Dave Leggett | 30 May 2003
But, as I will be travelling to France in June (Automotive News Europe Congress), I will need a replacement for that passport that will be out of action and being scrutinised at the Iranian embassy in London. Straight-forward? Not really. I've got to dig out my birth certificate, get a letter from my employer etc and make a special trip to the passport office in London, which includes presenting my current passport (and not a photocopy, as I was initially told), which I have - thankfully - caught before it was sent by the travel agent to the Iranian embassy. Then, after my passport office appointment next week, I will have to immediately send my current passport back to the travel agent for forwarding with visa application to the Iranian embassy. I'll also have to wait a full week for the additional passport, which, as I say, is treated as a first-time passport application despite the fact that they have already given me a passport. And I'll be paying handsomely for all this. I know they have their reasons, but it would be nice if they could just press a button and send me my additional passport as a copy in the post. And why do I, in the 21st Century, still need to turn my house upside-down looking for an ancient bit of increasingly fragile paper that serves as my birth certificate? - What happens if you lose that? no proof of your existence? Calm down Leggett.
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....
Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...