I was pretty pleased that I was able to open a bank account last week, even though I had to go to three banks. But I discovered I couldn’t get into my account online. So a trip to the bank was necessary this morning.
It’s a mile walk and, luckily, we had a cold front come through and it’s actually long pants and long sleeves weather today, so there was no sweating out the heat. The bank was almost empty so visited with the young guy who set up my account.
I told him I didn’t know what the user ID and password were and he asked if I had applied for Internet banking. I told him I thought that was an automatic service but I guess because of my tourist visa situation you have to apply for Internet banking. So I filled out a few forms and he told me it would take 1-2 weeks to be approved. An email is sent with a user ID and temporary password.
The problem I had was that I might need proof of my bank transfer from the U.S. that will demonstrate my financial situation and allow me to get a non-immigration retirement visa. I need to go to immigration in a week and might not have access to my account by then to prove the transfer.
He checked my account and said the transfer had been made and was in my account. At my request, he also printed out a bank statement with that information for me to use at immigration, if needed. I know I will need it when I go to the U.S. embassy in Bangkok next month but not sure about next week. Better to be safe.
On the way back, I decided to try another of the local Thai restaurants on Soi 51, where I had some good grilled pork last week. I tried another stand, which specializes in soups, but opted for a grilled pork, rice and greens dish. $1.30. The portions are not American size, which is a good thing, as I’ve almost lost the weight I put on in just two months in the States. This restaurant offers a slew of dishes in the 40-50 baht range ($1.30-1.70) and the food was good, so I might be there often, although it is a hike. An older man and his wife run the place, with mama-san doing the cooking and what looked to be a grandson waiting tables with a smile.
I find it interesting that I went from one country (Indonesia) where even finding pork was difficult, to this one, where pork is a staple. One of the differences between Muslims and Buddhists.