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You know, when I visited China, I had the hardest time just complying with visa requirements. I applied for and got the visa I needed. But since I was staying with a citizen, I technically needed to check in with the local police when I got to her home. |
She said I didn't need to do that, I said I would like to try to comply with all the rules, to avoid problems later. So we went there. The officer said he cannot help us, we need to come back later, when the chief is there. We came back later, he said I need to have specific pictures taken to register properly.
This is my VACATION. I don't want to spend all my time chasing the police around, taking criminal-type pictures of myself... Finally, we gave up.
Now what? Maybe my visa application will be denied next time, because I did not comply with all the rules. I get the impression that Americans are not welcome in China, and it is a shame.
Another problem is that I cannot see the sights without being nagged to buy a watch from certain people. Too bad, that was a very interesting historic street in Guangzhou, with ancient streets preserved below. But every two minutes, some old lady wanted me to buy a fake Rolex from her. I tried to decline politely, but they will not listen unless I am rude. Too bad!
The toilets built into the floor took some getting used to. I'm glad I'm young and have good knees and back! Older Americans could not handle this. We do not bend over or squat down much in our everyday life, so we are not as flexible as Chinese. ;)
I liked the cultural differences though. People having fun playing MahJong in the streets.
Most Chinese citizens I saw in public or in the metro did not seem very happy though. Just very tired; that made me kind of sad for them.