Okay, here’s my story…
Booked a flight for 2nd of September, didn’t pay for the ticket. Get the phone number for the Taiwanese ‘Liason’ Office in Sif Africa. Call them to get some info about the visa. So some German woman answers (‘discovered’ later on that she’s Afrikaans). What do I get? 20 questions with some attitude thrown in for good measure. Eventually she craps me out for calling the wrong branch and gives me the Jo’burg number (note: the first number I called was the only phone number in the Jo’burg telephone directory).
Dial the number given to me. Taiwanese woman answers. Tells me that I sound Chinese. Asks if I’m white. Tell her that questions like that are inappropriate in the ‘new’ Sif Africa. Eventually find out that in order to go to Taiwan I need:
- the equivilent of 80 000NT$ in my bank account
- a letter from my ‘boss’ in Sif africa stating that I intend to return and carry on working for him (I don’t have a job)
- a letter of ‘invitation’ from someone (lord knows who) in Taiwan, inviting me to ‘visit’ them, and also stating that they will look after me (I think that I’m old enough not to need someone to hold my hand) - I mean, how the hell am I meant to get this???
All this for a 30-day visa.
Out of curiosity I give the Korean Consulate a call. Friendly people. No hassle. No visa required. Offer to notarize a copy of my degree. Give me phone numbers in case I’d like to learn some Korean.
I found out later though that there are MANY Sif Africans (who are not native speakers of English, that is, Afrikaans-speaking) in Taiwan working ILLEGALLY without degrees and through agents in Taiwan. Hence the effort needed to get a degree. I mean, holy cow, if there are a lot of Afrikaners in Taiwan (like in London) then I probably don’t want to go. No offense to all the boertjies who might just happen to read this, maar julle kan nie lees nie, kan julle?
Oh well, off to Korea, where the, uh, sun never, or always, whatever it does.