On Nov 28 2011, me and my bf and his business partner (there are about 9 people) are trying to check in to SQ flight to Shanghai at 5.15pm. The gentleman is going for a Marine Exhibition 2011 and we the women just riding along for some shopping spree. We, the girls let the boys do the check in, we just sit from a far, talking about what we going to do in Shanghai, what we going to buy, where we going to have spa at, how cold its going to be, what kind of winter outfit we got in our luggage, etc etc.
After a while, the boys still at the check in counter, I wonder whats the problem is, it shouldn’t take that long. So I come closer to find out. We all are got our boarding pass already, EXCEPT for Gavin (my bf). Oh nooooooo….whats the problem?
Its his APEC card, which also by all means is his visa to enter China. The passport that he use to get the APEC card was his old passport. Gav travel a lot, he changed his passport like once a year. So his current passport does not match the passport number that shown on his APEC card. APEC card valid for 3 years.
So Gav had to argue with the airline girl that the China immigration should be able to track down his old passport because its linked to each other, and he is the very same person on the APEC card. Which make real sense. The airline girl couldn’t agree more and is trying to call China immigration to find out if they would allow Gav to enter china, the immig said that he can go if he got his old passport with him to match his APEC card. Thats MAJOR problem, because his old passport is in a locked draw in his locked office in our house in Batam Island, which going to take at least 4 hour to go back and forth while we should probably boarding right now. BUMMER!!!
Gav asked everyone to proceed. I could have gone to China also, but I decided to stay with him. They have to tear my boarding pass apart. I am so not going to Shanghai 😦
Never give up! We decide to book the next earliest flight to Shanghai, there is one at 10 am the next day, but full book. The Singapore Airline ticketing agent said we have to contact our agent to put us on waiting list. Otherwise our next option is at the same time next day, 5.15pm.
While we still standing in front of the ticketing agent desk trying to arrange our next flight, the Duty Manager of Singapore airline, the same person who called China Immigration come and inform us the latest update that EVEN with his old passport that match his APEC card, the China immigration wouldn’t let him in. He either get a China visa or renew his APEC card. Oh shit! I don’t think if it could get anymore worse than this.
Everyone is disappointed. Him, me, his business partner…but I guess it was me who disappointed the most. How stupid could this be, this is so not making sense.
APEC card was developed in response to the need for business people to GAIN STREAMLINED ENTRY to other economies, it contributes to APEC’s goal of free and open trade within the Asia-Pacific region. – Australian Immigration
The main reason this business people getting this card is because they travel a lot. And for someone like Gavin, even if his Australian passport is consist of 52 pages and valid for 10 years, its full of stamps and visa’s in a year, sometimes even less than a year.
So what? They have to keep renew their APEC card every time they need a new passport? While their APEC card is valid for 3 years?
Somewhere in the system needs to be fix. For sure! Arrgggghhhhhhhh….
Still we don’t give up thou, Gav gunna try to get China Visa from the China Consulate in Singapore. From the visa agent we learned that express visa gonna take 2 days. We hope with his situation and the possession of APEC card, and the reason for going to Shanghai, the consulate would do some kindness and issue his visa before 4pm tomorrow so we can catch the 5.15pm flight to Shanghai.
Meanwhile, lets chill in Singapore.
We get to our hotel, relax a bit, and then head out for dinner. We choose Clark quay so we can have a bit of booze after dinner.
Sure, we both in sad mood after what we been going through. I am sad because now I cant buy my “Made in China” pillow cushions and bed linen. Gav sad for not being able to attend the exhibition. Sad sad sad.
We had dinner at Tongkang then off to our favorite spot LeNoir, am having Champagne and Gav having Red Wine. Boozing up a lil bit, we talk about what we should do tonight since the night is still young. And we are mad, not sad anymore, but mad at the circumstance. So what should we do?
Lets get a tattoo.
Yup, thats what we both ended up doing in Orchard Tower at Ink on Skin Tattoo Studio. I am getting a small heart tattoo on my wrist and Gav got a snake’s head on his right leg. Ouch…thats painful. I am all pale and white but I didn’t faint. It hurts like hell. Thats probably the most excruciating pain in my entire life, I cant remember anything more painful than that. I had to stop the tattoo artist for couple of times just because I cant stand the pain. Thanks lord its just a small tattoo. I don’t think I want anymore tattoo. Too painful!
We head back to our hotel, apply the tattoo cream, then sleep. With BIG HOPE some magic gunna happen in the morning. Please please please!
Nope, no magic happen. No visa before 4pm. So we head back to Batam, Indonesia.
There it goes my Shanghai trip.
PS: I would like to thank you the Singapore Airline Duty Manager for her great service. Too bad I cant remember her name. But she was very helpful. We really appreciate that.