China Visa Overstay - A Cautionary Tale

I'm stupid
I'm careless
I'm a Tosser
I'm a Twat...
What can I say...your right, I'm all of these things.

On the plus side though, I now speak from experience...
I get a yearly visa.
Once a year I pop along to the PSB office here in Nanning and apply for a new one.
When I first arrived, all those years ago I only had a 30 day visa, then 3 months at a time, two times, then 6 months, two times, then yearly.

I think this is my second or third yearly one. One might argue, I'm an old hand at this caper.
This year 2010 was no different. In my mind, I had ingrained the renewal date, I'd even put the renewal date in Microsoft calender on the laptop, just to be safe.
And just like clockwork, up popped the reminder on the laptop, although I had not needed it to remind me as I was 'on the ball' and had already mentioned to my dear wife, it's that time again. Visa time.
This was Wednesday, have you checked your passport she said, No need. The date was set in stone. We have until next Wednesday or Thursday, We will go on Monday, I said with confidence.
All was well with the world and Thursday passed without incident, most of Friday also.
We got home early Friday, about 4pm. What are we doing now, I asked. Why don't we sort out the Visa papers for photocopying she said. Good idea.

As most already know, if married you need photocopies of marriage book in addition too photocopies of passport main page, last visa issued page, wife's family book, wife's ID card and the Police registration of Temporary residence paper. Along with all the originals, application form and a passport photo, this is what you need to take along to the PSB office. No problem.
Where is my passport, I ask, it's in the safe, you should know, you put it there, she said.
Found it, great, that's everything. Its only 5.30 what are we going to do now?
Don't know, she said while casually picking up my passport and flicking through the pages - Where is your last visa page?. It's here, a few pages back, see, don't know why they put it there.
Is this right? she said. What! I said, It expired yesterday, the valid until day...WAS YESTERDAY.
Don't wind me up, let me see... Oh! F---, F---, F---.
After about 10 minutes of all the usual...this can't be right, someones changed it, why didn't you tell me, has my passport been in the safe all the time, how could I be so stupid...all the usual trying to make some sense of my own stupidity, finally I said, What are we going to do? It always helps to involve others, in ones own stupidity.
It's 6 o'clock Friday night, my visa expired yesterday, Thursday, and I'm an illegal alien.
Don't worry she says in that lovely, we're in China voice, everything is possible.
We can go tomorrow and sort it out, Don't worry, it'll be OK, she thinks for a moment, then quite calmly says - They might not be open tomorrow, It's Saturday...
To be continued...


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