December 25 2010
A Flying Sporran 'Get you home service'
A Merry Christmas to you all and especially to Anna Lee whom we escorted to Suvarnabhumi airport on Christmas Eve on a flight home to Canada.
Anna lost everything in Thailand and will have to start life over again in a shelter in Vancouver. She had been trying to get home after the Red Shirt demos, but did not have the cash to do so. Then of course her visa ran out compounding her problems.
She had been flitting from teaching job to teaching job, even did cleaning, but the cash was barely enough to survive let alone get her out of her troubles.
She had originally come to Thailand and invested in a school. Trouble with partners etc. She went home when her father died and when she returned there was no school. She appears to have spent the rest of her cash on lawyers. Still no result.
How she survived could make a book I guess.
Anna is Canadian of Chinese/Portugese extraction. She only had a photocopy of her passport when she went to the Canadian Embassy. And though she spoke like a Canadian, acted like a Canadian, was born in Canada, educated in Canada, worked in Canada, she had of course to prove she was actually Canadian to get home.
(When I registered my children as British citizens I had to do the same of course. The only people of course who can really prove your nationality are all the government agencies which hold your tax, national insurance, and birth and marriage records...and you have to pay!)
After a long struggle Anna was finally given a ticket (which she will of course have to pay back) and a travel document.
So who said there are no beaches in Khon Kaen? This is one at Castle Howchow.
Its pretty cold in Canada, but as the charity which is assisting Anna is connected to the Salvation she'll no doubt be fortified by some feisty carol singing over the Christmas period.
Good luck Anna and to all those who helped, especially a British hotelier who runs a 'beach resort' 50 kilometres outside Khon Kaen.
Huh? Yes there's not a lot of sea up there, but as I was quite impressed with the pictures of his resort. Compares very favourably against the 'Flying Sporran's 'tin hut' outside Bangkok where Anna spent the last few days.
So to all you guys out there on home visits to villages in this province; if you want to take a break from living above the dogs, chickens and buffaloes may I recommend Castle Howchow.
You can even get married there!
The Flying Sporran's lochside lair