“The road from appearance to reality is often very hard and long, and many people make only very poor travelers. We must forgive them when they stagger against us as if against a brick wall.” —Franz Kafka

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Visa run recap

The visa run went well the other day. Mostly we waited. M. Lee read. I did some reading, people watching and talked with some interesting people. When my number was finally called I stepped up to the counter, handed over my passport and paperwork and, most important, paid the fee... 1900 baht (about 60 dollars US). We were both done and out in three hours. Before lunchtime. A friend happened to be there at the same time getting his residency extended (a yearly task) and I hear, three days later, it's still not done.

I will say this, the Immigration office is a world class crossroads. Everyone who wants to extend their stay passes through there... tourists, travelers, scholars, entertainers, writers, photographers, cyclists, charlatans, nuns, missionaries, do-gooders, clergy, monks, imams, shamans, wizards, warlocks, expats, refugees, wanderers, outlaws, volunteers, professionals, politicians, drunks, addicts, dirty old men, kooks and just plain crazies. I think a good many of them were there on Monday. I hear there are services that, for a fee, deal with Immigration for you, otherwise you go in person. Of course, that doesn't mean everybody does but they run the risk of fines and deportation.

Our extension was routine. The 60 day tourist visas we got before leaving the US had expired. We had to either extend them or leave Thailand. We did 30 day extensions so we'll leave mid-January and return to the States. We want to spend some time with the family. The grandkids are growing up way too fast.

As for photos of the place, I didn't even try to take one. The second anyone snapped a shot, an Immigration officer immediately appeared and made them delete it.


2 comments:

Roy said...

Sounds like the old DMV office. No, actually, it made me thankful for the relatively efficient way things run around here, for the most part.

asha said...

Oh indeed.