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Lanikai & GTX888 Find True Love on CLM (Part 4) by Lanikai
Our romance progressed with each passing day so by the end of June, I proposed to her once again! And she said Yes! Well, she actually asked me if I had all the necessary documents! And I did of course! Since I was divorced I had a notarized copy of my divorce decree, Birth Certificate, Passport! If you want to get married in China, you’ll need your divorce decree, or Death certificate of your spouse and you’ll have to go the US Embassy that services the area you are staying in, which in our case happened to be the Chengdu Embassy. What you need is a marriageable certificate which will cost you $30 USD payable in cash only to the Embassy. You’ll still need one even if you were never married before! It took me about an hour!  Chengdu is very far away from Duyun. It’s a 2 hour ride by bus to Guiyang, then 19 hours on the train. Or you can fly from Guiyang to Chengdu! (About 1 hour) 2 one way Airplane tickets cost about 2,750 yuan cash only!  I have more advice for you here! If your friends tell you not to take cash and to use your credit cards, don’t listen to them! Bring some cash and the rest in American Express Travelers Checks. Your fiancée can help you exchange them into RMB at the Bank of China. Your charge cards are virtually useless, unless you happen to be in a very large city! Almost all the stores only take cash and you can’t charge airline tickets either, even on China Air! Back to the story! So I asked her, when should we to go to Chengdu to get the marriageable certificate?  Her reply was “You decide!” So I said next week! She nodded her head! Well next week came and went and we didn’t go to Chengdu! So I asked her again and she nodded her head once again! Well, Friday came and we were still in Duyun, so I told her we really need to go to Chengdu! That was when she told me that I was supposed to arrange everything, since I am the Boss? Well, I didn’t have the faintest idea on how to get to Chengdu and I told her so! She said:” You arrange!” So I said: “Okay, we rent a car and drive to Chengdu!” She laughed and said: Noooo! Needless to say, she didn’t like my idea, so she took the lead and we caught the bus to Guiyang then the train to Chengdu! The bus was about 50 yuan per person and the Train was 100 yuan per person.
The train ride was an experience! Don’t get me wrong, the people were very nice and friendly and generous. But imagine you are riding on the subway during rush hour! Yup! Wall to wall people! No air conditioning! And for 19 hours! So after about 1 hour on the train, I ask my wife if we can upgrade to 1st class. So she goes and talks to one of the attendants and comes back and tells me they are all full. Then she asks me “if I do not like riding the train?” So I tell her politely as possible, that it is too crowded and uncomfortable. By the way, the seats are hard wood benches. So she gets up again and talks to another attendant and comes back. This time she tells me that we wait for an hour then we go to the dining car and we eat! Being a good chap, I agree! So finally we go to the dining car and it is virtually empty! There are tables with padded chair and each table seat 4 people and it is air conditioned! I’m in Heaven! So we order and eat our meal leisurely! By the time we were done, the car was almost empty again. So I figure we needed to also leave! But she says we stay! We relaxed and enjoyed each others company for about an hour or so. Then I noticed people were forming a line outside the dining car and pointed it out to her! Then she asks me for 20 yuan and went to the lady in charge of the Dining car and gives her the money!  When she comes back, she tells me we stay in the dining car and not go back to the other side! I figure cool, its much better in here! Then around 1 am the people in the dining car are stirring again, so I figure something is up again! My wife was napping at the time so I woke her up and she asked for 40 yuan and went over to the lady in charge. When she came back, she said we have two beds in the sleeping car! I was grateful for that, but unfortunately, she was on one end of the car and I was on the other end! But I was glad to get a couple of hours of sleep!
For a good taste of a train ride in China try to download
a copy of the movie "A World Without Thieves". It's a fun
movie but be sure you get one with subtitles.
Our original plan was that we get the marriageable certificate and apply for a tourist visa for my wife, so she could come back with me and meet my family! So I had submitted the DS-156 online, and completed the DS-157, DS-0156 and DS-158e. Now the tricky part is paying for the application fee! The US Embassy will not accept payment! You have to find a CITICBank branch and pay for the fee of $131 USD (943 yuan) at the Bank and they will give you a receipt. You will also have to buy a calling card (54 yuan) from the Bank so you can call to find out when your appointment will be! Earlier I had looked on the Internet and found CITICBank, but their website did not give the location of their branches. They only had branches in Beijing, Chengdu, Kunming and Chongqing listed. I tried calling the US Embassy and kept on getting someone who spoke very little English, so finally I sent an email to the Embassy asking where I could find a CITICBank branch. The Embassy finally responded a week and a half later, but they weren’t of much help either. So when we were in Chengdu, we asked a taxicab driver and he took us to a CITICBank branch. There’s one in Guiyang, but we couldn’t find it?
Once in Chengdu, we caught a taxi cab to the US Embassy. That cost 50 yuan. At the Embassy, there are Chinese Military and Police at the entrance. They are the ones who determine if you will get inside or not! Which I thought was very strange! Unless you are Caucasian and dressed in a Business Suit, you’ll have to stand in line like everyone else! And there are a lot of people trying to get in! Once I got in, there was another wait until your name is called. So I was observing the Embassy staff behind the windows! The day I was there, there were 3 employees. A young tall and slim and friendly man, who was very helpful to everyone he helped! Then there was a woman probably in her 40’s who was also very friendly and helpful. Both seemed to want to help Chinese nationals to visit the USA. Then there was the third guy! One glance at him and you can tell he hated his job and wasn’t about to help anyone! Not even a U.S Citizen who was trying to get a Tourist visa for his wife! The poor guy had to beg and plead with the third guy for over 10 minutes before he was willing to help even a little! I was lucky and got the tall slim guy to help me and got my certificate in about 20 minutes. As I mentioned before it cost $30 USD cash. No charge cards or checks!

From: Original         Author: Lanikai         Time: 3/5/2010 3:57:16 PM

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