The Author

Previous entries

Returning Home - Again

The God Illusion

Going Home


A Change of Direction

Dogs and Pandemics

The Forgotten tenors

Nine Things I will Miss about Thailand


Just Do It

Ayr on a Shoestring

Oh Lonesome Me

Tipping Point

Movie Reviews

Putting Pen to Paper

A Year to Remember

A Year to Forget

10 Reasons I Cannot Go Home

China Girl

The State of Play


Mind Your Language

New Horizons



Taxes and Death



Grey is the Colour

Beating Myself Up

Nothing More to Say

Better Late than Never

Staying Put

Musical Chairs


A Dog's Life

A Sabbatical

A Welcome Diversion

A Guide to Business Ethics

Remembering the Austin Allegro

Our Lords and Masters

In Transit - Part 2

In Transit - Part 1

Nagging Doubts

While Bangkok Burns

An Evening to Remember

Thai Business Malpractice

The New and the Old

Christmas Lights

Groundhog Day



Adventure is Out There


Grabbing it While You Can

A Few Ups and Many Downs


Pack Up Your Old Kit Bag







Ate Two Caesar

Swine Pie

The Thai Rollercoaster

Stuck in the Middle

There's no Regrets

Profit and Loss

Running on Empty

Getting it out Your System

National Mistrust

Bring in the Old, Out with the New


I am Reviewing, My Situation...

Wat Phrabhat Nam Poo

Today I will Mostly be Eating...


The Thai Experience

Wat Khaowong

Reality Bites

Wat Simalais

Amazing Thailand

He Must have a Big Wand

Right Place, Wrong Time



And it does go on


Bring Him Home



Listening to my Reader.



Diary Archive 18.

Diary Archive 17.

Diary Archive 16.

Diary Archive 15.

Diary Archive 14.

Diary Archive 13.

Diary Archive 12.

Diary Archive 11.

Diary Archive 10.

Diary Archive 9.

Diary Archive 8.

Diary Archive 7.

Diary Archive 6.

Diary Archive 5.

Diary Archive 4.

Diary Archive 3.

Diary Archive 2.

Diary Archive 1.





It had take Ploy nearly a month, off and on, to collect all the necessary papers for my new work permit application. Yesterday morning was spent at the local hospital getting my medical certificate. Yesterday lunchtime was spent in one of our favourite restaurants. Yesterday afternoon was spent by me asleep, courtesy of 3a.m. starts for three days, the building pressure from this application and two bottles of Chang beer. The evening was spent celebrating, discretely as we both collapsed into an unburdened heap.

Although Ploy had previously visited the Labour office to get the list of required papers and to ask a few questions, the application went seamlessly. Yes Ploy had occasionally popped in to see the lady and occasionally to give her a cake or some perfume; nothing extravagant. And yes she had given her 100 baht yesterday to jump the queue, (her ticket was number 476!), but otherwise nothing was asked for, no extra sweeteners, never any feeling that without some extra payments we wouldn't actually get the work permit. If our papers were in order, we would get it, and so we did.

What a difference to that woman at Lop Buri immigration who initially requested (demanded) 15,000 baht for her to just do her job. There is enormous variability in the attitudes of different staff at the offices and that is the problem here. Where some can just walk in and get a yellow tabien baan in such and such amphur, we had to jump through more hoops that a circus dog. But there were no payments made. At Lop Buri we get the hoops and the payments. At the Labour office we get neither. It is the inconsistency that is frustrating and the annoyance at the fact this woman in immigration is allowed to do what she does without any apparent consequence.

But we are learning to play the game. The tabien baan does not need renewal, (unless we move and then it is just a change of address). The work permit was for two years this time, the same as we got in Singapore and Canada, so we just have the immigration once a year to deal with, and it will certainly be easier next time.

It's enough to make you go bananas.




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