Now it’s a good thing we like it here so much, because we may be here a while. We applied for our Chinese Visas yesterday and it may be that LeeAnne can’t go. When we filled out our applications we made a few, let’s call them mis-steps:
- We applied for “double entry” visas – and right now the Peoples Republic is not giving Americans double entry visas.
- Rather than put down “Unemployed” as our job title and “None” under our employers name, we put our previous job titles and employers names. This worked like a charm for me, unfortunately, the Visa Officer asked LeeAnne to spell out what the acronym USCCB stood for. Of course the full name of her previous employer is: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Catholic is a bad word in the PRC Visa Office.
Long story short, we had to take our paperwork out of the Kowloon Visa office and go straight to the PRC Embassy. And after explaining to the staff there that she didn’t work at the Conference any more, and wasn’t even Catholic. They said that if she included a written statement saying that she wouldn’t participate in any religious activities, or try to find a job, they would let her apply for a 10 day Visa.
Ten days! I can apply for a 30 day visa with no questions asked. And we were planning to spend something like 60 days in China, so this may throw a huge wrench into our plans. But it’s not our country, and I guess they can let in who they want for however long they want. Still, it’s a bummer. We will get the verdict tomorrow.