Having completed all the necessary paperwork, acquired mini photos of myself and located my passport I set off to the Uzbek consulate in Shanghai.
No one seemed to know where Huangpu Road was. After several attempts I finally located number 99 and went to the 15th floor, which is where the Embassy site said the consulate offices were. I found a glass door with neon green construction paper glued to the door and a tiny white sign in Chinese with a phone number. I called the number and asked where the consulate was. He replied with a question, “rent or buy?”
I went to a nearby office and asked how long the room with the green door had been empty. “Almost two years,” came the cringe-worthy reply. I called Mike, who looked online and located another phone number. No answer and then a dial tone. Bummer.
After returning from the boondocks to my Shanghai apartment I confirmed online that I had gone to the right address. I called the Uzbek Embassy in Beijing. No one spoke English and the Chinese intern who answered the phone hung up when I asked if it was the Uzbek Embassy. Frustrated, I asked a friend who is fluent if she could follow up and find any information. Meanwhile a friend of Mike’s who speaks Russian is looking online for more information.
Meanwhile, if I can’t find information on the consulate I’ll have to take the overnight train to Beijing to find the Uzbek Embassy and try to deal with acquiring the visa in person in Beijing.
Through the whole semi-frustrating ordeal I was reminded that this is simply how things are in Asia- impermanent. It is a great start to the trip!
-Posted by Lauren.