Trip Start Sep 19, 2007
Trip End Jan 19, 2008

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Flag of China  ,
Monday, November 19, 2007

Our visas for China run out in 4 days. As we entered China in Tibet, the authorities are not too fond of us anymore and rather than allow us in on the 3 month visum we had obtained in Spain, they cancelled that one and made us pay more money for a 20 day visum instead. This comes on an A4 paper and is different from the one you get stamped in your passport. But we've been told in Nepal and in Tibet that it should be no problem at all to get an extension on it once in mainland China. So here we are, in Leshan, home of the biggest carved Buddha in the world and a set of the most horrible bureaucrats ever to hold a position of power.

The Public Buro of Security or PSB in short we find after 2 buses and a taxi from Emei Shan. It shouldn't take more than 2 hours so we can still get it done before lunch and then head over to Dafo to check out the buddha. Or so we thought. One look at the group visa from Tibet and the lights seem to dim in the office as the smiles on the officers faces wane and a dark mood sets in. "Impossible, you can not get extension. This is my final answer." Pretty good English for such a dickhead. We want to speak to your boss. -I am in charge here, this is my office. AARRRGHHH. His female subordinates look at us with loathing. "This is my final answer", and he walks away. We follow and keep talking, our moods going from anger through frustration to shameless begging and pleaing. Finally Raquel manages to get the promise that we will call the provincial headquarters in Chengdu together after lunch, but we have to leave. NOW.

Rushing through the sites we admire the Great Buddha - it's big - and race through some attractive landscapes past the crowds Chinese tourists compliantly following their guides. There's not enough time, we need to rub the inflated egos of the PSB by arriving on time. The boss is gone when we arrive and the resentful girl-witch requires further coaching before she gets us in contact with Chengdu. Flawless English again comes combined with an unbending attitude and little consideration for the art of logic reasoning. Get the first flight out of the country, or go to Hong Kong, is the advice. It takes a full hour before the man sees reason - we cannot practically manage to leave the country from where we are now in 3 days - and we can get a 7-day emergency extension tomorrow. For the price of a full extension of course. Bastards, I hate you all.
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