Well, it seems that all I’ve gotten accomplished in Bangkok has been taking care of business. After I got the AC adapter out of the way, I had to do things like groceries and other household stuff. I’ve learned a lesson on that one too. ALWAYS bring your reading glasses when shopping for laundry detergent in a foreign country. I bought a little bottle only to get home to find out that the entire label is written in Thai…nary a word of English anywhere, not even pictures of the capfuls!. Okay wiseguys I can already hear the snickers…who needs to read the label of the laundry detergent,right? Well, if you’re so smart, how much do you add to a frontloading machine that is a combination washer and dryer and does the whole load of laundry on about 2 tablespoons of water? I learned the hard way that a whole cap full is too much. Way too much.
Today I spent a good chunk of time going to the Indian Embassy. Seems they have this little bureaucratic hoop I have to jump through (called a visa) to visit their little country. I spent a lot of time on their website this morning completing the online visa application (required) only to submit it and receive an appointment to show up in San Francisco next Tuesday. Now I’ve got an even bigger dilemma than not having a birth certificate that does not have the nationality of both my parents listed.
I finally found the right webside, the India Embassy to Thailand in Bangkok. Completed the application again, gathered my mug shots, two copies of the inside of my passport, scrounged up 3,617 Thai Baht (exact change only please), figured out how to get there on the subway (I’m too tight for a taxi), made copies, and rehearsed my lines over and over as to why my birth certificate does not have all the information on it. The main gist of my argument goes something like this: “Birth certificates are a very controversial topic in the United States right now. Ever hear of our Muslim president that was born in Kenya? I have an almost identical situation, you really don’t want to get dragged into this mess too, do you?” (Add wailing and tears as necessary).
Well, I got there, signed in, walked up to the window to a pleasant young gentleman that spoke as quietly as a church mouse and he was behind about 3 inches of plexiglass. He took my money and my passport.
He either said “come back Monday” or “there’s no way.” I’m not totally sure which it was.