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Arranging visa juni 24, 2006

Posted by peli2006 in Relationship, Wedding.
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On May 25th Li's sister applied for the visa for herself and her parents to be able to join our wedding in August.

Knowing the Dutch Immigration Services' (IND) procedures we were afraid that they might not get the approval on time. However, on the 3rd of June we received 3 envelopes from the IND with forms (12 pages!) that had to be filled in and a request to send a copy of my contract, passport and 3 most recent salary slips. We returned the 3 heavy envelopes on June 7th, hoping for a quick response.

Yesterday the Dutch Embassy in Beijing, sent us an email informing that the visa were approved. Needless to say we were very relieved. With the fickleness of the IND you just never know.

First steps in online love mei 29, 2006

Posted by peli2006 in China, Relationship, Travel.
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On August 31st 2002 I was browsing a dating website that I read about in a magazine. Not being sure what I was looking for I ran into an ad from Li, a Chinese woman who simply wrote that she was looking for the love of her life. She also wrote a few other things that, because of privacy reasons, I won't write here.

What she wrote touched me and I decided to write her an e-mail. I was a bit hesitant to write a lengthy e-mail so I just introduced myself and asked if she would be interested in writing and go from there.

A day later she wrote back that she was interested and from that day on we started writing e-mails on a almost daily basis. After a week or so I got so used to it that as soon as I got home I checked my e-mail to see if there was a new message from her. Within that first week we also exchanged pictures. I was very impressed with how she looked and together with her style of writing, which I thought represented her personality, I was very happy that we have ran into each other.

Two weeks passed when she invited me to a chat session on Sunday. I installed Yahoo Messenger and that Sunday I logged on around 9am. Yep, I had to get up early as the time difference was 7 hours. Not that it mattered, because we had a great time and chatted for over two hours.

We chatted online every Sunday and I started to like her a lot. I mean, really like her. Even though I didn't expect it I started to fall in love with her. I also thought that she was feeling the same. Slowly we started talking about these feelings and found out they were mutual.

As time went on these feelings became stronger. Having a relationship is never easy but having an online relationship is even more difficult. After a while we felt we were missing out on the physical part of our relationship. We felt that we needed to take things further and meet each other in real life to make sure we were going in the right direction.

I can't remember exactly when but I think we started to make plans in early December of 2002 for a real life meeting. Obviously I would go over to China first. Li wanted me to come over during Chinese New Year in February but I couldn't because of my work. Apparently Beijing summers are hot as hell so Li suggested April when the weather was still nice: warm but not too warm. We agreed on April.

I started looking into ticket prices and how to get a visa for China. Ticket prices were around €700, which wasn't too bad at all. To be able to get a visa I had to have a confirmation of a hotel reservation, which Li arranged for me. She booked me the Jinlang Hotel, which was quite close to the Beijing railway station and Wangfujing area. Considering the location and 3 stars rating, the price of €30 per night, including breakfast, was quite a bargain.

With the ticket, visa and hotel reservation it was only a matter of time. April 7th 2003 would be the day of our first meeting, first touch, first kiss. Needless to say we were both very excited and could hardly wait.

In the next post more about the trip to China.