Monday, 10 February 2014

Immigration and Birthday Celebration

Upon arrival to Ayutthaya Dave and I checked into the Ayutthaya Guesthouse, this guesthouse is also owned by Streetlamp so it was the obvious choice and I'd not stayed here yet either. Now as soon as we put our bags down my first critical mission was to get to the immigration office to extend my Visa that expired the very next day. Overstaying is not really a problem its just subject to a fine (500 Baht a day up to a maximum 20,000 Baht) but I didn't want to overstay by even a single day incase the US deemed it a problem when I apply for my working visa there.

Off to immigration I went not really knowing what the process was, all I knew was that a 30 day extension was 1900 Baht.  It's only a short distance from Soi Farang (the street with all the guesthouses and farang bars including my very favourite Streetlamp) and Dave and I found it eventually.  When I got there she told me I need a form completed by my guesthouse owner so she gave me the papers and I headed back to have it filled out. When I returned to the immigration office she then told me she needs a copy of his ID. Erghh! So back to the guesthouse I went to obtain it, thankfully on my return this time the guesthouse owner let me borrow his bike to get there. Once I had the correct paper work it was simple, I grabbed a ticket number for the que and within 10 minutes I was being seen to, I then just had to sit there while they entered some data into the computer, I moved around to four different people for different levels of processing and didn't need to say anything much at all, 30 minutes later it was done and I walked out with my extension. Sorted!

That evening we planned to have a quiet one so not to be too hanging for my birthday but of course that didn't happen. We stayed out till well past 12 therefore it was my birthday before i went to bed and I got a few free drinks at the various bars on the road, it was a good night. I hadn't really planned much for my birthday only that I would probably get very intoxicated and that I wanted to get hold of some fireworks. Both ended up happening and I even got hold of some skylaterns too. We started at Coffee Bar, one of my favourite all Thai places, it was here that Fai presented me with a wonderful birthday card, an amazing homemade cake and a new speaker to replace the one that had fallen from the hotel balcony in Surin. She really is a top girl; she is jai dee mak! After Coffee Bar we headed back to Soi Farang where we drunk copious amounts more whiskey setting of the fireworks in the street then the very special birthday sky lantern. It was coming up to around 1 or 2AM which meant it was time to head to mam-mam, the only place in Ayutthaya open until 6 in the morning. I love this place, it is so welcoming, I managed to get up on stage with the DJ and sung one of Thailands favourite western songs 'Zombie' coupled with some improv freestyle in Thai telling the people that I loved them and their country; of course it went down well. I couldn't tell you what time I got in but man it was one hell of a night.

The following day we had to wake up as Dave had to get to Suwanapoom airport to catch his flight to Sydney, Australia; a country where he would be starting his new life. Fai being the best person ever offered to drive and I was in the car hanging to say the least and in fact I was probably still a little drunk, all I knew is that I would not want to be him right then, I know how daunting it is to start life in a new country but I knew he'd be ok. We arrived and we said goodbye, I wished him chok dee and off he went. Fai and I then headed back to Ayutthaya where I plan to stay for around a week to get all my paper work in order for my US Visa. There is nothing really on the agenda as I've seen pretty much all of the city now but Fai has mentioned going to Kanchanaburi which was on my list so we will be heading there for Valentines weekend. I cant wait, I heard it is a beautiful place.

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