Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 13 - Consulate Appointment!

Today was our consulate appointment and it went so much quicker and smoother than I expected.  Our guide told me yesterday that he was concerned about the translation of our paperwork done by the notary in our province.  He said that the translation was not very good and it may need to be re-done.  Okay, can you say stressful?  Our guide in our province was fit to be tied with the officials there.  He was frustrated by their "laziness" (his words), lack of doing anything timely and their sloppiness of our paperwork.  He already had to go back and have some paperwork redone the day we were leaving.  I found out today that our guide told our agency that he does not want to be assigned back to our province.  So back to today....  We all met in the lobby of the hotel, loaded up in the van and arrived at the consulate.  We all settled into the consulate room and took an oath as a group.  Then the first name called "Wilson, please come to the window".  My initial concern was that our paperwork was so messed up that it was going to take awhile so they called me first but nope!  He said our paperwork all looked good and proceeded with the process.  One very interesting thing was that he told me her Chinese name had an interesting meaning.  We have received two different interpretations of Fu Han Yu.  Fu is the orphanage denotation and means fortunate and Yu is jade...both of those have been consistent but Han is the part that has been inconsistent.  At referral we were told Han Yu meant "engraved jade".  Her paperwork the next day had it as "cherished jade".  But the consulate man said it meant "jade in the mouth" or to hold jade in the mouth.  He said that was a very fortunate name and to hold jade in the mouth is very rare and special in Chinese tradition.  It has to do with making jade pure and shiny.  (I know that we learned to care for our jade bracelets to soak them in water at least once a month.)  When we were done with the visa application process and met up with our guide, I told him about the conversation.  He immediately agreed with the interpretation.  He told me there is a legend/story of jade in the mouth although I have been unable to find it.  So, interesting that her name has been presented as three different meanings.  I'm going with "cherished jade".  So her visa application is submitted and the afternoon was off to the Guangzhou zoo.  

We had a beautiful afternoon at the zoo but I must admit it was a little depressing. The animal enclosures were so cramped and unnatural for the most part.  It reminded me of what American zoos looked like when I was a child.  But it was very neat to see the pandas.  They were worth the trip to the zoo.  

The evening was filled by starting to pack up.  I can't believe it's time to go!  I have loved China but ready to get home and start our family of four!

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