I don’t want to spam cyber- space with my Korean tragedy or anthing, but I still feel that it’s important to explain precisely why I was so revolted by the Chinese authorities in Korea. I didn’t get pissed off because it was ridiculously difficult to convert my visa. I got pissed off because:
1) They did not even pretend to offer any service whatsoever to a member of a foreign diplomatic body. The consulate was literally unreachable by both me and my embassy. My embassy called and faxed them many times without getting through a single time. How does that even work? Do they publish phantom phone-numbers which no one really operates? I was in a completely unfamiliar country and city, and until Wang showed up, no help was given whatsoever. If not for diplomatic reasons, they might try to offer some assistance as, I don’t know, fellow human beings.
2) The guards had one look at my non-slanty eyes (copyright Eion) and my non- black hair and determined no, he’s not Chinese, he has no business here. I still CANNOT for my life understand how they can deny someone mere entry to a Chinese authority, when this someone lives in China and holds a Chinese residence permit! Under what conditions, then, could I as a non-Chinese person enter? Do I have to hold a Chinese passport from birth? Do I have to have a letter signed by Mao himself (I’m sorry, but it’s just the most ridiculous thing I ever experienced)?
3) High officers at the Chinese embassy obviously didn’t know their own visa regulations, as the person I talked to was unaware of the fact that switching visa-types inside China would be violating the law.
There. I’m done.