Nine Things I will Miss about Thailand
Remembering the Austin Allegro
Bring in the Old, Out with the New
I am Reviewing, My Situation...
Today I will Mostly be Eating...
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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