Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Paperwork Labyrinth

It's that time of year again... time to get my Chinese residence permit renewed.

I think today I finally understood the reason for the banality of the Chinese bureaucracy... its designed to keep the citizenry under control by crushing the will to live of anyone who has even more than a brief involvement with it.

You want a driver's license? Provide us with these 12 documents, each one of which involves a wild goose chase/scavenger hunt around Yantai for another 8 supporting documents each.

You want a work permit? Provide us with these 284 documents and your left kidney.

You want your residence permit renewed? Juggle 4 chainsaws while balancing on a beach ball, playing Debussy's Golliwog's Cakewalk on the piano with your left foot, and reciting the entire works of Wordsworth backwards AND IN SWAHILI!!!