The Kafkaesque Magic That Is China


“This [new visa restrictions] is to ensure that we do not receive complaints from visitors that our hotels are full and our tourist destinations are too crowded.

“We also do not want to see people sleeping on the streets as there will be many people visiting China during the Olympic Games period,” Shen said here yesterday.

He added that it was best if visitors avoided the Olympics period.

So now, I have no clue what the hell the purpose of getting the Olympics was. I thought it was in large part for the tourist bonanza, but apparently not so much. Maybe it all goes back to my original theory – it’s really all about prestige. That’s pretty much the biggest motive here.

On one of the online forums for expats living in Beijing, this Reuters story was also posted. Perhaps it’s less Franz Kafka and more Joseph Heller. As one person in the forum questioned, “so if you have tickets to the Olympics, you can stay, but to get tickets you need 6 month visa, to get 6 month visa you have to have tickets to the Olympics…”

As for my status, I’m still looking into things. So far, my best guess is that I can probably extend one more time for a 30 day period, which would result in me returning to the US in early June. Early enough for the Atlas Society Summer Seminar, though not quite as long as I had hoped.


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