China, Will We Make It?
Trip Start Mar 23, 2013
154Trip End Jul 31, 2013
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I checked the site Monday night to check the address as it has been some time since I've been there. What a surprise to see that they were not issuing any 1 day visas, and had extended the time to process visas from 4 days to 6 days.
Today, Tuesday, I planned to pick up my mom then drive to near Nate's to pick up the visa apps from his tour group. I would drive to the city near his place as he had worked all night. Then we would get to the Chinese Embassy and turn all of the visa applications. Great Plan.
1st as I was almost at my mom's, 1-1/2 hours away, I realized that I forgot my passport at home. UGH. I picked up my mom and drove back to my house, the opposite direction from everything to pick up the passport and discussed the situation with Nate. From my house we went south to L.A. and met Nate close to L.A. where we got the visa forms. My Mom and I held Zaya MeiJin while Nate got the forms together.
The info online said that the Chinese embassy closed at 3pm so we knew that we would barely make it in time. We took off and drove like bats out of hell. Then about 1 mile from the off ramp we ran into major traffic. We couldn't get to the off ramp fast enough. Fortunately we had the GPS on so we didn't have to worry about getting to the right place.
We found a place to park, broken parking meter, but parked anyway. Ran to the building, opps the wrong address listed on the site. Guard said good luck; the embassy closes at 2pm. We then ran to the Embassy, just up the hill and across the street, hopped on the elevator and up to the 3rd floor. Sure enough the doors were closed and locked. We got on the elevator discouraged with a bunch of other people who we found were mad. As we went down the 3 floors one said she'd been there on Monday but it was closed, went back today and found that she couldn't get her visa in time and had to change her flight. Another was mad because now the people she was getting visas for had to fill out new documents.
We went back up to the 3rd floor and asked the guard about these forms that had to be filled out. He told us that the forms were online. We had to let Nate and Mike know about these forms, can't get any visas without them.
So it is back to L.A. tomorrow to start all over with the process and the big concern, can we get our visa before we must leave.