Visa extension please ...

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Asia » Thailand » North-East Thailand » Khon Kaen
February 24th 2017
Published: July 16th 2017
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Geo: 16.42, 102.83

Awake with the alarm at 05:00. Have some breakfast, get our things up together and we are leaving the house still in the dark just before 06:00. With the three of us on the bike and all our bags we are well loaded down this morning so take my time on the dodgy roads.
Drop Jai, Fin and bags off at the bus station then go to park the bike up at a relatives house across town.
Bus leaves at 07:00 on the dot. Once again we are taking the bus that goes the long way, through Roi Et and Maha Sarakham, before getting to Khon Kaen. It is a nice comfy bus and no-one is ever able to tell us what time a direct bus will be leaving so ...
Fin is a bit excited this morning and couldnt eat her breakfast. By the time we reach Sarakham she is hungry and Jai leaves the bus with to get something to eat ... against my better judgement. I tell them they will have to hurry but spot them ambling the cross the bus station. Our driver gets back and starts to pull off but I manage to stop him. He leaves his spot but stops in the middle of the road at the entrance to wait for them. I spot them returning, as if they had all the time in the world, then they board the wrong bus. Our driver goes to retrieve them !! We are off again. There are loads of fields of what appears to be rape growing in this area. I was told once that they grow it to plough in as fertilizer but this seems to be more far reaching than that. Maybe there is a processing factory nearby ?
Arrive Khon Kaen about 10:00 and take a tuk-tuk out to the immigration office. It is really busy this morning and although there seems to be plenty of staff there only two desks are actually working ... and working slowly. I can see that the staff are watching the clock as lunchtime draws closer and I am fortunate to be the last person called forward before they close for an hour. People who had arrived just after me, an hour so ago, are told to leave and come back this afternoon. My passport is processed and appears to be completed when the girl, sorry sergeant major, takes it back to the office for something telling me iot will only be 1 minute. 15mins later I start to call out to find what is happening but there is no-one there as they have all gone to lunch already. Eventually someone appears to tell me that I will have to wait until 13:00ish for them to come back. Our tuk-tuk has been waiting for us and as I cant check into a hotel here without a passport I tell Jai and Fin to go on to the hotel without me and I will wait until the job is finished before joining them. 5mins later someone appears from nowhere and gives me my completed passport, which appears to have just been sitting on a desk for the last 1/2 hour. I am not too pleased with them but this isnt the place to lose your cool. As I leave the building I am surprised to see our tuk-tuk coming back into the car park. Jai had left our suitcase sat in the middle of nowhere when they left and didnt notice that she didnt have it until they were driving along the main road after. Good news for me that they are back and better news that the suitcase is still there !!
Tuk-tuk to Roma Hotel where we always stay and check-in. This is the first time Fin has been in a hotel and appears to be quite happy about spending the afternoon on the bed in front of the TV in the aircon !!
I check my visa, something I should done before leaving the office and find all is in order and I am OK to stay till 5 April. As we fly out on 21 March this is fine.
We eat food that we brought with us in the room whilst cooling off ... in more ways than one !
About 14:00 we venture out into the afternoon heat and take a bus south across town to a lovely temple on the banks of a large lake. This is our usual way of passing the afternoon when we are in town. Wat Nongwiang(?) is looking good in the sunlight and blue skies. Fin isnt too excited about spending her holiday at a temple but perks up when she spots dinosaur figures in the grounds. She also enjoys the views from the 9th floor across the city if not the climb up the stairs to get there !
The lake appears to be half full of soil and a development of some kind seems to be in process which would be a shame.
We leave the temple to make our way back through a lakeside park. There are lots of playground things here all modeled on dinosaurs which is the area's claim to fame. We like this park as its usually cool being next to the water, Fin likes it for the dinosaurs. I discover that the Thai for 'dinosaur' is, not surprisingly, 'dinosaur' !! Will struggle to remember that ...
A couple of hours later we are melting in the heat so take a bus back to the hotel and the sanctuary of the aircon for a while.
Fin has chosen tonights menu so its off to MacDonalds for burger and french fries. It is good to see that the west has been able to improve the culinary experience for these guys.
We catch a small bus again and end up at a large shopping mall which has a large MacDonalds sign on the roof. I have to say that the Big Mac actually wasnt too bad and did make a change from all the rice.
Bus back to hotel where I leave the girls to settle down with their evening soaps on the TV. I grab a few books I have brought and set off for the bar that I usually visit when in town. No 1 Bar nearly always has a few books that they are willing to let me exchange.
En-route I think about what the time would be back in Gloucester and phone sister Carol who should be visiting mum at this hour on a Friday morning. Not this week though ...
Have a small beet at No 1 Bar, change a couple of books from a sorry looking bookshelf then back to the hotel.

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