Running from the Chinese Police
I looked out the window into the grass below, wondering if the fall would hurt me badly. Then, it was out onto the air conditioner, a swing down to the ledge, and a drop from the very high two story window onto the ground.
I hit the ground, sprang up, and ran.
How stupid do you have to be to run away from police that have a few pictures of you, your first name, and a rather specific area of the city you live in?
The answer to that question isn’t hard to figure out, and I ended up at home wondering what the hell I had just done.
After thinking through my options, I had decided the best one was to run. But the phone kept ringing, probably with a police officer on the other line. Finally, I picked up, and it was a manager from work.
After an assurance that I would not be brought to jail (which could have been true or not), I hopped into a cab, bringing my passport and lovely wife, and rode back to the training center I had worked for half a year.
A Slap on the Wrist
What had I run from, exactly? Only a visit from the immigration department, to shut down the training center and deal with any foreign teachers they could find.
Amazingly, though, even after I had run away (and quickly turned myself in), all I got was a slap on the wrist – a fine of less than 1000 RMB, no cancellation of my business visa, and my self inflicted wounds from jumping out of the window (a sprained ankle and some surface level cuts, nothing too bad, fortunately.)
The moral of the story is clear: Don’t run away like an idiot if immigration comes to your place of work, and you are working illegally in China. Just do what they ask you to do. If you are the one running the business, however, you’ll get slapped with a fine several orders of magnitude higher (anywhere from 5000 RMB to 50000 RMB).
It’s time to get a legal job once again.