passport and camera


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Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok
August 26th 2008
Published: August 26th 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

so here i am once again in bangkok.

i am expected to leave the country by tomorrow but that's just not going to happen. i'll be a day late, which means some sort of fee, but the difference in flight ticket price makes up for it.

today i explored more of bangkok than i ever have on any previous stopover. for one thing, i realized i had ZERO pages left in my passport. the last page is already over-crammed. for some reason US citizens get very few pages in their passports. and i figure if i am leaving the country, i should make sure i can put a stamp somewhere. so this meant a friendly little jaunt to the US embassy. i caught a meter taxi and after briefly explaining where i needed to go, he nodded confidently and took me directly in the wrong direction for almost an hour and dropped me off at the office of foreign affairs. another hour later i was finally at the pearly gates of the US embassy. i was hoping for some proud-looking architectural grandeur, but it was actually more like a shifty looking half open rusty metal door leading down a hot stuffy narrow hallway with metal detectors and security guards.

once inside, i was greeted by the tangible atmosphere of impatient americans. i think it was the highest concentration of americans in one room that i have been in in the past 2 and a half years. maybe half were travellers and tourists, and half were somewhat long term ex-pats. such an interesting mix! one man kept having to re-explain that he was hit by a car yesterday, woke up in a hospital, and realized his passport and wallet had been stolen. now thats a bad day.

another man spoke in a relaxed texan drawl. he asked, "whut kand a' dawkumints do ah need tuh prove tuh the thai guv'r'm'nt that ah'm married?" the woman asked, "do you have your wife's passport?" "well no." "do you have your marriage certificate?" "uh, no. achully, ah don't have a wife either. ah w's jus' curious."

after i got the pages, i decided to check out the electronics section of bangkok. i took the city bus there, and found myself in a 5-story mall of ONLY ELECTRONICS. my lord. the malls in thailand are the most gargantuan behemoths i have ever seen or imagined in my life. they are positively overwhelming. i didn't find what i wanted there, so i caught the bus to another similarly massive mall, and after searching 4 more floors, i found the camera i ended up getting, which seems pretty close to the one i originally wanted, and even managed to bargain the price down a few thousand baht.

now that i am about to leave, i feel myself thinking, "man i wish i had taken pictures of this and this and this and this..." but i think its all good. i have a new camera so i can be prepared whenever i am inspired.



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