So after a lot of procrastination, I finally walked into my Household Registration Office in San-Zhi to register for the exam. The look of trepidation on the workers’ faces that they would have to speak English to a big bad white foreigner was priceless to say the least. When I spoke Chinese they seemed extremely relieved. Everything went south from there.
NCS: I would like to register to take the Chinese language exam for naturalization.
Clerk 1: Oh, Miss Wang isn’t here. She handles those things and she’s on lunch break right now.
NCS: Ok, I see it’s 1:30pm, what time is Miss Wang due back?
Clerk 1: Momentarily.
NCS: How long is “momentarily”?
Clerk 1: Soon. Please have a seat and wait.
1:50pm arrives, but still no Miss Wang.
NCS: Listen, I need to leave now. I can come back and register tomorrow, but right now I just need to know the date, time, and location of the exam to make sure that I’ll be available to take it that day. If my schedule will allow it, I’ll come back tomorrow and register with Miss Wang.
Clerk 1: It’s in Tanshui in November.
NCS: Yes, I realize that, however, I need the exact date, time, and address for the exam.
Clerk 1: Miss Wang handles that.
NCS: Alrighty then, I’ll come back and see Miss Wang tomorrow. Can I be assured that she will be in the office bright and early tomorrow morning at 8am?
Clerk 1: No. She will be in after 1pm tomorrow.
NCS: Oh…you mean like today?! (sarcastically spoken)
2:00pm and four more clerks walk in from their extended lunch breaks. Miss Wang is not one of them. But, one of them is a man who obviously knows what’s what so he walks up to me. Although I spoke Chinese to him, he spoke crappy English to me the whole time! :fume:
Clerk 2: Can I hep you somesing?
NCS: I wanted to register for the Chinese language exam, but Miss Wang isn’t here to register me and it appears that the seven of you haven’t got a clue. So, for now, I would just settle for knowing the exact date, exact time, and exact location for the exam and perhaps tomorrow I can come and register with Miss Wang, if she decides to show up to work!
Clerk 2: May I see you ARC?
NCS: Sure. I don’t know what that has to do with anything, but here.
Clerk 3: Dis no look like ARC. No, end day, and no wife name on it.
NCS: No shit. It’s not an ARC, it’s an APRC. It has nothing to do with being married or single and it doesn’t have an expiration date. Look, I just want to know the information for the exam. Can you give it to me or not?
Clerk 2: Please wait. I go to looking for paper in office. Ok…here dis is good for you to go to here, can you read Chinese?
NCS: Yes. Of course. Hey, this is the National Immigration Branch Office in Panchiao!
Clerk 2: Yes. Dis where you need go for dis test infomations.
NCS: No, no no. HHR Offices take care of the naturalization procedures. That’s you! I’m supposed to register for the naturalization exam here, I give you a copy of my passport, a copy of my APRC, a current photo, and a $500 registration fee. In return, you register me for the exam and give me a receipt and tell me the exact date, exact time, exact location. I’ve seen many Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian mail order brides here in San-Zhi and I’m sure you have processed naturalization packages for them in the past. Does any of this sound familiar to anybody in this office?!
Clerk 1: Wow. It looks like you know more about this than us! Hmmm.
Clerk 2: Yes, we do for marry brides when dey apply for id card, but dey never take test, dey just going Chinese class at night at the school. You no want do dat?
NCS: No. I want to take the exam. Do you or do you not know anything about it?
Clerk 2: Miss Wang is do for dis. She be here tomorrow after 1:00pm. You give me you name and phone, I tell her call you later.
NCS: Thanks. Here’s my phone number. Please have Miss Wang call me anytime today.
2:10pm - I left the HHR Office, still no Miss Wang. Maybe there isn’t a Miss Wang!
I’m very proud of myself. I managed to restrain myself quite well, this time. I didn’t throw one chair, I didn’t break any glass, I didn’t yell or use bad language, and I didn’t threaten anybody with violence. Good for me! :bravo: Not surprisingly, I did not receive a phone call from Miss Wang later today. So I went out onto the good old Internet and found out the information for myself. For the northcoast, the exam is at the Household Registration Office in Tanshui on Wednesday November 18, at 9:00am in the morning. I printed out a copy of the notice I found on the Internet, and tomorrow I’m going to walk into the San-Zhi HHR Office roll it up and poke them in the eye with it! For anyone else that managed to read through this stupid post, you will find the instructions below. As Iron Lady would say…“Round 2 tomorrow”!