Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dinner Cruise in Guangzhou, China

After a busy day, Ling and I took a dinner curise on the Yellow River in Guangzhou, China.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

She Got It

Good news from Guangzhou. My fiancee Ling passed the interview and got a "Pink" slip. As you can imagine, we are thrilled thrilled thrilled.

She lined up outside the US Consulate building around 7:00 am, about 7:15 they began issuing numbers and processing everyone in. I waited with NYTimes (Ben) and another fellow we met there (Alex) in the coffee shop for several hours in hope of hearing the good news.

Ben's SO came down first with a big smile and waving a pink slip. Alex's wife was second, they had been waiting for 2 years. I had to wait about another hour or so until my Ling came downstairs.

Her interview did hit a couple bumps. After getting through security, she was seated in the same room I was for ACH, waiting to be called. She heard her name, went up to the window and opened the seealed package of papers from the medical exam, the worker tells her this is wrong. She had called someome else with same family name, but given name was Ping, not Ling. Ohh no. She asked the worker, what to do, but she didn't have any advice, just sit back down and wait.

I would of been thinking, ohh no...interview is over, I need to go back to hospital for another sealed package. But it worked out okay, when Ling was actually called to the window, the lady asked her to open her package, she pretended to open it, and the lady never even looked up. hehehehe. whew. She collected all the papers and her passport and was given #1111, then sat back down.

After that, they did the swearing in, and then the finger prints, and she continued to wait.

When she was called to the VO window for the interview, it was short and pleasant. The VO was young American man. It went as follows:

Ling: Good morning.
VO: Good morning and smiled.

VO: Who applied for VISA for you.
Ling: Answered with my name.

VO: What is your finance's job?
Ling: He works for Government, FAA.
VO: Oh, FAA.

VO: Do you have copy of his taxes?
Ling: Yes, gives him the whole financial folder with 3 years tax transcripts, I-134, letter from employer, and all pay stubs for 2007.
VO: Looks through them.

VO: When did you get divorced?
Ling: 2001.

VO: When did your finance get divorced?
Ling 2006, but separated in 2005.

VO: How did you meet your finance?
Ling: On the internet.

VO: When?
Ling: April 2006.

How many times has he come to China?
Ling: Five times.

VO: Can I have his passport?
Ling: Yes, and gives my passport to him.
VO: Looks at passport and gives it back.

VO: ni tong guo le (which means "You Got It")
VO: gong xi ni (which means You can celebrate)
VO: yi lu shun feng (which means "Have good trip")
VO: Hands pink slip to my Ling.

When she came downstairs, she tried to hide it from me, but I could tell by her face....She got it!

It's great to be able to share this expierence with CFL members, as so many before have shared their expierences to help me. I really want to say thank you to everyone that has posted advice or insight into the VISA process. I attribute the knowledge I gained from this site, to helping Ling and I prepare for our successful interview. Thank you all once again.

Here is a shot of Ling, the morning of the interview, with the "Kitchen Sink." I think it is bigger than most, with the bulk being a years worth of Yahoo Messenger chat transcripts in the middle. I think she may develop carpol tunnel shoulder from lugging it around all day.

This is Ling and son Chao in the coffee shop, after the interview, happy with the "Pink SLip" in hand.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Around Town

Here is a shot of my Ling in the park accross the street from the US Embassy in Guangzhou.

This is looking back at Mr. Yangs Apartment/Hotel building and the US Consulate in Guangzhou.

Here is a shot of Ling and I in front of a huge water fountain in the park accross the street from the US Consulate.

This one is looking across the park at the Civic Plaza shopping mall just down the street.

I attended American Citizen Hour (ACH) on Monday and got entered into the GUZ computer. Getting in was a snap, there were about a hundred or so in attendance. There were also several hundred Chinese nationals waiting in a que, all with blue sheets, apparently there as part of their overcome process. More men then women I would say.

When I got to the fifth floor, I was directed to the right and had to pass through security. They collected my cell pone and gave me a ticket to claim it later. The room was huge, with numbered windows to the left and rows of chairs to the right. About 40 or 50 people were sitting and waiting. As I stood there, the guard said something in Chinese and all these people stood up and rushed to the front to form a que near where I was standing. Just by pure luck, I wound up near the front of this line, which I soon figured would be to issue us all a number to see a VO. Once I got my number, I sat down and waited for my turn. At 14:30 they started calling numbers, mine was fairly quick. I asked my question about the I-134, the VO gave me the answer and told me he had entered me in the computer as it was obvious I was interested in this case.

After that, I left and met up with Ling in the lobby, and went off to have a late lunch and shopping. Now we are in final countdown mode for Wednesday.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Arrive in Guangzhou China

Well, Ling and I arrived in Guangzhou on the 23rd. Mr. Yang had arranged for a car to pick us up at the airport and bring us to his Apartment/Hotel. We had no problems finding him as he called us shortly after we landed. It was not free, but worth every RMB as we had peace of mind that we would go straight to the hotel....and not get sidetracked.

Mr. Yang's place is not bad at all. We rented a 1 bedroom with a living/dining room, a kitchen and a bath. We also rented a shared single bedroom for Lings son.

The place is clean with modern fixtures, it is small but then again so are most others. This place is actually a little bigger then the home Ling has been living in the past 2 years.

We have spent the last few days as tourist around Guangzhou. I must say I really like it. The weather is tropical, but I think the harsh summer has passed. The city is clean and easy to navigate. The roads are pretty good and the taxi drivers are much better than I have expierenced in other Chinese cities.

The buildings are huge, many tall tall skyscrapers, like New York, Chicago, or LA. Beautiful green lush parks between them. High-rise apartments everywhere.

There are 2 multi-level shopping malls within walking distance of where we are staying. They are both very similar to any you would find in the US. We found KFC, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, and Pappa Johns close by for a taste of home. Pappa Johns even delivers.

The complex consists of two 30 story apartment buildings, with a 5 or 6 story office complex in between them, all connected. This is where the US Embassy consulate is located. I will go there tomorrow adfternoon for ACH, and again on Wednesday with my Ling for her K-1 interview.

I'll try to post some pictures to give you guys and idea what it looks like around here.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Visiting Friends in Los Angeles

I got to spend some time with our friends Douglas, Ying, and Wei in Los Angeles before I headed off to China for the fifth time.  We went to the beach in Marina Del Rey and I asked them which way to China?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What's Wasabi?

Matt tries wasabi for the first time.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Useful Chinese Products

Maybe I can pick up one of these next time I am in China.