Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Of Course They Want Me, Don't They?

This is something that I know shouldn't surprise me, but it did. I have to get a visa to visit China. Okay, I don't expect them to roll out the red carpet and send a limosine for me, but I'm just use to showing up on some poor unsuspecting country's doorstep and saying "I'm here". Then they nicely stamp my passport and say they have been waiting for me so please come on in and make yourself at home...and spend a lot of your money. But, no! Not all countries apparently are thrilled to see me, or are begging for me to pay them a nice little visit. This visa thing is not just a small affront to my Natalieness it's a big old pain in the ass. According to the Chinese Embassy website you need to take your passport in person to the consolate, drop off a form, 2 passport type photos, a hefty fee and your passport. And then come back to pick it up 4 business days later. Huhhh? You want me to go to Tokyo...twice? No, Nagoya will be fine. Ummmm, no it won't. I just knew that there must be another way. So I went down to the travel agent and they have a service that will do the transporting of the neccessities to the communist bureaucrats for me... for a fee of course. Although they did have a good price on a flight to Beijing, which I did pickup while I was there. Oh, and China charges Americans more than any other nation's citizens. Nearly twice as much. Are they afraid of Americans sneaking into their country and taking jobs away from their citizens or are we the worst of those "capitalist pigs" and they are going to fleece us for every cent we have? So the visa is $50. Then there were the photos that needed to be taken...another $7. And then there was the Travel Agents fee of another $40. So $100 bucks just to see if they will allow me in the front door. Hmmmmph. Red tape has a new meaning for me.


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