Some time ago I had the privilege to spend half a day at immigration in Bangkok, and of course it was so much fun I wanted to come back soon again. Last week my visa, with a validity of 3 months, was about to expire, so why not go back and try out a different line to wait in?
After receiving another letter from Sasin stating I am still studying there, I went on my trip to Mo Chit, took a taxi there to immigration, and arrived at 1PM. After some lunch I joined the other people in the waiting room. My hopes to be out there again in 60-90 minutes disappeared quickly after I noticed 58 people were in front of me in line and it wasn’t going fast.
After about one and a half hours it was finally my turn and the bad news arrived soon when the officer tried to explain to me, in broken English, that I was in the wrong line since I did not need a 90-day report but an extension of my visa. Of course I laughed loudly, and went back to the front desk to ask for a new form to fill in and a new ticket to wait in another line. In this line only 34 persons were in front of me, but the line went slower and it took me well over an hour to be able to speak to the immigration officer there. It first looked pretty well, till she took my letter from Sasin and showed it to colleague; a second colleague was also called over and they discussed some part of the letter extensively. Luckily no complaints reached me, so I guess they were just conspiring to see if my next visa would be valid 1 or 2 years or something.
This little excursion took me about half a day and it only became worse when I left immigration and there were no taxis anywhere to take me back to Mo Chit. Taking a motorbike was also not a possibility since it just started raining, so my patience was tested once more. After about 30 minutes one taxi pulled up, but my feeling of relief soon disappeared when we reached a traffic jam after about 1 km. The drive home took another hour at least, but the good news is this was hopefully the last time I need to go to immigration for quite a while. Every 90 days I have to inform immigration about my place of residence, but luckily this can be done my mail. Now I just hope I don’t forget to send the papers on time, otherwise it will take me another day to get the paperwork sorted out.
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