|I am on one of my climbing forays in Britain, mostly on the West Coast of Scotland, one of my favourite places, but the main reason for this OS. trip was, to explore, & hopefully work in China|
Accordingly, it was important to obtain a visa.
Now I knew the Chinese Embassy was in London, but fortunately a new Consulate, had recently been opened in Edinburgh, closer to home as it were, so I duly made an appointment to meet with a Mr Chu,the chief consular there, making sure to have all my credentials & info. to hand.
The only problem there was, while in a “doing sense “, I can call myself a world authority on Dryland Conservation, ( desert management, ) it is all dirty hands stuff, rather than, university & book learning qualifications.
But, the main thing I do seem to have is confidence in my real experiences in this “ doing “ thing. The ability to create sustenance where it wasn’t before.
So, my visit to the consular went well from the start. I guess we just had the chemistry.
He sat me down in his plush office, & offered me my favourite drink, green tea. Ah, he liked that.
I wanted a visa for as long as possible & my ploy was to show this lovely little Chinese man, that China needed me, & that I had a lot to offer about things like growing food with little water.
Interestingly, Mr Chu, at this stage, came right out & said, “ why should we give you a long term visa ahead of others. What is different about you ? “
I showed him my videos on my work on the farm, the papers I had written for Organic Conferences, plus the contacts & addresses from people who had attended the Field Days on the farm.
He went away for some time, leaving me, fingers crossed, drinking green tea.
Bursting back into the room, ( now the statutory time for a visit to China was three months ) Mr Chu, with a big smile on his face said, “ I have talked it over with my colleagues, & we have decided to give you six months in our country “
I left clutching that little piece of paper, with a big smile on MY face
When in China, it was quite common to be asked by Chinese people, “ how you get a six month visa you have relations here ? ! .
I considered this a very successful VISIT.