Just got back from picking up my passport from the Chinese Consulate — along with its brand new Chinese visa. And what a pleasure the process was!
I’m used to visa application processes that require reams of paperwork and supporting documents, take forever and cost a fortune. This one took 20 minutes to apply, 10 minutes to pick up (three business days later), and only cost $30. It must be about the easiest and cheapest visa I’ve ever acquired!
This brings to 11 the number of visas in my current passport, which I’ve had since November 1999. At a conservative estimate of $50/visa, that makes $550 I’ve spent on visas. And it is conservative, considering that restarting my study program now would require spending $180 on a single US visa — which might well only be valid for a year.
Of them all, only the Chinese visa would be required for a citizen of the EU or US. So that’s at least $520 I’ve paid as a result of being a citizen of a developing country. Seems rather bizarre that developing world citizens should have to spend so much more to travel.
Anyway, it’s now a week left to my huge oral candidacy presentation. So it’s back to the physics!
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