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life's adventures This is the story of my wanderings through Asia

Learn to expect extortion

CHINA | Tuesday, 31 July 2012 | Views [800]

The epic saga that is my experiences trying to cooperate with the evil empire of China has made me snap. The last straw was chewed long ago dealing with the notoriously anal Dalian Public Security Bastards with Visa mishaps. Me trying to follow rules got into some big kafuffle over following instructions too literally. No help from NZ embassy because it would just aggravate the officials who are waiting for a bribe. And today, after telling three people working for China Eastern Airlines my flight number, was told to wait in line. Finally getting to the counter I was told the check-in closed three minutes earlier. Bad luck some might say, I would say you have thick skin. Mine is stretched to transparency. Some might roll your eyes in mock sympathy and mutter ‘She should know by now how unfair Chinese bureaucratic agencies can be’, to you I say you’re right but it is still infuriating and I like to vent! All I wanted at the time was an apology, a letter explaining the situation so my insurance can cover the extortionate cost of my last minute flight, and a tissue to mop the tears. Did I get any of that? Not a chance.

So I suffer in humiliation wondering really hard what on earth drew me to this unjust country. In moments like these, I feel rage and torment filling my soul, the absoluteness of this culture’s unhelpful attitude, unsympathetic and unforgiving nature, I feel like a homicidal teenager ready to explode at the unwarranted difficulties I encounter. Talk about emotional breakdown! Deep breaths (come on Hana), how often has crap hit the fan in China, no wonder the air reeks of decay throughout the country and continent.

The Visa issue many know already. Basically, I recommend never travelling to Dalian. When you get a new passport do NOT damage the old one until all Visas are expired, even if you are told to cut the corner, don’t do it. When in a bind in China, find someone with connections: GuanXi, to grease the hands of the more powerful. Bribes are all they understand in difficult situations. Quote from the greased official after a week of freaking out, ‘I can see this is not intentional damage of the Visa so we will ignore this and give you another new tourist Visa a month before you leave.’ That cost about 400nzd.

So here I sit, battery waning fast, no there are NO plugs in the Shanghai airport, and like I would risk missing my flight to sit more than 2 meters away from the boarding gate! So I nurse a ten-dollar pottle of haagen-dazs to sooth the soul crushing anger I am drenched in while I wait for my second flight to Kunming today.

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