July 18th, 2007

Chinese Visa

My sister has friends who live in Kaiserslautern, near Frankfurt. I had met them before, and they seemed very nice. When they invited me over, I accepted. They are attached to the military base, so they have a good line for Americanisms.

That weekend was full of movies. I saw Harry Potter, Die Hard 4, and Transformers. The only movie that was really remarkable was Transformers. It was remarkable in several ways. The first was that I had expected it to be bad and it was entertaining. The second was that I used be fanatical about transformers. I remember seeing the first transformers movie. It was nice to see some old friends. The last was that movie was really friggin' pro America. I'm not sure if it seemed that way because of what I've been doing or simply because it just was. The entire movie seemed to be about how heroic our military is and how our country is really grand.

While visiting with them, we made a trip to Frankfurt for my last visa push. The Chinese consulate in Frankfurt is much nicer than in Munich or Prague. The line was much shorter and the people were far more helpful. They were not, however, helpful enough to give me a visa. They explained that I could have one if I got the ticket in advance or if I was German.

At this point, I could try getting a visa through an agency in the US, buy a plane ticket to china that I wasn't going to use, apply for a visa in Kazakhstan, or go for the backup plan. Honestly, I had gotten excited about the backup plan. Time for plan ب.

After a few days with the friends, I headed off to Frankfurt earlier enough in the day to learn that the bus to Bulgaria was full and that I would have to wait until the next day.