Just wanted to end/start the year on a positive note.
I’ve had a bit of a rough first six months in Taiwan in account of foolishly choosing to work for an agent. When I quit they cancelled my work permit, but didn’t bother actually getting in touch with me, as they are supposed to, to give me my official marching orders.
So a combination of my own bloody-mindedness and their intransigence finds me in an awkward situation. I have a new job, work permit (from the Education Department this time) in process, and no time for the paperwork. In fact, a call to the police reveals that I’ve already overstayed by several weeks. Bugger!
The second half of the conversation came as a bit of a surprise: ‘When would it be convenient for you to make a trip to Hong Kong?’ and ‘Is Hong Kong OK for you? That’s the most popular option.’ followed by ‘When you have your ticket, come in and see us and we’ll sort out the overstay.’
I have to admit to being a bit flummoxed by this. It’s not what I’ve been led to expect, but in the belief that optimism is better than despair I duly turn up at the police station with my passport. This is New Years Eve, the place is full of people waiting with sheaves of paper and anxious expressions.
Ten minutes later I walk out with a stamp in my passport saying that I haven’t overstayed. I didn’t have to wait and I didn’t have to pay anything. I had no problems at the airport yesterday, my new visa was issued promptly and with no fuss at all by a very friendly lady at the office in HK, and I breezed through CKS airport this afternoon wondering what all the fuss has been about in the past.
OK, I could have done without the expense, but I have to say that dealing with this crap myself has been vastly easier and less traumatic than leaving an agent to deal with it. All the officials I’ve had to deal with have been friendly, sympathetic, and helpful. I’m starting to like Taiwan!!!