It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

From the Archives - Part 1

After reading Cliff's astonishing (but actually not terribly surprising, knowing how Embassies work) story about renewing his US passport yesterday, it brought to mind an Embassy story of my own.  Here's a bit of a funny story back from September 2006, when we were living in Bangkok, about me wasting hours at the Indian Embassy trying to get a visa for a trip to India.

Please excuse the formatting, it was years ago, back when was sending out my newsletter via email - well before I started the blog ...

Picture the scene - I'm at the Indian Embassy in BKK, it's
heaving with humanity, very grotty, quite pungent and
huge lines of people not moving very quickly.  I trot
up to the table where you get the numbers (I was
prepared - I'd already gone to the web, printed off
the form, filled it in and had photos done) and:-

Staffer "fill in this form"
Kristy "as well as these forms I've already done?"
Staffer "yes"
Kristy "okay"
Staffer "you need copies of all of your forms too"
Kristy "can I get them copied here"
Staffer "no"
Kristy "where can I get them copied"
Staffer "    " (he just ignored me and turned away)

So I trundle back out to the car and, as I had to go
to Qantas to pay for some tickets, I thought I'd do
that next and beg some photocopies off of them.  So
that's what I did.

Khun Sun is driving me to Qantas and puts on a new CD.
Now, some time back he asked me what music hubby liked
and I said "Robbie Williams".  Well, he puts in this
new CD and says "music Boss likes" and it's bloody
Andy Williams!!!!!  He's obviously gone and bought a
CD that he thinks hubby will love, and I haven't got
the heart to tell him that my Granny loves Andy
Williams, so I spend the next 30 minutes being driven
around Bangkok to the tune of "Moon River" and the
like.  Each time a new song started I got attacks of
giggling snorts and had to cover them with coughing
fits so as not to hurt Khun Sun's feelings.

So, we arrive at Qantas after being serenaded by
msyelf and Andy Williams (who would have thought I
knew all the words?) to pay for a ticket for hubby and
one for me.  Mine is okay and I do that, but hubby's
has some glitch that involves me having to sit around
for an hour and then go somewhere else.  Before I left
I blagged some photocopies of my Indian visa

We find our way to United Airlines and pay for the
other sector of hubby's flight and then head back in
the rain to the Indian Embassy.  Which is closed.  The
guy on the gate says to come back at 3pm.  I sigh and
turn away.  Get back to the car and have a small fit
that involves steam coming out of my ears and Khun Sun
getting the giggles.  

At this stage it's 2.30pm and I haven't eaten (and we
all know how dangerous that can make me).  We go to
Villa and buy some groceries and then I go home for a
bite of lunch.

After a bite to eat we head back, in the rain, to the
Indian Embassy which is again heaving with people and
now there's only one service window open.  I know I've
got everything this time so I join the long line which
is snaking through the waiting area.  I wait for ages
and finally get up to the window, only to be told that
Visa applications are closed for the day and I have to
come back tomorrow.  I have a small controlled tanty
which makes no difference whatsoever.  I'm informed
that Visa applications close at 12 noon each day and
whoever told me to come back at 3pm was "mistaken". 
The joy.

Khun Sun watches me drag my feet down the soi back to
the car and starts giggling sympathetically again when
I have a bit of a moan.  He thinks it's quite funny
until I inform him that instead of having a day off
tomorrow, he now has to come back and drive me back to
the bloody Embassy again.  His mood modified a little
after that.

So tomorrow will see me making my 4th visit to the
Embassy in 24 hours and I'm just wondering what will
go wrong then ......

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