A Lack of Gas and Third Time Lucky: Tuesday 6th March

Things did not get off to the best of starts this morning, as for some unknown reason the gas in my house was no longer working. Yuko rang the gas board for me, and they think that the safety valve (needed in case of earthquakes etc) must have tripped itself off, but as we (Yuko) were unable to find it so someone from the gas board needed to come round. Unfortunately I needed to leave the house early this morning, and so I was left with no other choice but to have a freezing cold shower. It certainly woke me up, but my body was not best pleased, especially given the dire weather we were having. Fingers crossed the gas man can come round either tonight or tomorrow morning, but if not I fear that I shall simply have to spend a day cloaked in the previous day’s filth; hardly ideal, but certainly preferable to hypothermia.

Here I am looking suitably attired for a day out from the madhouse.

The reason that I had to leave the house so early this mornings was because I was making yet another trip to the Chinese Embassy. Today however, with copies of the hotel and plane tickets in hand, I was confident that it would be a case of third time lucky. Things got off to a good start, as there was a new woman behind the first counter, with my previous nemesis nowhere in sight. Unfortunately the chap in front of me seemed to be engaged in a similar debate to the one that I had found myself in last time, the problem with his application seemingly something to do with his passport photo. During his rhetoric the woman asked for my papers, and began processing them whilst this chap kept arguing his point; I think that he may have suspected her of being overly harsh, but I just wanted him to shut about the particularities of the required photograph, convinced that at any minute he was going to grab my application form and ask ‘how on earth this stupid looking photograph is acceptable, but mine isn’t?!?’ Thankfully he did no such thing, and I was presented with a ticket allowing me to go to the next window (and the next stage of the application), leaving our friend to his fate. Sadly my fate didn’t seem that much better, as who should appear behind window number 2, but the woman who simply loves to deny me access to her country. I put on my best smile, presented my forms, and when asked to photocopy my passport at one of the available machines, was careful to ask how many copies she would like, and to apologise for the length of time it took me to complete this trivial task. I am pretty certain she must have forgotten all about my previous escapades, as I was given a slip of paper and told to report back on Friday to pick up my visa, but we shall see. We shall see…


About truehamlet

Sam is a senior lecturer in Science Communication, who researches the different ways in which media such as poetry and film can be used to communicate science to new audiences.
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