OK so yesterday (when writing this) 21/03/2017, was a day when i needed to do 4 offices in Thailand in 1 day. British Embassy, translation,legalisation and local government. Here is the story of that day. Dont expect too many jokes.
OK so an early start. due to an early appointment at the British embassy.
This is the Embassy on Wireless road in Bangkok.
Anyway as i said an early start. this is because driving into the city will show you an new level of traffic. If you dont work in the city, then midweek dont try and drive in between 6am and 9am. 3 lanes of nose to tail traffic and an expressway the same from about 7am.
ok so we got to the city early, we had the kids in tow as its school holidays. normally a bad idea dues to the waiting around that has to be done, but choice of no choice.
The appointment at the Embassy, yes you need an appointment unless its an emergency, it was for 8.45, but the embassy opens at 8am. i had the thought if we got there early and they were not busy we would get seen sooner. I was right. We waited in line and had to go through one at a time. while waiting a couple got out of a taxi and he was handicapped to some degree. walking not easy and not able to use his left arm so well. The embassy security guy was 2 feet away and yet did not help in any way at all.
When he joined the line to go through security we let him go through. his Thai lady was inside to help him through and i helped from the outside. I am not trying to blow my own trumpet just saying that i helped that to my way of thinking the people from the embassy should have been doing.
Anyway long story short we got done what we needed to and quicker than thought. the staff inside were very helpful to us and even gave the kids some chocolate. Alex now hopes all chocolate will be British stuff rather than the Yank stuff on sale here. Sorry Americans it is not so nice.
While waiting they have BBC World on the TVs. 2 things came up that for some reason or another tickled me somewhat. The first was the Japanese government are offering discounts on funerals for the old who give up driving. the other which i found more amusing is a new public toilet in China has an automated paper dispenser but it gives you the amount of paper it believes correct for the amount you poop!
After we left the Embassy we were pounced upon by the normal translation hawkers. i remembered these from before and has relied upon. This was the most simple and easiest thing of the day. ok so they tried to push their service of getting passports for the kids. having recently re-newed mine i had a reasonable idea of the prices. the price they wanted for the passports was laughable. ok so they take all the effort out of it but charging over double the cost i thought was excessive, but i guess if we had the money we might just use their service just to make it a lot easier for us. Although if during school time i might do it anyway
The next part was Thai legalisation. This is where you get a translation certified correct. this you need to have done before any government office will accept the translation.
This would be an ideal view, but the unit at Changwattana Road, well this would be classed as empty! oh and this is another place you dont want to drive as parking is very very limited. I did 4 circuits of the car park to get lucky and get a space..
Now what was wanted, was a translation of my photo page of my passport to be legalised. I need this to go onto the house register, which my bank have now decided they require. So we waited in line again. when we got there we offered to pay double the fee to get it done same day. this is a normal service. for passports they dont do it no matter what. then then looked at my visa. I was due to collect my new visa the next day, but because they said there was not 10 days on the visa they refused to do the legalisation Now i am sorry but i could have needed that certified translation for the Royal Thai embassy in London for which the amount of visa would have been completely unimportant. But no they would not even listen to our side of things at all. and i thought Immigration was inflexible.
Time was getting on, but as we had to get this all complete by the end of the month we had no choice but to work on getting this done. So next stop was Immigration at Pathum Thani.
This was the office as was when i first went to it some 7 years ago. now its so very busy there unless you get there first thing in the morning.
Anyway i got there as soon as we could. I went and asked if my visa was ready a day early. yes Rowan i have to wait up to 7 weeks to get my visa from the application. i got lucky and it was ready. waited about 30 minutes to get my stamp and it checked then we were back on our way to the legalisation people again.
Back at Legalisation and we get in line again eventually they accepted our requirements, but still refused to do the fast service. so i waited. got called and payed. no change given. was told to wait more. 20 minutes later i got called and this time i was given the change and told to collect on thursday after noon. this has thrown out our plans for thursday and what we need to get done then and friday too.
We have now changed our plans making things much harder for both Thursday and Friday, but we have no choice as we have so much to do and so little time to do it.
The moral to this story? if in Thailand dont allow things to build up to need being done at the same time. not easy for us with my wife’s work at the hospital. but if you can try and do it bit by bit as its way less stressful.
So until the next one. Keep safe and share this if you think worthy