Well I must say I am stoked. Stoked to at last meet Kirk and Donna of www.kirkanddonna.com fame. I am staying with them here at their apartment in Redondo Beach until my flight to Shanghai leaves on the 13th.
Last night Kirk and I were trying to figure out how we first got acquainted. I did a little research, and found that he emailed me on the 4th of April 2006, telling me that my website was not working. From there, Kirk has given me great advice on traveling, drawing on his own experience while traveling around the world with his wife Donna.
Kirk gave me a ride into central Los Angeles this morning to the Chinese Consulate. Time to get a visa sorted out.
I was hoping to be able to apply for a 90 day tourist visa. No such luck. The Consualte’s policies changed on Wednesday last week. Foreign passport holders may only apply for a 30 day visa. Ouch. So I did that. Applied for the 30 day visa.
Afterwards however, I realised that this will not do the trick at all. I will definitely be in China for at least 90 days. I don’t want to chance having to leave the country because I can’t extend the visa enough to finish the trip across China by skateboard.
Therefore, the game plan is to visit the embassy on Monday again, with all my travel documents in order (itinerary, flight details etc) and see if they will allow an exception. Here’s hoping…
LA is a big city. Colossal. And here I was thinking Phoenix was big.
By the way, I am elated to say that I was reunited with my Canon G9 camera today. C.R.I.S. Camera, the legends, were super speedy and got the thing fixed and sent to Kirk and Donna’s place for me to pick up when I arrived yesterday. Fantastic. And even better, they didn’t charge me a thing. What would have been a US$260 repair, they supplied the repair as support for my journey and cause. Talk about awesome. Thank you to C.R.I.S. Camera. I have missed the flexibility of the G9.
I made my way back to Redondo Beach using the Metro and bus system. Their 1800-COMMUTE free-dial info service came in very handy.
Without it I would have been ruined.
So…I have about 10 days here in LA. I will be working on the Chinese Visa issue, and also, please look forward to the next Video Update! I have been taking lots of footage from the road since way back in Austin, Texas, and I am looking forward to getting it all together!