So to sum up, you're coming to get a driving license, buy a second hand van, fit it with a bed and a stove and then drive around China? And you're bringing your wife and kids (from another thread)? Have you thought this through? Lived in China before? Fluent in the language? I'm not saying it's impossible but there are definitely better countries than China to pick for such kinds of exploratory road trips.
You can get a brand new van for 30.000 and a decent second hand one for 10-12K, but they're all unreliable and not something I'd drive my family around in, both for safety reasons and the fact that they can break down anywhere and any time. The upside is that repairs and parts are cheap and can be done everywhere, but it's not too cool to be stranded in ShittyVillageInTheMiddleOfNowhere for 3 or 4 days while they're changing your gearbox.
"We didn't have to exit/re-enter with our new baby - it's unreasonable,,"
Not that this has ever stopped the famous Chinese blanket of red tape. But yeah,, you're right. It ought to be the first thing we do. So if I get this right: Go to the embassy/consulate, order his passport, receive it 4 weeks later, go to our go-to-lady at the PSB, get the exit stamp/apply for family visa, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint and wait for all this to blow over. Is Bob your uncle now?
Our kid is now a year and a half. We haven't actually done much regarding the citizenship thingies yet since back home I can apply up until his 18th birthday. Anyway, I have a vague idea of what to do with the exit/entry issue. Get out of China, get a passport done at home, apply for his visa in the new passport, go back to China. Bob's your uncle. Flaws?
Since my old thread has been brought back to life, I actually have a follow up question: My 360 has been collecting dust for the past 2 years (had a pregnant wife and then a baby) but last week -when I figured now I finally had a little spare time- I wanted to order a truck load of newish games, I was informed that I needed an upgrade on the console. The taobao guy told me I should go to my nearest Xbox slinger and get it done before I could play new games. Thing is, I now live in a city where I've never seen anyone selling 360s or games, hence I'm in a bit of a pickle. Is the upgrade something that I can do (software only) or are we talking a software AND hardware thing? I'm sure some of you guys have had it done, so any clarification would be much appreciated.
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The comment from Chris had deserved a wider audience. Beluga?
Went there yesterday and it totally made my week. Nice decor and friendly staff and a real salad bar. Sadly we both wanted mexican food so I can't really say much about their other courses. The food was great but just a tad spicier would have improved the dish. The best thing was that we almost had the place to ourselves and we could have a quiet conversation without shouting, spitting Chinese people in the background. I realised how much I had missed that since coming here.
We went to Chicago Coffee a couple of days ago and it was a nice experience. The place is cozy with soft comfy chairs (I realized how much I have missed one since coming here) and they have a nice little collection of English language books in the corner consisting mainly of classics and travel litterature. I was looking forward to trying their advertized tortilla bar but it wasn't up and running that evening.
Instead we went for 2 12 inch pizzas -roast chicken and pepperoni- but we quickly realized that 1 would have been enough. Those things are heavy. I am mainly into Italian style pizza but Chicago's double layered pizzas are well worth a try. Their coffee seems to be a bit on the expensive side but people say good things about it and they have got a nice selection. I wouldn't mind dropping by again some day,, hopefully when they've got the tortilla thing going. English speaking staff btw.