Wednesday, March 16, 2005

 
Runaround
This visa situation gets curiouser and curiouser. Today I called a travel/visa company recommended by a British, Chinese-speaking coworker. She had earlier offered to help by calling them and posing as a Chinese-speaking American, thinking that the language gap might explain some of my confusion. She kindly made the call two days ago and was told that a 6-month mulitiple entry visa for a US passport was possible with the usual conditions (counterfeit business card, etc.).
I sucked it up and called them myself this morning and the instant I said I had a US passport the woman went into meltdown mode. "No visas for US citizens! No!" Despite her shrill, hysterically sharp tone - which suggested I might as well have asked her if she'd like to be featured on a live Internet broadcast having sex with a wallaby - I pressed on politely.
"Why? I was told two days ago that it was possible."
"NO! Chinese government say NO!"
"But...can you help? Please?"
Her voice inexplicably softened and she virtually whispered another phone number to me. "Maybe they can help."
"Who can help?"
"Just call."
I rang the mystery number and another woman answered who told me that a "3-month" multiple entry visa was entirely possible for a US citizen for HK$750. It was the first I'd heard of a 3-month option and made her repeat it. She did so and then gave me directions to her office, which apparently occupies an entire 7th floor, but she would not reveal the name of her employer.
So, my mission tomorrow will be to locate the mysterious visa source; that is after I straighten out paying my cable bill.
I learned today after several fruitless attempts and phone calls that one does not pay a cable bill at the cable TV office, but at a 7-Eleven.
"Well, of course. Silly me," I said to the cable company phone rep after 20-minutes on hold and her "Everyone knows that, what planet are you from" explanation. "I'll do it right after I go to the gas station to pay my library fines."
PS: If there are any Hong Kong-based Yankee bloggers and/or readers with advice/tips/names and phone numbers regarding a HK visa service that can give me some efficient, no b.s. help for a multi-entry visa, please, please, please email me at average_guy26 at yahoo dot com. (This comment link is farked...yet another brick in the proverbial wall.)Anyway, drinks and maybe more are on me if you can come through. And even if you can't, I'd love to meet'cha.
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