Gold Case – A Book in the Making

Since arriving in China I’ve been getting lots of requests for information and stories about my time living and working in Shanghai.


The information people want from me isn’t so much information on “how do I get a visa” or “how do I find a job” because there are tons of better sources of information on those subjects.
The questions I get most frequently are ones related to being a teacher in China, getting ahead, what competition is like, how to order food at home and other career and everyday related things.

The people asking these questions have heard about jobs going in Asia and want to know if China is for them. Others have heard bad things and want to hear that it’s actually ok, and what their life might look like once they’ve acclimated.

It’s for this reason that I got back into blogging again, but I’m finding that while my style of blogging covers these topics, it does so in a light and easy-reading way rather than being thorough or helpful.

So I’m writing a short and thorough ebook in which to write detailed stories, thoughts and advice.

It’ll be extremely cheap and available on Amazon for Kindle and out very soon.

Proceeding it’s release I’d love to hear what people think about it.

I’d like to give you the opportunity to review the book before it’s released.
You can give me your thoughts and advise your own audience on what you think of the book on your blog or website if you’d like.
The board of reviewers will be credited in both the book and on the Travellers Yarn site. Plus I’ll be forever grateful to you!

If you’d like to be on the board of reviewers please click here – Join the Review Board

If you don’t want to be a reviewer but you do want information as it unfolds such as when it’s released click here to be emailed about it.

Below is the raw version of a story that will be in Gold Case. It’s going to look much better after editing but it hopefully gives you an idea of what to expect.
In this segment I explain what you’ve got to do to survive the visa process at the Chinese Consulate in Auckland, New Zealand.

The first time I acquired a tourist visa for China I did so at the Chinese Consulate in Melbourne which runs on an appointment system and is fairly straight forward. However for my second visit a couple years later I went to the Consulate in Auckland which does not take appointments and is instead a manic Game of Thrones style winner take all mad dash first come first served experience.

My experience wasn’t too bad because I followed the five unspoken rules of the Auckland Chinese Consulate.

  1. I was there two hours ahead of opening time to be first in line.
  2. I had exact change for the photo copy machine (it turns out you need a photocopy of your passport, something I didn’t know far enough ahead of time to have one done so I brought change to use the one in the Consulate, it’s not free).
  3. I took one of only 5 available car parks. If your one of the several hundred people to come after the first five people you basically park in Mordor so you’ll have quite the walk ahead of you unless you know of car parks I don’t know of, quite likely as I have parking blindness). It’s better to be safe than sorry though, so come first.
  4. I had everything that I needed. All the proof, the forms they wanted, sufficient money, space in my passport and the 6 months buffer time they require between the expiry of your upcoming Chinese Visa and the expiry of your passport. Anyone who turns up without everything is cast out visa-less and alone.
  5. I was not gentle when the gates opened and the masses started surging inside. If you have waited for hours and were first then dammit get to that ticket machine, do not go to a seat! Get a ticket! Ticket!!!! So many have missed it!!

It’s like a deli, if you don’t grab that sweet ticket as soon as you enter and they run out then it’s all over. Get a ticket and don’t be shy, people tend to push and jostle so be strong and make it happen, it’s good practice for when you’ve arrived in China.

Once inside, with ticket firmly in grasp the system is pretty straight forward. Wait for your number, shove your paperwork through the little hole on the bottom of the glass at a bored looking someone who glances at it, enters data into a computer, wraps everything up into a rubber band, hands you a receipt and points you on to the payment window.
Keep the receipt safe because you’ll need it in the coming days when you return to pick up your passport, bear in mind that the consulates have very specific hours. Certain hours are for applying for a visa, different hours (in my experience in the afternoon) are for people returning to collect their passport containing their fresh new visa. You do have the option (for prepared people who have done this well ahead of time) to have your passport returned to you by mail, I have faith in neither the Consulate nor the mail system enough to trust them with my most valuable document so I always collect it in person.

Once the bookings were made, my passport contained the correct visa and I’d done sufficient research and half-assed an attempt to learn survival Mandarin I was ready to fall in love. It was time to go.


Following the introduction parts where I talk (briefly and with no authority) about visas and flights I move on to life and work in China. I talk about getting ahead, beating the competition and enjoying life.

If this sounds interesting to you then stick around! If you’d like to be told when the book is released then click here
Or to be involved as a reviewer and to read the book ahead of time and be credited for it click here

Hope to hear from you!


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