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Mr Men N The Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Let's talk about self stupidity! Let's also talk about those who never take their own advice! So I rose this morning thinking I'd take the long way to the Australian Consulate to see about my passport. After dropping into a small eatery for what I thought was supposed to be Beef Fried Rice (which somehow ended up being Carrot Fried Rice with not a speck of beef), I began my adventure. I slowly made my way down Huanshyi Zhonglu and wound my way here and there though the back streets, most of which somehow wound me back a block or so the way I'd came. Never the less, I had a wonderful time in the more than warm sunshine. Especially as I have no summer clothes and only my thick winter pants and shirts. Many of those wearing shorts obviously mistook my bitter smiles for happy ones...hahahaha! Nearing four hours later and half soaked with sweat I finally arrived at the Guangdong International Hotel and stood beneath several flags that where cheerfully flapping in the warm breeze. I tried so hard to turn several of them into the Australian flag but none of them were even close. I tried a second time and told myself I had obviously mistaken the English Flag for the Aussie one but somehow nothing made me feel better. There was no Australian flag cheerfully flapping above my head! I then figured that maybe some proud Aussie had climbed the flagpole over the New Year and had run off with it. The fact that there wasn't a pole without a flag didn't really make me feel good either. So I headed in and caught the lift to the fifteenth floor and busied myself searching through all the country plaques at the front desk. Surely the Australian one had been taken down to have its daily polish! Can I help you sir? Yes, please do. Are you free for dinner this evening? My gawd she was stunning but thankfully, unlike Homer Simpson these words just rattled through my empty head and didn't make it to my mouth. Instead I told her I was having trouble locating which room the Australian Consulate was in. She then mouthed the words I was dreading to hear. I'm sorry, I've been married twice and I'm on my third with five children. I have a huge mortgage and a bad case of syphilis. What time can you pick me up? Just kidding mate! She told me that the Consulate had moved and then she showed me to where. Like all bloody Australians trying to save a buck, I'm sure they waited till the rent was due, quickly packed and then buggered off to Upper Wakkaburra where the serenity comes complete with the annoying sound of an outboard motor on a Sunday morning. Seriously, could they have moved any further away? Maybe next time I will go to Beijing as surely Beijing is just extra subway stop and up a bit from where the new Australian Consulate is. So thirty Yuan and a twenty minute taxi ride later I was standing beneath the Right Flapping Flag!. Believe me, that taxi ride almost made me give up the Winter Bears N Noodles Passport Adventure and simply use my current passport to head back to the safety of my motherland. With legs that were still trembling I took the lift to the twelfth floor and smiled as I saw the sign. Such a happy smile it was as it was like being home again I almost expected the girl at the front desk to welcome me with an ice cold beer. But this is China and if there was a beer involved in my welcoming, then it would have been warm. Sadly though there wasn't even a warm beer to greet a bouncing thirsty Aussie Roo away from the Land Down Under. When I walked through the front doors there was naught but a bloody security check. The security guard then asked what I was after and when I told her she rolled her eyes and said; 'Let me take you to the sign'....'you see it says passport hours are from nine to twelve'. My answer wasn't really the one she was expecting as it went something like this; You're farking kiddin me mate! What type of farked up hours are they! No one with a passport gets out of bloody bed before midday. I just spent nearly the entire day getting here and now I have to come back. Trusting bloody Australians not to tell anyone they are moving, I just spoke to them a few months ago! She looked at me and smiled that warm motherly smile and simply said; you really should have called! So like a child I sulkily said, you shouldn't roll your eyes and your signs too bloody small too! Huh! So there!

Honestly, the staff really were sorry for the hours and very sweet and as I had worked in the same environment for fifteen years I totally understood and things are done in a certain way....just because they are!

