How I Got Kicked Out of China

Okay, I suppose that the title sounds a little more exciting than the actual story. But it’s still true. Yes, I was kicked out of China. I must say that this experience has showed me just how much beauracratic hell the millions of immigrants, workers, and exchange students have to go through in my own country everyday. I am comparatively lucky, I suppose. Have you ever heard of a Chinese person overstaying his VISA in America? Of course you haven’t, and I’m sure his family never heard either.

Foreigners in China hold a somewhat priveleged position regarding the law. Now, I am not advocating that you should pick up an axe, head to China, and start hacking people’s heads off. But for the most part, we can get away with a lot of shit by scratching our heads and pretending that we don’t speak Chinese. Your average foreigner (outside of Russians and Filipinos) are not coming to China out of desperation. Most of them are coming to hang out, study Chinese, teach English, or make millions exploiting the country for vast, faceless international corporations. I’ll leave it to your imagination to guess which category I belong to. Nevertheless, the government considers it’s foreign guests to be a necessary, even a beneficial ingredient to its own economic success. There is limitless demand for English speaking, and the people here are very self-conscious about their accents. Keeping all of this in mind, the government doesn’t want to cause a lot of troubles for the foreigners that come here, because there are plenty of other equally lucrative countries right next door.

Some of us just aren’t so lucky, though. Chinese people say that the law exists only on paper, not in practice. And if someone with connections doesn’t like you, you’re fucked. I’ll admit that I have a bit of a problem. I’m a loudmouth jackass, and if I feel that somebody is doing injustice to me, be it a friend, colleague, or boss, I’m not afraid to let them know. I guess I let the wrong person know. Monday morning, I woke up to a loud banging on my door. I tell my girlfriend to see who it is. She comes back a minute later explaining that it’s the police and she’s let them in. Well, now I’m fucking furious. Why the hell would you let the police in my apartment? She explains that unlike in America, the police here don’t need a warrant. Fucking great. For a moment I wish that Mao had killed twice as many people as he had, but this is no time or place for irrational anger. I think back to the night before? What the hell did I do? I had a lot to drink, but I don’t remember doing anything particularly stupid.

The officer informs me in good English that he is from the immigration department and that he needs my passport. I lie and say that I’m getting a Vietnamese VISA processed. He says he’ll have to search every inch of my apartment if I don’t give it to him, so I relent and give it. He tells me that we have to go to the Immigration Bureau, so I send my girlfriend home before she gets in any more trouble. I don’t go in handcuffs or anything, we just walk out together. HE won’t tell me anything on the ride there, but he keeps asking me about my ipod, how much it costs, if it plays video and crap. This is important later. Finally, we get to the immigration bureau, and like any good government office I sit around twiddling my thumbs for a couple hours. Finally, he comes back out and tells me that my VISA has been cancelled, even though it’s valid until July 15th, and that he’s supposed to take me to jail until I can pay the exorbitant fee attached to this. I don’t have the money, but he says that he will let me out for three days to get the money together and to come back Thursday morning.

Well, I had no idea how I’d get the money. I make a decent salary over here, but I’m not doing this for the money, and I spend most of my cash on alcohol and other frivolous things. Anyway, I talk with some of my Chinese friends, and they say that he is obviously looking for a bribe, not for me to pay some nonsense fee. I have no choice here, as I don’t have my passport. I call the American Embassy and they inform me that they can offer no assistance in the matter. Fucking bastards, unless I want to adopt one of these fucking kids here they don’t give a shit. So what the hell do I bribe this cop with? Then it dawns on me. The bastard wants an ipod. And not just any ipod, he wants the same ipod I have. An 80GB ipod video. Well, I can afford that at least. So I go to the electronics market in Beijing, purchase a nice new ipod, get it wrapped up all pretty-like, and sit around waiting until Thursday.

I walk into the immigration bureau Thursday morning and he brings me to a small room off to the side. He asks how I’m doing, a bunch of nonsense chitchat. Finally, I get impatient and I take out the package, hand it to him and tell him thanks for all of the help, and I’d appreciate if he could tell me who cancelled my VISA and why. He says he can’t do that, but we do get up at this point. We walk up the stairs into a large hall filled with hundreds of other people all waiting for VISA issues to be processed. He takes me to a counter labeled “overdue VISAs” and I fill out a couple of forms explaining why I overstayed my VISA. OF course, I had no idea I even was overstaying an invalid VISA but this doesn’t matter. Just write anything, he says. So I do this, give the lady behind the counter 300RMB, and I have my passport back in my hand with an exit VISA with the date February 8th on it. He informs me that I must be out of the country by this date or I will be forcibly deported.

