In order for me to be able to appear on the TV Game Show, I had to obtain permission from the City Foreign Affairs Officer. Sadly the TV station didn't realize this until the day before it was to air, which caused us to have to do a lot of running around. In the end, like many things in this country, it all came down to who you knew. One guy's friend, knew a guy who went to school with the Head of the Foreign Affairs Department.
In order to fully appreciate what I saw that day you have to understand that most offices out here look pretty shabby. The floors are normally cement, the white wash on the walls (never real paint) is faded and covered in coal dust. They are ofter small little rooms crowded with three or four desks, each person working on an unrelated task. But the office we were ushered into was nothing like what I had grown to expect. It was almost equal to the size of my whole apartment...the floor wore a rich thick carpeting, one whole wall was lined with windows, another with bookshelves, and the other two looked clean and fresh. There was a whole living room area, with comfy sofas and such, and one large richly decorated desk, that could have sat six, but was really only the work space of this one Head Officers into whose presence we had just been ushered.
With the quick snap of his finger this high ranking official was able to get someone to work on our paper work. The TV station employees went out to make sure they got the stamped permission form that they needed,while this leader invited me to stay and drink tea with him. Talk about a good connection to make in a world that is all about who you know.