We have our visas!
After the panic that I was thrown into three weeks ago when we learned that we had to have complete medicals done before we could apply for our work visas, our trip to the Chinese visa application centre was quite anticlimactic. We drove to Calgary on Monday, going directly to the centre when we arrived in the city. Though there were nine spaces at the counter for serving customers, we were the only ones there. After carefully checking all of our documents, the representative took our passports and told us to return on Thursday. It was that simple.
When we went back this morning, there were a few people there but we didn’t have to wait. Within minutes, we had our passports with the visas in them. We checked them carefully, paid the required fees and were on our way. The mountain had moved!
In spite of the unexpected stress involved in getting our visas, there’s also been a bit of humour involved. Carefully following the instructions provided by our employer in China, when we completed our visa application forms we entered “employment” as my main reason for going to China but “to accompany my wife” as Richard’s! His is also a work visa but apparently it was faster for them to acquire a single invitation letter and work permit for the two of us than it would have been to treat us as two entirely separate entities.
With the exception of the Mosuo tribe, a small ethnic group living in Yunnan province, China is not a matriarchal society. The only reason we can think of that I appear as the head of the family on our documents is that I’m the one who has done most of the communicating with our employer. Whatever the reason, I’ve definitely had fun calling Richard my consort and teasing him that he’s only going along as my companion!