Well, boys and girls I decided to change my visa to a spouse visa and to do that we had to travel to Jets hometown of Yancheng in Jiangsu Province. Now if you remember Jet is an orphan, so I have never had to deal with in-laws. However, I have video chatted with his uncles, cousins and paternal grandmother, kind of. They don’t speak normal Chinese only local dialect. This was the first time I will see them face to face.
Since it was a remote village the only way to get there is by bus. We figured it would be about 8 hours to get there. We got on the bus and luckily there were only 9 other people on the bus. Unfortunately, it meant they noticed me as the only foreigner on the bus. My husband was asked the normal nosey questions. Where is she from? What does she eat? Does she like China? How much to travel to America? And the dreaded Why did you marry a foreigner?
My husband was polite and answered all the questions. I stayed quiet until one rude guy said my husband was lying and I was from Africa. I then said to the asshole in Chinese “are you stupid there are Black people in America. You don’t know Obama or the NBA?” That shut him up and made the whole bus laugh.
Nine hours later we arrived at the small town close to Jet’s village. There are no hotels in his village so we had to stay an hour away. We stayed in a four star hotel because foreigners are usually not allowed to stay in the cheaper ones. Our plan was to go the next morning to apply for my new visa.
The next morning we went to the entry-exit office. We were told we didn’t register and we needed to go to Jets village to register with the police station.
It seems we needed to catch the short bus on the side of the highway and take it to the village. This bus was packed. But I did find one empty seat. Hour later we got off and had to walk 30 minutes to the police station. When we finally arrived they said we didn’t need to register there the hotel would register for us. So, we had to walk back to the spot to catch the short bus back.
While we were there Jet suggested we visit his grandmother. So we walked for an hour down the highway too meet his Grandmother.
You can notice the smog in the photo, that didn’t help. Finally, the short bus arrived. This time there was no place to sit. We had to stand for an hour to get back to the small town.
We returned to the office and explained what the police said. Then they checked with the hotel. It seems the hotel neglected to report me to the police. So they got in trouble, 5000 rmb fine for not reporting. That also meant we were delayed another day because we had to wait 24 hours after the submission.
Due to this mistake my husband demanded that we get a free night. Finally, the next day we were able to get the visa application submitted. The next morning we got on the bus to head back home. This time it was crowded but they still recognized me; calling me American Flower.
We started back thinking it would be about 9 hours but it ended up being 12 hours. I felt like it was never going to end. When we got home I was exhausted. But that is how china is, you think it should run smoothly and it never does.
Until next time…