Back on the plastic chairs of immigration
The new year coming holds an added change as my passport expires for the second time while in Thailand. This meant I could only get 5 months for my visa this year, sadly for the same price as a year would be.
The process of renewing the passport was straightforward, but meant an early morning trip to Bangkok, leaving home at 5am to beat the awful traffic. Alas, it got me there significantly earlier than my appointment which was the earliest one they do at 8.30am. I killed two hours after arriving by having some pancakes in McDonald’s and walking for a little while. It’s strange how different Bangkok is at 6.15am. People are heading home from nights out, homeless people are sleeping rough and street cleaners are collecting the rubbish of the night before. Ice coffee sellers help the early birds to wake for the day.
Getting the passport process done was pleasant, but daunting as the system has changed. Then I had to wait to hear that it was ready to collect. It arrived within two weeks, but it was not till today that I had time to go and collect it. Delaying the collection slightly helped me get an extra task done on this trip.
Today I worked with the children till 11.00 and then my friend Sally’s driver came to take me to Bangkok to pick up the passport which is red and very shiny gold and then to Nonthaburi immigration where I sit now.
The visa needs to be transfered to the new passport officially, so I join the waiting people. Of course there were requirements for loads of pages of the passport to be copied and another form to be filled in. I am writing this blogg post for the website while I wait in order to try to use this time wisely as the 30 people ahead of me are processed.
Time goes real slow.
Once that process is done I will join another queue of people to report in which is needed every 90 days. This was the reason to delay collecting the passport, so I could report in today instead of taking another trip here in 14 days time. The kids should be grateful, but they are just disappointed I’m not taking them out today for longer.
Getting all three tasks done in one day greatly benefits the children. This month will have many inconsistencies, so this being a one day task instead of three is a help.
I’m so grateful for the help of a driver as both these offices are not easy to get to. It was nice chatting with the driver too.
Now that all the stamps and new papers are done, I can head back and tidy up the toys from this morning. It’s 5.20pm. I hope the staff on duty this evening are not irritated with me. It was a long and mindlessly boring afternoon. All done apart from the last to be completed: tomorrow I will tell the worker who processes my visa that all is transferred.
The next step in the immigration process will be to start paperwork again for the new one-year visa which is required before April 25th.
The next visit there is too soon for me…in March I have to report again for the 90 days. This year they will be seeing a lot of me.
Please pray for that part as that involves the Thai system steps and you never know how long each step will take. Also please pray that I get everything done that is needed to assist the process through.
‘The plastic chairs of immigration’ What a description. 🙂