A Part of Me in Thailand

Your item was delivered at 11:24 AM on July 20, 2010 in WASHINGTON, DC 20007 to THAILAND

July has been a very long month for me as I get ready to move to Thailand. Aside from wrapping up estate details I’ve been wrapping up personal details as well while getting all my ducks in a row for the impending move. Everything seemed like it was going in slow motion until this past week when all the pieces started coming together nicely.

Booking a flight from Baltimore to BKK can be a pain in the ass since Thai Air closed it’s New York operations, while there is still a plethora of airlines and flights available to Bangkok the vast majority of them are overpriced. ANA Airlines wanted almost $3000 for an economy seat and a flight that would be 27 hours in total, some of the other airlines were cheaper but 32-55 hour flights are not an option!

So I wandered back to Thai Air and figured I might be able to upgrade to premium economy since I still had about 40,000 frequent flier miles left with them, of course I would have to purchase another flight to LAX but if the stars aligned just right this could work out well…and it did. I have to thank my sister at this point because I hadn’t really thought about heading to California first. Economy on Thai Air one way from LAX to BKK was $800 while premium economy was $1032. I decided to chance my luck and check the business class option…$3300 one way, ouch.

So,  I opted for premium economy and then remembered my frequent flier miles. An upgrade from premium economy to business would cost 35,000 miles :)

Unfortunately when I entered my award miles information my luck ran out ” we’re sorry there are no upgrade seats available”. :(

Then I remembered how helpful Thai Air staff had always been for me, so, I called the LA offices and asked about an upgrade. I was told the same bad news but I would be put on a waiting list for upgrade. The friendly female Thai voice on the other end then said ” call back tomorrow to make sure you have been put on the list as Bangkok sometimes gets this wrong”. Before I called back the next day my phone rang and my new bestest Thai friend let me know that there was no need for a wait list as they secured me a business class seat :)

Okay, maybe I am a little too happy but this ass has only ever known economy seating …and just look at this seat!

I also sent away my passport to the Thai embassy this week, hence the title of this post. I guess I am an odd one but that little sentence at the beginning of this post made me smile like a Thai :)

There was one little snag there though, I had forgotten that a requirement of the tourist visa is a round trip ticket, yes, my excitement, and tightness, got the better of me.

I received a phone call yesterday afternoon from a very nice Thai woman at the embassy and for a brief moment I thought I was going to be denied a visa or have to shell out another grand for a return flight :( Luckily for me she had another option that was much easier. She told me to send her a fax stating the reasons why I had not bought a return ticket and what dates I would be entering and leaving Thailand and that would be all I would need…”you can expect to get your passport with tourist visa by next Friday”

I love Thailand :)

Once I apply at a Thai language school and get accepted for an Education Visa, which usually takes 4-5 weeks, I will have to leave the country anyway to actually get the new visa so it all works out in the end. I’ll probably head to Cambodia for a few days and visit Angkor Wat then pick up the new visa and head…home :) I don’t foresee any problems obtaining the ED visa as I have no criminal record or strikes against me of any kind and of the narrowed down choices for language schools they are all reputable so I don’t anticipate any problems there.

One of the last pieces of the puzzle is housing and where to live. I have changed my thinking to some extent on living in rural Thailand. While Nakhon Phanom is beautiful and very laid back it is also out of the way. I want to explore all of Thailand and have easy access at a moments notice to head in any direction. I have to blame Rick over at Behind the Noodle Curtain partially for this change of heart. He wrote an excellent piece entitled A Day in the Life of My Bangkok & A Day in the Life of My Bangkok Part 2.

Through these posts and a few others Rick has come to terms about where he should be and it really made me think about where I want to be. While I love rural Thailand and all it has to offer, and I will surely be heading back there often, I think the city life is where I will end up hanging my hat. It has the best of both worlds with quiet secluded sections and loud, smoggy and smelly streets. More importantly it has more access to all of Thailand and I believe with more choices I will be in a better position to write about all of Thailand and partake in all she has to offer.

Which city?…housing?  Stay tuned, this is just the beginning!

No smileys were maimed or injured during the writing of this post…while this author is also annoyed by said smileys they just couldn’t be helped :P

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