A wonderful book.Valuable reading as I prepare for my visit.

Regrettably, my efforts to obtain a visa to China has been anything but wonderful or valuable. The Chinese embassy required I send them my passport, which, it appears, has gotten lost in he process of FedEx return mailing. Now I have to rush-apply for another passport, and I still don't have the visa. 

The embassy does not respond to emails. Though it lists two telephone numbers, one that supposedly gives voicemail instructions for applying, no one ever answers; there's not even a way to leave a voicemail message.

However, its website did give explicit instructions of the documents required for visa application. I gathered these together and sent them off--only to discover, the embassy won't accept mail from the public. to apply for a visa, one has to go through an agency. Unfortunately, my package, which I had sent ground delivery (thinking I had oodles of time), seems to have gotten lost; it never came back to me. The "tracer" efforts online only shows that at some point the package returned to FedEx's collection terminal in Maryland, but there the trail stops.

I also did not think to insure the package. Now I'm having to shell out $300 for the rush passport application, plus $290 for the visa application & the agency's processing fees.

Not an auspicious beginning.