Had a problem getting a Chinese tourist visa in New York City? Apparently you’re not alone. Travelers around the web have reported consistent frustration with the Big Apple’s PRC Consulate, with issues ranging from rude employees, to inconsistent approval policies, to prolonged waits.
Travel visa bureaucracy may be nothing new, but the city’s entrepreneurial reaction to it has been intriguing. As NPR reports, some enterprising New Yorkers have managed to create a surprisingly successful business, operated out of a mobile van, to help travelers deal with the hassle.
Adam Humphreys and Steven Nelson, owners of Lucky Dragon Mobile Visa Consultants, have become a beacon of hope for travelers turned away by the consulate’s downright baffling policies. For a flat rate of just $20, they’ve set up a mobile van that operates across the street from the consulate, offering printers, helpful advice, updated application forms and fluent Mandarin speakers to assist with travelers problems. According to the report, the business has been wildly successful – the pair are reportedly clearing upwards of $500 a day.
Have you experienced problems getting a Chinese visa? How did you handle it? Leave us a note in the comments.
[Flickr photo by Zach Klein]
The SkyMall Monday Headquarters has an extensive liquor cabinet. But when that runs dry, I like to head to my favorite neighborhood dive bar and drink until this product makes sense to me. Writing about futuristic SkyMall products for a living is fun, but, during my leisure time, I like to keep things simple at a dingy pub with cheap whiskey and even cheaper women. But all that drinking can lead to some pretty epic hangovers. It’s pretty hard to focus on driving my go-kart when my head is throbbing (Note: I never drive my go-kart when drunk. That’s when I take my Hoverboard.) So, how do I power through the hangovers and get back to testing the SkyMall products that are making our lives easier? I could simply pop pills or gulp down Bloody Marys until everything feels numb, but my therapist says that self-medicating is not a healthy coping mechanism. Instead, I treat my headaches externally. That may seem strange, but if i can’t trust the medical advice of SkyMall, who can I trust? That’s why I treat all of my hangovers by strapping on a big old Headache Relieving Wrap.Sure, it would be great if I met some whore at the dive bar who would massage my head the next morning. I mean, if I’m going to pay her $38 dollars (plus a breath mint), the least she could do is rub my temples until I stop crying. But, in lieu of that, I wrap this band around my head after heating up the accompanying gel packs. The heat and pressure work together to help me forget the shots of well whiskey from the night before. Actually, those shots usually make me forget things, but the wrap helps me forget the headache that accompanied them.
Think that I should quit drinking? You’re not the boss of me! You’re not even my real father! But since you don’t believe that I have things under control and know what’s best for me, take a look at the SkyMall product description:
The unit straps comfortably to your head and provides a soothing, consistent pressure that gently compresses blood vessels…
I’m engorged with enthusiasm over this product.
Look, you could quit drinking. You could eat healthy, go to sleep early and find a partner who values and supports you. But that’s the easy way out. It takes a tough bastard to stick to your guns and wrap an insulated headband on your dome every morning.
So, the next time you’re in New York City, join me for some cheap whiskey, a few cans of beer and a good cry. We can compress our blood vessels together in the morning.
Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.