China Diary

Day 46: Official Business and Craft Beers


We were ushered to a van early in the morning and driven across the town to the Visa Offices, where our intention was to renew our Chinese Visas. See, me and Mika both managed to get a multiple-entry Visas for China, but unfortunately they only gave them for 60 and 30 days, respectively. This would mean that during our trip, I would have to travel out of the country every 60 days, and Mika every 30 days. Flying to Hong Kong and directly flying back counts as a re-entry, so that would be the solution, but that’s just stupid, not to mention the fact we are actually working on an “environmentally aware” film, this kind of carbon footprint is what Planet Earth could live without.

The office building is just as office buildings everywhere else in the world are, but the one thing that I’ve found different from authoratives in China compared to Finland for example is that they are a damn grumpy bunch, many of them. First, we waited for about two hours in line to meet an officer, and when we finally got to sit in front of her, she took a glance at our papers, handed them back and said: your company is registered in the wrong district. Well, that’s just awesome.

We went back to the office through a nasty traffic and wasted most of the day (well, I did, at least, Mika managed to do some real work actually) just sitting around. I’m still waiting for the latest script, and before I get that, I’m a bit reluctant to start anything major because it could potentially be a waste of time and effort, and anyway I have this underground drain of motivation already filling up to the brim, so instead I headed back home.

The whole hotel room has started to crunch me, day by day. The 15 square meters or something seems to be getting smaller and more depressing every time I step in, and now it was not even 5pm – and the idea of spending the next 8 hours in this cell of mine didn’t sound like a plan. Instead, I Googled “Best Burger in Beijing”, and decided it’s time to see what this city is made of.

One of the perks I enjoy is having a personal driver at my disposal whenever needed. As a humble Finn I’m reluctant to use such perks more than once a week, although the driver is always really happy to drive me around. But today, I decided, I needed a lift instead of an uncomfortable Berlin taxi experience, so soon I was being hauled to a restaurant/pub called Great Leap Brewing #12 Brewpub.

Another retreat for the expats, the place was positively packed, with very few Asians faces around – outside of people behind the bar (and no, it doesn’t mean I don’t like to have Asians around, it’s just the fact in this specific bar thank you very much now sit down). I decided to find my seat and the next few hours of my evening sitting at the bar counter, enjoying an amazing Cheese Burger and few craft beers from across the world.

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