The Lippo Centre stands tall. The sun is shining through the overcast skies. Finance people go to work.
For some strange reason, the Chung Hwa office is not on the 21st floor. It’s on the 40th. It took a few minutes to find it.
It’s 8:38AM on a Friday morning. There are already six people waiting in line at the door. The Chung Hwa Travel Agency opens its doors at 9AM. Fees have been upped. Single entry visitor’s visa is $400HK + $200HK for same day processing.
Man and daughter walk up to the counter. She’s about 10, squat-like with glasses. He’s tall, Canadian and has blond hair. He sports a beard of a few days.
-Good morning ma’am, and how are you today
-Today, we’d like to apply for a student visa for my daughter
-My wife is Taiwanese, but she’s not my daughter’s mother.
-She’s her step-daughter.
-I’m still waiting on my criminal record check. They lost it and I had to send for it again.
-I’ve only got photocopies, I was told that it would be enough.
-At this time, we can not offer you ANY visa, due to (unintelligible response).
-Your photos are too small. Please get some new ones.