The Paper Trail

On Sunday, 6/20, we took a night train down to Wuhan to officially process our marriage.  When we got there the next morning, Tian’s friend, Wang Dan, generously offered to pick us up.  After a quick stop for breakfast to kill some time, we headed to our first paperwork stop of the week.

The fact that Tian's friend had only been driving a couple of weeks made the trip more adventurous.

The first step of the process was to get my “marriageability affidavit” from the US Embassy translated into Chinese and notarized.  It took us about 30 minutes to complete the job.

The most exciting moment was when she used her official stamp.

Tian and her friend Wang Dan.

After a long drive across town in morning rush hour, Wang Dan dropped us off at our hotel.  We showered and relaxed for a couple hours and then in the early afternoon met one of Tian’s best friends, Wang Jing, for a quick lunch.

After lunch, Tian used Wang Jing's computer to look up train information for Dan and Fro who on a train back from Tibet.

Fully energized we made our way by bus across the city, in the sticky heat of the afternoon, to get the infamous “hukou” file.  Due to all the build-up surrounding the trip, I guess I was subconsciously expecting the “hukou” file to be gold plated and adorned with jewels.  Disappointingly, it ended up being just a raggedy three-hole-punched sheet that has her registration information on it.  It made me chuckle that we had to come all the way to Wuhan for this.

Tian waiting for her hukou while I took this photo on the sly.

Our first day was successful.  We had gathered all of the necessary documents and found directions to the administrative building for the next day.  That night, we met up with a small group of Tian’s close friends and had a nice dinner together…our last dinner as an engaged couple!

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