Anyway, long story short, we got it! They have granted Yammie a four month visitor visa to New Zealand which means we can follow our plans ... Yay!!!!! Tomorrow (Sunday) we have to head back to Bankgok and on Monday pop in to the I migration office with two pieces of paperwork and hopefully we can pick up his passport at the same time.
Meanwhile, here in Chai Wan, I wanted to do something nice for yams parents as they have shown me such kindness and hospitality so we organized to take them to Lao for a days outing. When we arrived at the friendship bridge border crossing I had to get two pieces of paperwork - first a re entry permit for Thailand for my visa, and secondly a visa at the border for Lao. I managed to het these, but yams parents don't have passports so they needed paperwork as well. The whole set up at the border is disorganized chaos with people everywhere either trying to get themselves sorted and other people trying to "help" you. It really was just ridiculous. Anyway, after waiting a huge amount of time in the heat with yams little nephew as well it was decided that we would go down a couple of towns that border the Mekong and find a ferry or boat crossing as we also could not take the car for some reason.
Looking across the Mekong River to Lao...
We did find a spot but it was maybe not an "official" crossing so with a decent level of frustration we went to Ngong Khai instead and had a great meal and a wander through the markets. We will save the Lao trip for next year when we come back and we can organize a couple of nights over there.
With news of yesterday about the visa, we are having a bit of a party here tonight with a number of the families friends coming over.
Tomorrow, we head back to Bangkok, Monday go to immigration, then Tuesday head to Chiang Mai for a few days, then back to Bangkok at the end of the week with a week left to organize ourselves before getting on a plane and heading home. I am both happy and excited about seeing my family and friends again and very sad at leaving. I have now been on the road for around five months with three of those months here in Thailand. I have experienced so much - from being a "tourist" in tourist spots, to experiencing what is the true Thailand away from the bars, beaches and throngs of falang.
I can honestly say that because of all the amazing life experiences that I have had that I will arrive back in New Zealand a different man to the one that left. I will not take for granted any of the abundant things that my life has given me. I will talk more on that on my return.
Plus of course, how often do you leave for a holiday with one bag and arrive home with one bag and a man ... :)
Thanks for taking time out of your day to follow my blog. Cheers, Nick.