China – Under The Hood: Irritated Chinese Immigration Officer asks a thought-provoking question

How to unintentionally make a Chinese Immigration Officer lose face?

How to unintentionally make a Chinese Immigration Officer lose face?

He is wearing a uniform that in China suggests a pretense of authority and power, which he seems determined to exercise.  Noisily exhaling he’s flicking through the pages of my passport with that contemptuous self-important look which always makes me feel so grateful I have a foreign passport.

“Why you come China many time?”,  the eye-balling Immigration Officer challenges me.

He looks quite irritated, which I guess is understandable because I’ve made him lose face in front of his superiors. A team of three officers have just helped him to identify the apostrophe ” ” key on his Chinese keyboard….  Irish family names [O’Reilly, O’Donnell, O’Maolcraoibhe,  O’Seachnasaighare, etc..] are a novice Chinese Immigration Officer‘s worst nightmare.

The Irish Surname - A China Immigration Officer's worst nightmare

The Irish Surname – A China Immigration Officer’s worst nightmare

His question provokes a chain of thoughts as I reflect a little too deeply for a fitting answer.

“That’s a really good question”, says I…… …. clutching my passport and briskly walking in the direction of Hong Kong Immigration.

Even if there are a few hundred people in front of me patiently waiting in line, this has to me my favourite queue in the world… One-by-one Chop!… Chop!… Chop! …  and finally seventh heaven. Works every time!

Hong Kong just feels so different (mindset, style, colours, passion) and so Niall!

Always great to be back in fragrant Hong Kong for a recharge.

Irritated Chinese Immigration Officer asks a thought-provoking question

“Why you come China many time?”

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Filed under 2011, China, Hong Kong, Travel

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