Thursday, April 27, 2006

All I got was this stupid T-Shirt

I flew to Hong Kong today to fulfil my VISA requirements. Because we were having some difficulty getting semi-perminent work visas for us we instead recieved 30 day visitor VISAs. When you are staying longer than that this limitation poses a problem. I along with two others have been making monthly trips outside of Taiwan in order to reset the clocks on our 30 day visitor VISAs. (Fixed now, this is my last trip for VISA purposes.) Today was my send 30th day in Taiwan so it was time for me to leave.

I woke up this morning and packed for the trip. Made sure the eseentials were in my bag. (laptop, passport, power cables) and took off to work. When the work day had nearly ended I took a taxi from Taipei to the airport, borded a plane and promptly took off. The flight to Hong Kong was only an hour and fifteen minutes so no bother really.

When we landed I sprinted to the China Airlines service desk and quickly explained my situation: I have to get my passport stamped so that I can return to Taiwan. Normally, I think, people do this with a stayover in Hong Kong: A day or more. I on the other hand had a flight to catch in 45 minutes. After some confusion, and LOTS of running. (Up the terminal and back down) I hopped on the same plane and made my way back.

/I/ went to Hong Kong and I didn't even get a stupid T-Shirt.

On this topic, if things like this can be so easily circumvented, and so often are (there were at least 5 other people doing the same thing I was), why even make it a consideration? Is it to support some sort of airline economy? To harass people and be able to laugh at them from behind security monitors? Even in a government as new as Taiwan's the system it seems is plagued with those off-kilter practices and rules that we see so often in the States. I think we should all just give up this restricted travel thing and just open up all the borders.