Day 129 - Bureaucratic Hell

Melbourne University
August 14th, 2015

Most of the day is taken up by waiting to get someone from the Australian bureaucracy on the line to find out how to get a copy of my working-holiday visa. Why am I doing this? Because China has decided that it’s essential for them to know that I am able to work in Australia before they will allow me to do so in China. I have no idea what relevance it has to them. “Why don't you just hand over a copy of your work permit?” Therein lies the rub.
Flinder's Street Station
All sorts of street performers everywhere
When I first signed up for the Working-Holiday Visa, I opted out of paying the extra bit (I think...) to have a certificate/visa label given to me. So long as I got in the country and it was attached to my passport, I figured it was A-OK. No need to prove further to myself that I had the cert. That’s what I thought. Now, however, I kick my past self for not foreseeing that the Chinese government would demand to see my work permit for Australia. Hindsight is 20-20, of course, since my past self couldn't have known they would be this anal about it. It’s their game, I'm just playing it.

"Watch Your Emotions!"
I'm still not sure what that means
I go through the electronic system (VEVO) that shows my current work status. It has the Aus Gov's Seal, but it may not be official enough. I download the PDF and shoot it off to my school to see if it'll due. Next step: Phone mail hell, as was referenced in the opening of this post. After spending over an hour on the phone to grab the ear of an Immigration worker, I learn that I can e-mail someone to gain access to evidence of my eligibility to work. My call took all of 5 minutes.  On Monday, I will be heading to the Office of Immigration to see if I can get it even faster than the email. The plan to be in Melbourne was kind of hinging on it going smoothly and getting my visa around the 20th. As it stands, that ain’t happening.

We rail into town to grab some food from a Japanese place, Rice Workshop, which is pretty good. Very popular. Luke said that Melbourne is a place that you could easily survive if you only speak mandarin. Shimou keeps saying this is a warm up for the real test - China. Seems she’s right so far, given all the Chinese people and Asian restaurants we've been going to. My chopstick skill is pretty damn good.

When they say "unsweetened,"
they mean it.
After dinner, we stop at target for.. whatever, then visit the campus for the University of Melbourne. Luke says that it’s supposed to be the best university in Australia, but that’s always questionable when it comes to what they’re the best at. They asked if the University of Waterloo was the best university, and I kept having to ask “for what?” which muddle the question. 

The dark campus didn't have much to offer, especially since none of us it knew very well. We caught the tram and train home. Despite having to get up at 6:30 tomorrow morning, we still couldn't sleep. Shimou in particular couldn’t sleep, which led to her pestering me until 3:30am.

Who doesn’t enjoy sitting in a greyhound-like bus for 10 hours while utterly exhausted, right?!

Editing Music: The Sober Scent of Paper by The Leisure Society

This one doesn't show him
getting hurt
Bonus: Dumb Ways to Die posters

I guess this doesn't, either

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