The best part about the whole thing? I am in no way barred from re-entering the country again. In fact, I could go down to Hong Kong on Monday, get a new VISA processed, and be back in China Tuesday. For the gift, the cop even offered to get my VISA fixed so that I am in control of it and it cannot be cancelled again. Fucking ridiculous! So now I am waiting again, train ticket to Hong Kong in hand, for Monday. Will I come back? I still haven’t decided that yet, I have a lot of things to think about. When I set out on this trip, I told myself I would not stay in any country longer than one year, and I’ve already broken that promise with China. But on the other hand, I’ve developed a lot of close relationships here, and my job is pretty sweet too. Regardless of what I decide, I’m pretty sure I can pick up at least one girl back in the States with this story when I finally return. Dear Mr. Policeman, I hope you’re enjoying your fucking ipod.

'Tis a silly place. So what’s the scoop on that lady friend?

If you decide not to return, where are you off to next?

Bribing a cop with an ipod, a very nice story even if it does put you out a bit. Shame you couldn’t find out who was responsible for the whole thing.

oh zepp you slay me

Well, they may have more power over you, but at least it’s always possible to work out a deal with them. As for whether or not to go back there, that’s your call, but who knows, maybe that’s actually the place where you fit in. I mean, do you really want to go back to American girls?

Yeah, I know. American girls have suffrage. Think about that one.

… but how many of them actually use it?

A prestigious undead archbishop from Colorado is still pissed about that suffrage thing. I keep telling him to chill , it’s not like women can read to vote anyway, but he’s all “Matchbuff would eat their brains if they had any” anyway.

I’ve only gotten forcibly removed from a country by my own government, it’s lame. It’s pretty cool that you can essentially just get back in with no real penalty, though. Gotta love senseless beurocracies, right?

I’m more curious to see the girl that is able to put up with you, personally. The corruption was predictable , although it is also interesting to see it in action with people you “know”.

It’s also refreshing for cops to hint at specific bribes. It can be so hard to know what to get for people, you know. Especially if you don’t know them too well, yet. I mean, maybe if you get him something too expensive, he’ll think you’re clingy. But if you get something too cheap, he’ll think you’re just using him.

  • Policeman690283 sets mode: +b
  • xzeppelin has been kicked from #China by Policeman690283 (Thanks for the iPod :))
  • Policeman690283 sets mode: -b

Cless, I’m nerdy enough that that made me giggle.

I already sent you an e-mail wondering where you’d been oO bad stuff. Good luck with that And gimme a life sign this weekend or once you’re back. :expressionless: We haven’t talked in forever.
Also, while you’re here, don’t run around posting stories like this in public forums. you never know <.<

RPGC receives an offer it can’t refuse

That kinda reminded me of India. If you wanted to travel by train there were special foreigners’ queues but you couldn’t use the normal ones. And the fun part was that after you’d waited on a normal queue the clerk would show you to the foreigners’ queue cause “it’ll be quicker”, never mind you were next in line. The joys of leaving home.

Remind me to be nice to people in China.

Haha, though I could say the same about you!

I’ve tentatively decided to return to Beijing at this point. More out of necessity than anything, because I’ve only now realize that maybe I should be saving a little more money. I wouldn’t mind going to Korea or something to work, but I could barely even afford a ticket there at this point, let alone have enough money to live on while finding a job in one of the most expensive countries on the planet. At least China is dirt cheap, plus my apartment is paid off until April, and I have a job and a girlfriend to return to. Unfortunately, I think I’m going to have to force myself to live a less frivolous lifestyle for a while.

My parents are pulling a big “haha, told you so” at the whole thing, using it as an excuse to get me to come back to the States and get a “real job.” But I’m just not ready to do that yet, and I don’t think I will be until they can convince me that just because I’m living in another country somehow makes my life less “real” then it would be back at home. As if the rest of the world is in some sort of artificial stasis while I’m carelessly off flirting with multiculturalism. Hell, as far as I’m concerned, stories like this are infinitely more real than anything I’d be doing back there.

As for American girls…honestly, at this point, I’d love one. Any takers?

Dude, Brittney Spheres is up for grabs, and I’m almost certain that she’ll take you if you text message her a proposal. But you’ll have to hurry before some other Dirty White Boy beats you to it.

btw, How’s the food?

You did the bribe wrong. You’re supposed to discreetly leave it somewhere where he can find it, and never speak of it again. And not ask him directly to do what you want him to do, but let him do it. By presenting the bribe to him wrapped up, you humiliated him. (course I don’t actually have any real experience with this shit, but thats what I would have done).

As for who cancelled your passport or whatever happened, it may have been the cop himself. Or one of his friends. This stuff seems like its almost a business in countries like China.

Zepp, shame on you for humiliating the immigration officer by not following proper bribing procedure!