Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Mish Mash Tales...

I love storms. Especially electrical storms where you can just sit outside and watch the lightning. Of course it's not so much fun when you're actually stuck outside in the middle of one. Although on my adventurous walk home, I had a rather enormous grin on my face and kept guffawing about my crazy life....

J and I have pretty much decided to go back to Australia for a few years to live. Very easy to say, but putting that into action is quite the feat. Mountains of paperwork to work through, but the best part about applying for this visa in Thailand is that in this crazy ass country, if you want any of your original documents, you have to go to the original issuing office. There is no such thing as fax, post or email in this country apparently.

8 days ago, J arrived in Bangkok after a 17 hour minivan crushorama trip which took him 4 days to recover from stiff limbs and today, as we speak, he is on a bus going back 'home' for a 12 hour trip. Why does he have to travel over 1700km return trip so soon, you ponder? To pick up 2 pieces of paper. I kid you not. 1,700 kilometres people! FOR PAPER! Insanity. I can't even begin to tell of the drama vortex that is whisking us around in fluvial streamlets this week as it involves corruption, white lies, a midget, a wad of cash and a ceiling fan.

Oh, you're on the edge of your seat now aren't you?! To allude to the vortex... when Thai men reach the age of 20 they are required to go into a ballot to see if they have to serve in the army. Something about a red ball, you loose and have to serve for 2 years, or the black ball and you're free to go. Weeeellll, many a person (many a thousands of persons) in the country actually pay off officials to get out of the ballot...gasp, shock, horror, banish the thought of corruption in Thailand!! Well, yes, it does happen A.LOT.!! In order to serve in the army the minimum height is 160cm tall. If you're shorter, you can't serve. My husband is quite small (but not THAT small) and perhaps one day looooong ago, he may have been considered much shorter then he is now because no one actually physically measured them...and then there was that fan and the wad.. and that's all I'm saying about the matter!! Looong epic tales of woe anyhoo regarding the visa apps but tie in a bit of this story for a millispec of the details.

Back to adventure afternoon..I spent nearly 5 hours on buses today just travelling less then 20 km. The joy of Bangkok! One bus trip only costs 25 cents though, so can't complain about the price. The exhaust fumes on the other hand had me nearly retching. Advice to newbies in Bangkok...catch the air conditioned buses, it will add years to your life span.

Get this.. my trip from the Southern Bus Terminal to the closest bus stop to my place is between 12 -15 km, definitely not over. It took 3 hours for me to get home tonight. I left the terminal at 4.20pm and arrived at my door (~13 km away) at 7.30 pm! That includes the 15 minute walk in the torrential rain with lightning going off all around me also. The guffawing came when I turned into my street to find it a foot under water and traffic at a stand still. This flooding was the result of 3 hours of rain so I can't even begin to imagine what Bangkok is like in the rainy season.


9 commentaramas:

Carol and Chris said...

Hehehehe - Welcome to Bangkok!!! Sorry your having so many problems hon....I'm sure you'll get them all sorted one way or another!!

Absolutely ridiculous that J has had to go back for two bits of paper!! Only in Thailand!!

C x

Sangy said...

Well, the traffic in Kuala Lumpur isn't all that great either. Also, just the other day I was stuck for four hours as flash flooh happened. In the MIDDLE of KL.

Sangy said...

Accidentally hit Enter.

Poor J. Hope you're still having fun though, in Bangkok.

Amy said...

It sounds like you took it all in stride - a person must keep a sense of humor about her to not go insane at moments. Corruption along with arcane business practices topped with lousy weather would have me want to stay in bed!

Mel said...

C - Everything is working out...got the bits of paper and J is returning tomorrow!

Sangy-crazy traffic and flooding in every SE Asian country perhaps! I'm still having fun...can't say as much for my poor husband though!

Amy - surprisingly enough I feel quite calm about it, but J is not holding up so well..."I'm so so tired"!! Poor dear. 17 hours of travel then confronting lots of officials will do that to a person.

Carol and Chris said...

I've just tagged you honey. Come over to mine to see what you need to do :-)

C x

Rachel said...

Wow - I go away for a month and you're off to Australia. Hope you can get everything sorted out for the visas. I hope you don't stop writing too - village life from oz maybe?

Rach

thailandchani said...

I also hope you won't stop writing when you go to Australia! It has been a pleasure reading about yours and J's adventures. :)

Mel said...

Hey Carol, will have a look now.. hopefully can do it tonight cos I have to give the computer back tomorrow! I'm so going to have internet withdrawals :-(

Hi Rachel! Hope you had a fabulous trip to the UK, can't wait to see your pics.

Thanks TC..will have to see if our lives are remotely as exciting back in oz before kicking off another blog!!