Monday, August 24, 2009

The Dark Moment of Travelling

Honestly I think I've had my share of adventurous and bizarre travel situations, so it comes as quite a surprise to look at my current situation.

Here is the scoop. As Q mentioned in the last blog posting, we are taking a trip in China to visit relatives. Well, the trip came to a complete halt when my purse was stolen while dining with Q and family in Shanghai a couple days ago. Thankfully nobody was harmed or anything. Besides money and a few other gadgets, the most important travelling item was also gone missing - my passport. The damage control and police report aside, none of us could have imagined the trouble involved ahead to get me out of China. After tearing up Shanghai for the past two days, it finally dawned on me what it is:

- First, I need to get my courier package containing Canadian-government issued IDs required for my passport application. It's supposed to arrive in Shanghai tomorrow, but last time we checked it was still sitting in Hongkong for some odd reason.
- The Canadian consulate informed me that it takes THREE working days to get a temporary passport. (FIFTEEN for a regular one, which I will also apply at the same time and request to send to Abu Dhabi for pickup.)
- After getting the new passport, I would need to get a so-called "pink slip" for accommodation registration at local police station. Apparently all foreigners are supposed to do it, but nobody does. Well, not this time, because I was told that I'd need it for the next step.
- The Chinese government requires me to get a new visa in order to let me out. According to official and unofficial websites, this steps takes FIVE working days.

All this development has blown every bits of my travel plan out of water. It's not just bad. It's almost disastrous. As you can imagine, I do feel like quite trapped at the moment as I cannot travel anywhere in China without passport. At the moment, I am not even hoping for miracles, I am just hoping that I will be out of the woods soon. Never thought Abu Dhabi could look so attractive right now. On the positive side - there is always a positive side - it is China and I am staying with relatives (Thanks so much, K-Pam!), so we are trying to make the best out of this situation by doing loads shopping - who knew spending money after losing money was such a great therapy! :)

I remember reading a list of emergency services provided by Canadian government and mentally patting myself on the shoulder for not calling from a jail for legal service. Truth to be told, it could be worse.

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