My little vent
Trip Start Nov 28, 2009
30Trip End Nov 28, 2010
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Where I stayed
Happy Dragon Hostel
Back in Thailand I signed a contract for a school in Jiamusi which is right in the north of China. I faxed the completed document and booked a trip to Japan for 2 weeks later which would give me enough time to get the documents from the school and take them to the Chinese embassy there. The reason for going to Japan is that you have to leave China to get a work visa and the flights to Japan were cheap. Anyway, they must have gave me the wrong fax number because they asked me to resend to another fax number and by then the documents weren't going to arrive until after we left.
The other document I needed was a health certificate which you need to get from a Chinese Hospital so we headed to the nearest hospital in Beijing and found out (after a bunch of cross language communication that took ages) that we needed to go to a specific hospital on the outskirts of Beijing and we could only get the tests done before 11am which meant I needed to go the next day. I had the doctor tell the nurse at the hospital the address so she could write it down in Chinese. The next morning I caught a cab who had no real clue where to go and over an hour later I was being tested for all sorts of necessary things like... syphilis. But, of course the documents wouldn't be ready until Monday and we were leaving for Japan on Saturday. I paid the courier to have them delivered to the hostel then came back and told the lady at the door, the barman and then the manager that I had these documents coming. The manager wrote all the details down so the staff would make sure to keep the documents for my arrival.
So after flying back and waiting in the cold for over an hour for a taxi because of Chinese New Year, we arrived to find out that the courier was told that I had checked out and to keep my documents. I found the receipt the courier had issued and gave it to the women at the desk as they promised to keep on it in the morning.
The next morning the new desk girl had no idea what I was talking about. After 2 phone calls and over an hour (over the course of which I heard the word cha many times which means "is lacking" ie not here) they finally worked out that the documents had gone home with the courier for chinese new year to his parents house. Additionally the guy who has now received the documents from the school says I cant pick them up till Friday.
So... now I have the recruiter asking me if I am serious about this position still and that I should still arrive in Jiamusi to start work by Wednesday and that she will try and get the documents early and I should book a meeting with the embassy (and for what date exactly???) she also believes that I should go to the embassy on a Sunday to get them processed (does anyone know of any embassy in the world that is open on a Sunday??) and the last piece of wisdom from this recruiter, I should just go to the embassy on Tuesday then fly to Jiamusi that night (because clearly I can get a visa processed in a few hours). So I am now beyond frustrated and now borderline catatonic.
Anyway I am off to the opera and then for a stiff drink. I promise to update on a Japan post later.