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Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday - September 21, 2015

Few celebrate a Monday but today is Monday and it is a Monday worth celebrating. I don't think I will ever use the word 'Monday' three times in a sentence again, haha.

I drove to the Chinese Embassy and received my passport and Chinese visa without any problems and it only cost me $160 which isn't too bad.

I then drove back home, got on-line and booked a flight from LAX to Kunming which departs this Wednesday at 1 am.

So, tomorrow night, maybe around 9 or 10 pm, I'll go with my family to the airport and prepare for my next adventure.

The flight from LAX to Shanghai will be about 14 hours and hopefully I'll be able to sleep a bit.

I will have a 2 hour layover in Shanghai and then board a flight to Kunming which will only be 3 or 4 hours long.

I will arrive in Kunming, on Thursday around 11:30am Chinese Time and I am really excited.

I've been waiting a long time for this and tomorrow will be my last day here in the USA for a while.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Yesterday, my work permit from China arrived.

I almost immediately drove to the Chinese Embassy in LA and this time my visa application was accepted and I was told it would be ready on Monday.

I'm glad that all this paperwork business is finally over....well, at least it will be by Monday.

Once I pick up my passport with my Chinese work visa I will book a flight for Wednesday or Friday and be on my merry way.

I can't wait.

Friday, September 11, 2015


So, today I woke early, grabbed my passport, a pen, my Chinese letter of invitation, some passport photos and the address of the Chinese Embassy in LA.

Took me about an hour to get there.

I went in, filled out an application and waited for about an hour to be called on.

I approached the window feeling satisfied that I would finally be able to get my visa.

And then it happened.

The clerk told me that I also need a work permit to apply for a work visa and that I would have to e-mail my school and ask them to mail it to me.

It took more than 10 days for my letter of invitation to arrive after it was mailed.

Today is Saturday in China so no one is working or will read my e-mail until the 13th of this month.

If they read my e-mail and mail me the work permit that day (which seems doubtful) and it takes another 10 days to arrive then I will receive it on the 23rd.

Let's say I receive it early on the 23rd and take it to the Embassy that day and pay extra for it to be available the next day...well, then I will have my visa on the 24th and still have to pack and book a flight and I won't book a flight until at least 2 days after I receive my visa so that I have time to pack and make sure everything is taken care of before leaving the country.

And this is all a best case scenario.

I've been preparing for this all summer long but it looks like I won't get to China until the end of this month or the beginning of next month...if ever.

Thursday, September 10, 2015



My Letter of Invitation from China has arrived. Finally.

It should have arrived a few weeks ago and I should already be in China but that's ok because now I have what I need to get a working visa.

After I have my working visa I will book a flight to China and begin to pack my luggage.

Today is Thursday, September 10, 2015 and it's almost noon.

The Chinese Embassy in LA's Visa office closes at 2pm so I don't think I can make it there in time today but maybe I should try anyway.

Or I can just wait until tomorrow and leave home early in the morning.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Getting there....

Spoke to my school recently and expressed my frustration with the lateness of my paperwork.

However, they and I looked into it and today my letter of invitation did arrive in San Francisco so it should not take long to arrive to my house here in Los Angeles.

I've enjoyed being back home and spending time with my family, however, I am more than ready to start working again as well as travelling and taking photos.

Travelling and taking photos are two things I really enjoy.

I think at least a year in China will be fun but I might end up staying for the second and maybe even the third year.

By 2018 I will be 38 and will need to decide what to do next.

Stay in China? Return to America and use my GI Bill? Try to find work in Europe?

These are some of the things I will spend the next 1-3 years thinking about.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Still waiting

It is currently September 6th, as of 33 minutes ago, and I am STILL waiting for my paperwork from China to arrive in order to go to the Embassy and apply for my working visa. That will take anywhere from 1-4 days to process and then I still have to book a flight which I am not doing until I actually get my visa and know for certain that I am good to go.

7 days ago the Superintendent of the school e-mailed me and told me that my paperwork would arrive in 3 to 4 days. Well, it's been 7 days, the school semester has started and I am still here in California waiting on that paperwork.

I am starting to question the competence of this school and as much as I don't want to arrive there with a negative mindset it's going to be difficult if my paperwork doesn't arrive here by Monday or Tuesday.

Hopefully, it gets here on Monday and I can go to the Embassy on Tuesday to begin processing my visa then return on Wednesday to retrieve it.

If that happens I might be able to fly out of here on Saturday or Sunday...maybe even Friday but I'd like to give myself a couple of days to pack and tidy up the room I've been staying in before I leave.

I could start packing now but I'm not going to until I have that visa.

Hopefully a week or so from now I will be posting a new blog discussing my arrival in Kunming.

Come on paperwork...get here.