Mr. Wang and I had laid out a master-plan for the construction of the Caboose yesterday.
Today I went back to talk about some details:
Then the dudes got busy:
I witnessed the making of the spine:
Then I had to take off, because I needed to make a run to the authorities.
What did I want to do?
– mail DVDs with my pictures home.
What did that have to do with the authorities?
– mailing anything resembling digital storage media has been banned as of June 1st and requires a special permission (yes, I’m done here).
What’s with the title ‘Herr K. and the corridors’?
Here we go:
With my past experiences in mind, I started out looking for the Department of Cultural Affairs 文化局:
There were stairs, then a door, then some corridors, and then more doors. When I finally got there, someone told me that it was the Department of Foreign Affairs 外事办 that had to handle stuff like this.
So I was out there again, only to find out that – somewhere in the corridors – the Department of Foreign Affairs had four offices that were all closed and would remain closed for the rest of the day.
I waited for a while. Then I started asking around: just where had these people gone? Why hadn’t they left a note?
Nobody in the whole place could tell me.
Then someone said: “Just go to the other government hall!”
So I did.
…and I came to a very large space that looked kind of fancy:
When I finally managed to find the right desk, the people there told me that it wasn’t them who were supposed to be handling this.
“Go to the police station!” they told me.
So I did.
There were more corridors:
Then the people from the police demanded to see my passport and my visa. They asked some questions, got some answers, and then they asked some more questions.
At some point everything got a bit tense: they had suddenly found out that the hotel I was staying at had failed to register me with the local police station.
No problem: the police station immediately dispatched a team to go harass the hotel management.
Then they asked me what it was I wanted from them, and I told them.
“You have come to the wrong place” they said, and I began to get the feeling that they were universally right about this. “You’ll have to go to the Department of Security 安全局!”
So I did.
There were more stairs:
At this point – after almost four hours of stairs and corridors and knocking on doors – do you really think that the Department of Security will be able to help me with this?
“We’re very sorry,” they said. It was getting late and they looked like they were mentally preparing to go home and have noodles. “We haven’t even heard of these new postal regulations you’re talking about. Just go to the post office and let them deal with this, they oughtta know what to do!”
I felt that I had nothing left to say to these people.
So I shut up and bought an insulated tea cup:
I placed the DVDs under the filling in the box that came with the tea cup:
I added some tissues for padding, then I put the whole thing back together again, with the tea cup on top:
Motherfuckers, I thought.