I can’t quite believe it: this morning, Immigration was a model of efficiency and speed.
The inch-thick pile of documents compiled over the past two months by Personnel was approved and a one-month provisional extension of my yearly visa duly signed, all within one hour, waiting time included! Was that, I wondered, because the phoo kong (department head, a woman) had seen me on television last month? I think not. At least, it made for civil conversation while she glanced at the documents once again.
I even had time to barge into the cubicle of my processing officer of the past three years (Khun Art) to wish him a happy new year. This time, it was a woman who did the processing.
Police-wise, there has been an embellishment over the previous year: my mug shot was taken (never mind the photo already in the file) as well as my right and then my left index finger prints – the computer age is dawning there too. Next year the toes?
I left feeling mighty relieved and impressed – as well as mighty sleepy as it had been yet another night of sleeplessness, the fourth in one month. Call it nerves if you will.
The question of ‘notification of residence’ every three months wasn’t raised. Maybe it will be when, four weeks from now, I go there again to fang phon (literally ‘listen to the result’, meaning being granted the extension for the rest of the year) and apply for a new re-entry visa.
There is no end to angst. Most of it self-made?
I bought cookies to the three ladies of Personnel thanks to whom the event went without a hitch and treated myself to a coffee and an ‘upside down’ (a slice of pineapple cake) – an annual sin, dating back to the times when I worked for FAO, at the turn of the century.
Meanwhile, Air France has taken no account of the double booking of flights for my daughter. I have a new password to my credit cards (no, I didn’t destroy them after all, as they are still useful anyway anywhere else than on the net) but won’t chance it again … and go to Air France and pay cash.
The latest trap I found on the Kasikornbank website when applying for a new password is worth explaining to farang readers: the relevant page has three items, in small-type Thai and bold English. The first one asks you to enter your passport or ID number; the second asks in English for Expiry Date: if you type your passport expiry date, like I did, you are done for – it is your card expiry date they want, as the Thai line specifies! I’ve suggested to them to change the English line to Card Expiry Date to remove any risk of confusion, but will they listen?