I have had such a tumultuous last few days. I found out that the visa office was NOT closed on Monday. My friend went the American Embassy, not the place to get a visa. So, I had a wasted trip/money on Monday… and that’s not even the worst of it.
I picked up my passport today at around 10am and got back on the train to return to Shenzhen. I was in a relatively good mood. I could go home and shower and take my contacts out and all this visa business was taken care of. I would have all afternoon to pack and then I would come back to HK later this evening.
After riding on the metro for 1 1/2 hours, I got all the way to the border crossing and saw that my work visa is now cancelled because I got a tourist visa. My tourist visa is single-entry so that means that I can only go back into China once. Unfortunately, I have to go back twice (once today to pack my bag and once when I return to pack up and go back to the States). I called the visa office multiple times about this but they were not picking up the phone. So I hopped back on a metro going in the opposite direction to return to the office for a third time.
The visa office is closed from 12-2 for lunch. I arrived to the at 12:45pm and was the first person in to wait line. You might think that it is crazy that I would wait for more than an hour, but by the time that they opened at 2, there were already more than 50 people in line behind me.
I was not informed that they would cancel my visa so I asked them if there was anything they could do to help me out with this situation. It would cost me $200 to buy another visa and I would have to do that when I return from my trip. Once you factor in the cost of renting a hostel, food, and metro costs, it is not a small amount of money. They said that they could not help me at all and that I would have to apply for another visa.
By this point, I was angry and stressed out. How will I get my bags? If I buy another visa, I’ll be stuck in HK again. Should I just bring all my stuff across the border and store it somewhere and pay the $150 to change my flight to come back to America early? All these possibilities were flying through my head.
Instead, I called my friend, Paola, who I am traveling with tonight. She agreed to go to my apartment and pack my bag for me. What an amazing friend! I made a detailed list of things I would need and where in my apartment they would be so that packing would be easier for her. I owe her. Perhaps I owe her my first-born child. Sorry Mom, but you’ll just have to wait on the next one.
I am currently back at the same internet cafe that I came to yesterday while trying to kill time. Again.
I haven’t showered in two days. I haven’t brushed my teeth since yesterday morning at 6am. I’ve been wearing the same clothes for the past two days. My eyes are dried out since I slept in my contacts. My deodorant has long worn off. I feel bad for anyone that has to come within five feet of me.