Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flying Sporran’s Weekend Diary

Had a good day this week. It was visa day, not normally something I look forward to. But this was an especially cheerful day.

Got down to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to pick up my letters of accreditation. The woman at reception was especially sweet and so was the woman I signed off with. I left with a smile.

Then I went down to the Public Relations Department where I was greeted with a loud “Andrew, pay nai ma” from a  woman in the press card section – who must have remembered me from a helicopter trip over post Tsunami Khao Lak or a singalong in a restaurant in Krabi, er, or maybe something worse.

Three women handled the issuing of my card.

The youngest asked: “Do you have photograph?”. No. “Okay we’ll use last year’s”

My new card was issued before I had a chance to ask: “Can you use one from five years ago?”

Then it was off to the clinic in Thaniya Plaza where there were at least eight women, five at reception greeting me.

Blood taken, pulse taken, eyes tested, by nurse (woman) I even had an X-ray. This was good value for money, and even a woman doctor, gave me an evaluation which seemed like me to be like an annual check up – all for 700 baht.

Time for a quick lunch at a Japanese place in Chamchuree Square  – served of course by women.

Then it was off to the ‘One Stop Centre’ (no not the ‘’One Stop Center’ in Pattaya ) where a smart woman immigration official put all my documents together and gave me a ticket.

Within 15 or so minutes I was at the pay counter where another very pleasant Immigration officer (woman) ticked off the boxes and took my cash and then off for the interview with a woman Immigration Lt. Colonel.

“Still with the Eeny Stannit I see." she asked, mimicking Eric Morecambe’s newspaper vendor sketch. “Yes” I replied…. ‘I can't get up in the morny’.

 Stamp. Stamp. Stamp.

Then across the room to the Department of Employment where my work permit was handled by another woman, plump and jolly.

I had missed a signature and was asked to sign. I reached for my pen and it was gone. I looked across suspiciously at the woman who had issued me with a number.

“Pa-ka pay nai mot?” – “Where have all my pens gone?” I asked.  This had all the women in stitches. Either my pronunciation was bad or they have got an obsessive compulsive biro thief there too.

I was through the process in record time and the only man I spoke to was the new guy from the Danish News Agency Ritzau.

It was such a good day that I felt like going back to the clinic and asking if they could check my prostate.

There have to be men working or course, but I did not see many of them on that day.

Back at home, after paying tollway fees to women cashiers, all I had to wait for was the woman in my life to come back from school.

“Annie,” I said. “The doctor said I have to give up cigarettes and start eating blueberrys”

“Oh good”, she said, “Let’s go to Tops and buy some Blueberry Cheesecake”.

Then she ran away with my packet of cigarettes.

Women really piss me off sometimes.


  1. "a woman doctor gave me an evaluation".

    What, "she gave you an eja........"

    Sorry I misread what you wrote!

    You are an old rogue.

  2. Andrew, This must have been one of your most boring days in years. No libel writs, no threats on your life, no new villains to expose, no court appearances, no corpses. Seize this rare opportunity Andrew and give up smoking! Women will piss you off much less I guarantee.

  3. But did you pass the Syphilis test Mr Drummond... Worst 1 hour of my life waiting for that one to come back!

  4. Its far better to have a prostate check done by a woman doctor Andrew, they know what they are doing, I think!

  5. I suspect I am talking to some season veterans here who went to the local 'love clinic' seeking assurance that they did not have elephentatis - and paying 200 baht to prove it.
    That is so 80's.

  6. This One Stop Immigration service for you hacks is obviously taking too much stress out of your life and I suggest you poodle up to Laksi as we mere mortals have to do for a reality check when it comes to dealing with female Immigration staff.
    My last visa trip there was a truly dreadful experience. After 6 hours waiting I eventually encountered the aging harridan whose lot it fell to consider my application. It didn't go well and she enlisted the aid of two sisters before deciding that what I thought was a simple matter was indeed more complex than unravelling a Gordian knot. Negotiations became increasingly fraught and at one point the volume level began to increase, always a dangerous sign. If it were an audition these three would definitely have starred in Act 1 Scene 1 Macbeth on the strength of it. I realised my moment had come and with the fortitude of any man who had nothing to lose I demanded to speak to " The Senior Officer ". Utter silence prevailed immediately. As one their sisterhood of spite ebbed and with some trepidation the aging harridan asked " You wanna see...The Captain? " I nodded with as much conviction I could muster but unease wasn't far off and with that they began whispering, casting me the odd look which seemed to my mind wasn't too far off pity. I was marched into a small anteroom where sat The Captain. Papers were presented, words exchanged and we were left alone. She looked up and then smiled as thinly as a razor slice of sunlight on a dreary British November afternoon and fixed me with cobra eyes. " Why you say my girls are wrong?" I made my pitch, quoting the last Police Act, proffered papers in logical order and concluded on a grovelling note apologising for my very existence.
    She sighed, studied my paperwork and then fixed me with the gaze Murphy must have seen from Nurse Ratchett. " Ok, this time I give you. I know the law but this is how WE do it here. Next year you get it right?" With that she prodded me with her extended talon. I stupidly thought she wanted to shake my hand and made to hold it. Recoiling, she snapped to her underlings and I was swiftly removed from her presence.
    All in all, I spent 7 hours there and, frankly, by the time I exited the building I was a beaten man in a pyrrhic victory. All the taxis had gone and Chaengwattana was gridlocked so it wasn't until 8 pm when I eventually made it back to my local pub and welcome alcoholic oblivion.
    Yes, Drummond, Thai females do indeed make the process all that much better.
    I still smoke too.

    1. Yes Gerry I am indeed fortunate - I am dreading retiring

    2. You really need a more subtle approach Gerry. I have been here 12 years and the same (older) woman has done all of my visas. Since changing from married to retirement plus the move to Laksi it has become a doddle. In and out in 30 mins or less. She can be quite a dry soul.In the old days at Suan Plu tired of the yearly trek and the technicalities of the married visa I asked her how many more years I would have to come and see her to which she replied "until one of us dies"

      Incidentally she is the same one that once told me that Thaivisa was a website for people who shouldn't really be here.

      You obviously got he wrong woman on the wrong day>

  7. lucky you did not do dinner with all of them.

  8. I recall a curious incident a few years back in Suan Plu.

    I went to collect my extension of stay a month after submitting the documents to be told that my paper work was not in order because the bank statements were missing.

    However, I had handed them in and - at the time - noticed that the captain had extracted them from the pile and put them in her desk drawer. Why, only heaven knows.

    Anyway, I pointed this out to the old girl, and grudgingly she spoke to the captain. Low and behold there they were, still in the drawer. Why? Who? What?

    Without wishing to embellish the scene, the captain gave me the most evil of glares and flounced away.

    Smug, process complete, extension of stay in hand, I left. Quickly.