Monday, April 30, 2007

"I've got some good news and bad news"..things you do not want to hear at the Consulate in China

Well, I am finally getting to the computer to post some more and to round out the trip home.
Before I do that, I wanted to go back to the day we took the bus to the US Consulate for the Swearing in and the US Visas so we could all go home.
There were about 55 families in the room from several agencies.
When the man came out, he said something like, "I have some good news and some bad news....I'll just have to go ahead and tell you that we have been having problems with the visas. The problem is with the computers in Washington. The paperwork is all done and ready as far as the Consulate in China goes- just they can't print them or something"....Yep! I bet you can imagine the feel of the air sucking out of the room as everyone's thoughts went to- How the heck can we get our tickets changed? How will we stay another night? The hotel was booked...etc.
Ends up they had trouble starting on Monday with processing visas- this time only 8 families got them. They hoped to work at it all evening...They thought they'd have them by the morning- but could not be sure.
On the way back, people scrambled to re-do their travel plans. Some got dropped off at Airline ticket locations to try to do it, others called from their rooms. We were lucky as we planned to go to Hong Kong the next day and spend the night- and we had exchangeable tickets!
Luckily the call came at 11:30pm from our guide who got the visas. Jann went to pick them up in her room and all was well. The families were able to get their flight arrangements changed back so all was well.

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