Visas and demonstrators

Trip Start Sep 03, 2013
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Trip End Mar 25, 2014


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, January 20, 2014

We arrive at Khorat about 1:30 and get into Mo Chit bus station Bangkok about 5:15. It is always bedlam here trying to get a taxi amongst the hoards of like minded people. Today seems even worse than usual and eventually it is a case of raising the elbows a little and fighting through to the front and just grabbing the first taxi that stops near us. Don't like doing this but the alternative is to wait here for hours whilst others do.
We arrive at New Siam, Banglamphu, before 6:00 and things all look very quiet.  We get our rooms straight away which is almost unheard of and settle in before going down for breakfast,  Had heard that people were not travelling to Bangkok because of the troubles here that were being broadcast around the world on national news channels and first impressions certainly suggest that this is the case.
To try and avoid the demonstrators who are camped out on closed streets around the city centre we take a river taxi to Taksin then board the BTS Skytrain to take us to the visa office on Rajdamri.  Had been told that Rajdamri was closed but by the time we had reached the office we had seen no sign of any problems at all other than the fact that the train seemed a lot busier than usual.
We had given ourselves plenty of time to get here expecting problems so with a clear run we arrive  very early.  It is now 1 1/2 hours until Jai's appointment and there is no way Mr Jobsworth is going to let her in early.  Fair enough I suppose but ... more waiting.  She finally gets into the office and I wait a further 40mins for her to return, job done and fingers crossed.  I can think of no reason why they might refuse the application but experience shows that they don't actually need a good reason !!
We then take the Skytrain as far north as it goes to the Mo Chit area.  We pass over the Victory Monument Square where the majority of the demonstrators seem to be camped out.  This is where a lot of the problems are arising and I think  saw on the news this morning that a couple of people may have been killed here last night by a grenade thrown into the crowds.  Democracy Thai style !  Its still early and all looks quiet at the moment.
Leaving the Skytrain we take a taxi the short way to the bus station and buy Jai a ticket on the 20:10 bus back to Phon Thong for tomorrow night.
Taxi back to Banglamphu for a noodle lunch then a welcome shower and stretch out on the bed for a couple of hours.
I walk up to the nearby park mid afternoon and sit watching the river traffic for a while.  It was very quiet when we got here this morning with no signs at all f the usual drunks just getting back to their guest houses after a night out or early morning travellers weighed down by enormous backpacks walking the streets looking for a way to save 20p on their accommodation.  There are quite a few people around this afternoon but it is noticeable that the average age of those passing through seems to be getting older and I feel quite comfortable, even young, amongst them.
I buy a couple of coffees to take back to the room to go with the cake we brought with us.
Get a text message from VFS to say that Jai's application has been sent on to the British Embassy already.  They were forecasting about 15 days so it will be interesting to see which of jus gets back to Khamnadie first, me or the passport.
A quick check of the internet in reception tells me that Gloucs won comfortably in Perpignan at the weekend which is some good news.
We walk back to the park in the early evening and enjoy the last of the sun whilst we eat.
We walk back to the guest house where Jai retires to watch her nightly soaps whilst I make steps to a corner bar for a couple of farewell beers.
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