Saw Dave and the family off first thing this morning, then shortly after left for the Chinese embassy myself.
Got to the embassy and joined the relatively small queue and was soon in the visa section of the embassy.
Got to the counter and got told that I need to have a flight booked, but if I get back before midday it will be done for tomorrow. No problem I thought, was told the airlines offices are just down the road. So off I go, eventually found them on the 7th floor of an office block. Got to the counter they didn’t take cards, cash only but you also need a receipt to say where the moneys from?! After trying several banks non of them would take any of my cards only the ATM so thought I’ll have to see if the ATM receipt is good enough or perhaps I’ll try using dollars, back I go, missed the noon deadline at the embassy by now but if I can sort this ticket no problem I’ll go tomorrow. The first available flight was Sunday, if that’s what it is, then that’s it, so ok I said. Passport please, so I handed it over, he started to thumb through it, back and forth, visa, sorry, visa, where’s your visa, can’t issue a ticket without a visa, but I can’t get a visa, without a ticket! Sorry there’s nothing I can do, try a travel agent! Not a very helpful chap at all. Found a travel agent near the hotel and spoke to them, much more helpful, but still couldn’t get a flight, I need this letter of encasement which I have to get from a bank. Got an appointment tomorrow with a bank manager. This is so much hard work, I just want to get moving again! Time for a beer!