Friday, February 10, 2012

So Near and Yet ......

With the new job there are going to be a lot of new leanings. Suddenly becoming more travelled is going to be part of this.

Two days after starting, I will be heading for China. Having never been there then this is an interesting experience. I have to think about things I haven't done before. One of those is getting a visa. A bit of planning but I am relatively intelligent, I should be able to cope. And being a proverbial Sherlock when it comes to investigating on the internet I am soon in the right place. I find the online form and fill it in. Where I don't have the right information then I know who to ask for it. Soon I have it completed. I am fascinated when I preview it and find things have been changed into Chinese. This is cool. I make my appointment at the application centre and I am set.

Today down to London to my appointment. I spent last night making sure I had the right forms, the official invitation, the photos, my passport. All there to pick up this morning. Set off early, which is a good idea as the snow has meant a problem with the train. Even so I get to London with plenty of time and am standing in front of the centre with enough leaway that I can get a coffee at Costa AND find a geocache.

Returning to the centre, I enter. I get my ticket. I while away the minutes by listening to a man shouting down te phone at someone in china because the rules for the visa have changed and he needs a letter. I feel smug, confident that I have everything. My r is called, I walk to my window, hand over my documents with a smile and "hope it's all there". The nice friendly woman starts going through it. Ahe marks off the boxes ad she checks them Tick, tick, tick .... Oh I'm doing well. Last document. Tick, tick, tick. Hesitation. Check passport. Check application. Recheck invitation. Red circle. No no no, that's supposed to be a tick. Red circle can't be good can it.

Turns out that the invitation has a slight error on it. I didn't notice one digit missing from my birth date. It's clear to see what's happened, where there should be two digits there is only one. A transcription error. Possibly not a disaster. It might be accepted. But I now have to wait over the weekend to find out. In the meantime I'm going to get a corrected invite just in case and print off all the other documents again.

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