Also the Tribunal I worked in for most of my fifteen years was the Commonwealth Tribunal that some of the Chinese people could easily end up in if their Australian VISA was regected. At the end of the line is my Tribunal and it has the last say after making sure that all government bodies have done their job correctly. I then scuffed my feet across to the lift and caught it down to the lobby where I then 'called' the Australian Consulate to ask them a few questions. Of course my number didn't work because it was for the old Australian Consulate that I never found. I then had to go back to the twelfth floor to get the new number for the new Australian Consulate and then call the twelfth floor from the twelfth floor. Thankfully someone came out to see me and told me that, yes of course the passport photos I had done yesterday were wrong and that I needed to spend yet more time and money on getting more done. So if you are an Aussie Roo away from the Land Down Under and find yourself in Guangzhou with a passport that will son expire, don't get all hasty and drop in to a 'normal' photo mat, wait until you find (if you can) the new Australian Consulate and they will give you a card for two that are only a couple of minutes away. These are two places an Aussie can go and have their passport photo done the 'new way'. Which not only suits all the new anti-terrorism requirements but it also makes you look just like a terrorist. Surely something can be done about passport photos, honestly do you know anyone who actually looks like their passport photo? Even the most sombre and uncheerful bastard that I know wouldn't look a thing like their passport photo if they were to show it to me. This is because when Mr SombreNuncheerful walks into have his photos taken the photographer would then say Um, excuse me but can't look anything like your normal self, not even the slightest. They then would have to make themselves look totally 'unlike themselves' Meaning even more Sombre and Uncheerful. So could you imagine M from 007 going for her passport photo and what it would turn out like. Seriously, who walks through customs with their passport face on? You would have to be totally insane to do so. They would have not only the sniffer dogs at your throat but also the anti-terrorism squad knocking at your back door with more than their batons. I can't help but feel guilty when I enter any airport line, blame all those movies and books where the innocent gets locked up for life in a third world prison. I always try to look like Mr Happy and Mr Cheerful from the Mr Men series but combined. So when I am standing before 'Them' at the airport I then wonder how they can actually tell that the person in the passport photo is the same as the one standing before them when the one in the photo looks more like M's (from 007) son and the one standing before them looks more like a cross between Mr Happy and Mr Cheerful. Except he's not purple or pink and all fat and stuff like all the Mr Men. Honestly, it really is beyond me. Anyhow, I then headed around the corner to get more photos taken that looked very much the same as the ones I got taken yesterday. These ones though made me look a little more like a criminal than the ones I got taken yesterday as these ones were taken even closer. I then found a park to relax in and not long after letting all the tension out of my body an old man came along with a rake and began shooing me off the grass. Sheezuss Bloody Hell Mate! Are you the Australian Consulate General or something! I then found a Mc Donald's and headed in for an ElcheapO coffee and a rest. Whilst I was texting a friend the table girl came over and began clearing the last persons rubbish from my table and also began walking away with my coffee...Oi Oi Oi, Aye Aye Aye! You! Get back here! By now I had pretty much had enough of this day and wanted to do something different, like go home for a cool shower and a rest where hopefully no one can try to steal my coffee, whoosh me away with a broom or tell me to come back between the hours of nine to five. I then thought, why walk home when I can take the subway and figure it all out for tomorrow morning. The Guangzhou subway really is totally awesome. It is fast, efficient and it is so easy to use. So easy in fact, that even I, yes by I, I mean me, myself and I! yes even I made it back to the main train station without a hitch. On the way I even had to show several Chinese people how to use the ticket machines and how to find their way around. I must admit though, I would have been pretty buggered without my map. Many of the station names are different to those that are on the map. Instead of having a normal Station name, they are now named after what ever tourist site is nearest them. So now you have to compare the green patch name on the map and then count the stations until you get to the same one on the ticket machine map. So instead of Jiniantang Station (in the LP and on the city map) it is now called 'Sun Yat San Memorial'. I make it sound harder than it is but at first I thought there was another screen that I needed to access. Seriously, what type of idiot would rename half of the subway stations to a tourist site nearly by. It had many of the Chinese tourists in a fluster but thankfully Super Shane was also nearby and told them in future to simply look at the green patch on their map if the name doesn't match. Then whilst walking back to the hotel from the train station I began to wonder why I don't do things sensibly and like most would have, why didn't call the consulate first. My answer was easy. If I had of it would have made things too easy. I would have missed out this complete waste of a day. That on the other hand can be looked at as yet another of my Beers N Noodles Misadventures! Oh for those that want to know where the new Australian Consulate is, it can be found somewhere near the Zhujiang Xincheng Subway Station and across from the Pearl River. Obviously the Australian Consulate is not considered a tourist site as if it was the subway station would be known as G'Day Mate! Howzitgarn!. I don't have the address in English but I'm sure if you grab a few tinnies and walk around the block a few times that she'll be right mate. You'll soon come across the homeland blanket cheerfully flappin in the wind!. Beers N Noodles toya.....shane ________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by the awesome Dave Graney The album was 'The Soft N Sexy Sounds' _________________________________________________

Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

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Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure


Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Aussie Consulate Misadventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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