Chinese Visa... Check
I headed into Vancouver yesterday to hand in my documents to get my work visa from the Chinese consulate. Everything seems to be in order, so I can pick up the visa on Tuesday after it has been processed.
It was quite interesting though to compare the French and Chinese consulates. When I went to get my French visa, I was maybe 3rd in line, and it took me over an hour to talk to the lady behind the counter. At the Chinese consulate I was 25th in line, and after only 30 minutes I was able to talk to one of the two ladies. Talk about efficiency! So far, this seems to bode well for my time in China.
This of course is not to mention the anal security guard (ex-foreign legion?) at the French consulate who freaked out because I opened the door. Apparently I was supposed to wait for it to fully close, then ring a buzzer, then he would open the door and permit me to enter. I think our entry barely registered on the security guard at the Chinese consulate. The French consulate had a large French flag in the corner, a replicate bust of Marianne, and tourist brochures with the Eiffel Tower prominently placed on the front. The Chinese consulate had photos of their space program, a tourist video (in Mandarin with Chinese subtitles) playing on the TV, and a sign stating that "spitting, eating, and drinking" were forbidden.