Why you so happy?

I am new here. Well, I have been in Taiwan six months now and I have been monitoring the ongoing discussions here for the same period of time. However this is my first post in the discussion and I am of course worried of getting my head chopped off. But, what the hell, if you are getting your head chopped off, you might as well do it on the net yeah? Well, what happened was this: On my first Visa run to HK I had a little problem with the papers. On my next Visa run I had enrolled in NTNU, I also had my “embassy” stamp every paper as correct copies and correct translations of the originals. (I am Norwegian.) That made me believe that I had a good case. I showed up in HK, and while sitting down I said; “Hello Miss, I remember you from last time. This time I have prepared my papers very nice.” Her reply was: WHY YOU TALK SO MUCH? I lost my mouth and she continued: WHY YOU TALK SO MUCH AND GIVE ME SO MANY PAPERS? DON’T PUSH ME! SIT DOWN AND GIVE ME JUST THE PAPER I AM ASKING FOR AND DON’T PUSH ME! Of, course I played, well to be honest I actually felt, scared as she worked my papers and I praised myself for over preparing (is that really good English?). I was shocked when she, with a triumphant gesture, raised my bank account statement and proclaimed: THIS IS TO OLD! Well, I didn’t know the rules for that and didn’t know how to reply. In desperation I called my Taiwanese girlfriend and handed the phone to the flame-spitting lady and after a short discussion I was waived back to the waiting seat and everything turned out allrigth. (Thank God for selecting a smart girlfriend.) Later my school told me that my two months old bank account statement was not too old. Three months, they said, is good enough. So now, what is your (f.) problem, you might reply. Well, the answer is; can anyone fill me in on what I did wrong so I can improve my survival skills?

quote[quote] can anyone fill me in on what I did wrong [/quote]

You went to the Taiwan office in Hong Kong. They’re legendarily vicious and nasty.


yeah, don’t go to Hong Kong.

Although HK seems to have become worse recently, there may perhaps be some general advice in dealing with public offices:

  • Don’t go in the afternoon.
    People are starting to watch the clock then and they have probably become annoyed by a few people during the day, so they will generally not be very friendly. Going in the afternoon is about the worst to do as it will also be crowded and hot.

  • Get there as early as possible.
    This is the logical conclusion from point one. If you are early, chances are the person behind the counter has not been annoyed yet and is therefore in a relatively good mood. Also, there will probably not be too many people lining up with you, so the whole atmosphere is much more relaxed.

  • Try to find out in advance which papers will be necessary by all means and try to put them in a nice order.
    This includes to put your ticket (in HK) into your passport right where your personal data are. Try to make it convenient for the person on the other side of the desk, let him/her feel that you don’t want to cause him/her inconveniences but actually try to be helpful. Have other papers that might_ be asked for handy to display them at once, without a thorough search in all your pockets and bags.

  • Be friendly.
    This should probably be the first point. The person sitting opposite to you might even “forget” to check (in one of the offices abroad) your ticket out of Taiwan - if everything is running smoothly.

Any more advices to add? I made the experience that timing can be very important. The person that would grant you a whatever stamp in the morning could reject the same thing in the afternoon - for some stupid reason that was not at all important in the morning…

Try Saigon next time.

Can you get a visa in Saigon? I got my firts visa in Hanoi and they gave me 60 day extendable just liek that. Vietnamese airfares are so expensive though.


I went a few months ago and the f$%kers wouldn’t give me the visa cos the people at this end hadn’t cancelled my old one properly!!
Well I was livid but I didn’t argue too much cos I knew I might have to go back again.

When I went back to Taiwan they told me I had to go to Hong Kong again. I refused point blank and said I did my bit, you messed up, you do yours and stood around for ages (this works when you’re in a country already, it DOES NOT work if you are outside the country , they will just call security!). Eventually I got one without re-exiting (don’t know how that one worked).

They hate to be pushed, you can’t be too pushy with Chinese people. You’ve got to be more deferential, hand them the papers, say this is this, that is that, stand back and give them a chance to look at it. Often they will refuse you or complain about something. Then you must stand your ground but never become too angry, just remain insistent. Often they will see that you are genuine and let you on with the process. Don’t accept anything they tell you first time.
Sometimes, like me above, you are up sh*t creek without a paddle and there is nothing to do but hop on the next plane out of there.

This doesn’t mean they should do it this way, it’s just that it is the only way to deal with them. She was just busting your balls cos you were being too pushy from the start.

you think HK is wait till you try a visa run to the PI. the women in HK can be bitches put PI is worse.

Ho Chi Minh City was good for me because they get so little traffic from foreigners. You may have a hard time even finding a cabbie or cyclo driver who has the foggiest notion of where the place is even. I should post the address, I guess, if I was really civic minded.

What’s PI? I really want to go there just so I can slap them around a bit …

“PI” means the “Philippine Islands”.

By the way, could someone please tell me the address and phone number of the Taiwan de-facto embassy in Bangkok?

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand
20th Floor, Empire Tower
195 South Sathorn Road,
Yannawa, Bangkok 10120
Phone: (+66-2)670-0228
Fax: (+66-2)670-0229
E-mail: tecoinfo@ji-net.com

Thanks a lot, Cranky! By the way, how did you find that out? Is there a website which lists all of the Taiwan de-facto embassies overseas?