Monday, 10 August 2009

Have visas, will travel!

We went to London 21-23 July (a couple of weeks ago now), to get our visas for Taiwan sorted out. Martin got an extendable visitor visa, but I was able to get a resident visa straight away, being on a Ministry of Education Scholarship. That saves a bit of fuss, but there'll still be the Alien Resident Card to apply for, which means going and getting certain health tests done and, often, a lot of to-ing and fro-ing whilst you get everything in order! I don't know what I was thinking about when I had these photos taken, but I seem to look rather alarmed! Maybe it was the realisation that, if I don't get over 80% all the time, I'll lose the stipend money for the next month - eeek!

Just before getting the bus back to Leeds we called in at the Cultural and Education section of the TRO (Taipei Representative Office - sort of embassy) to meet the folk who selected me as a scholarship recipient (blessings be upon them (but that's certain to be changed to 'curses' at some point in the future, I'm sure!!)) and they took us out for lunch. Here I am with the team, including the administrator, Olivia, who was in the first cohort of East Asian Studies students I was involved in teaching back in 2002! Nice to see that someone actually got a job in the UK using their Chinese without being in either teaching or translating/interpreting.

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