Indian Embassy, Bangkok, Thailand

This is the last important visa that my trip hinges on, so I painstakingly planned my time in Thailand to fit around dates/processing times and generally all things Indian Visa. I get to the consulate at the crack of dawn after a Full Moon Party/ 17 hour bus to be told: a) The form I printed off is wrong they have changed it to online b) They no longer grant 6 month visas, only 3 month.  

Why does this not surprise me?

I reaaaallly don’t want to come back to Bangkok for the millionth time in January, so I huff and puff and turns out there is a little loophole. You can have an ‘interview’ with a consular officer who maybe sometimes grants 6 month ones if he feels like it. It’s worth a shot.

I return on Monday, in my most India looking outfit (long skirt/hippy jewellery/zen expression) having crammed on the bus back from Kanchan in Mark’s India themed quiz. All we really learnt is the Capital; New Delhi. Bet you thought it was Mumbai didn’t you. (I did.)

I get there at 9am. At 11am after lots of paper shuffling and staff shimmying around without any apparent real work to do, I’m ushered into room 104. Here sits an official looking dude in a uniform, reading a newspaper from behind his huge desk that he hardly glances up from. It goes a little something like this:

Me:  Sa-wad-i-ka (Thai hello/S’up) Although he’s Indian, don’t think he appreciate it, but we’re in Thailand aren’t we so I wasn’t sure.

Him: Silence for 5 mins. It was like being in an awkward meeting with Hugo. (Any ex Screen Yorkshire’s will dig that pain.) “Why do you want to go to India…?”

Me: “Holiday / Tourism”

Him: “What is your profession?”

Me: “Well, I used to….”

I got 10 seconds in and he glazed right over, violently hammered an approval stamp into my paperwork, cut me off, and told me “we’re done.”

Apparently that’s my cue to leave. Bizarre.

Fingers crossed I pick it up Friday…

Kanchanaburi, Thailand

I love this word. Kan-chan-a-buri. I’ve been saying it all week, so it’s kind of built up in our heads. I have to wait until Monday to go back to the Indian Embassy for an interview about my visa (next post,) so we can’t venture too far from Bangkok for the weekend. The plan was also to head North to Chiang Mai, but Thailand has been severely affected by flooding. The whole of the capital is on red alert with sandbags everywhere. It’s quite the drama. So 2 hours North West to Kanchanaburi it is for the weekend.

Here sits the Bridge on the River Kwai. A quick history lesson in two sentences: The Japanese ordered British/American prisoners of war to build it in 1942 in an attempt to strengthen the supply route from Thailand to Yangon (Burma). Thousands of people died through appalling conditions/disease therefore it is infamously known as the ‘Death Railway.’ Mark and I are as geeky as each other so thought it might be interesting. We downloaded the 1950’s film and everything.

To be honest, it’s one of those slight anticlimaxes. The original bridge was bombed before 1945, and although the one that stands there today nice and all, it’s a bridge – you know there are 10 more like it further up/down stream.

We stay long enough to take ‘oh no – we’re tied to the tracks and the train is coming’ pics. Childish and in-appropriate at a WW2 Monument, but we can’t be the first and won’t be the last I’m sure. Although bet we’re the first to include big Jesus the elephant.   

Plus the thought does cross my mind that if we walk too far we’d technically end up all the way back in Yangon. No thanks to that. : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

October 2011

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