Back in January, shortly after arriving in Hua Hin, I went to three banks trying to open a local bank account, finally being accepted at Bangkok Bank. I needed the Thai account in order to transfer the necessary funds to apply for a 1-year non-immigrant retirement visa.
On Jan. 26, I received an email from the bank with my username. The message said my PIN (password) would arrive in a week or so by regular mail.
I waited. And waited.
Finally, I trekked to the bank where I had signed up and told the clerk I hadn’t yet received my password in the mail. He didn’t seem to care too much and told me it was the post office’s fault, and that I needed to go there to pick up my mail.
The walk to the bank was maybe a mile and a half, not so bad except it was in the middle of the day and the sun was hot. The post office in the center of town was maybe another 3/4-mile away.
The post office is new, air conditioned and seemingly well organized. I took a number, waited my turn, and then was told I needed to go to the “other” post office, which is north past the airport, quite a ways away.
I decided a few days later to make the trip, expecting it was a wild goose chase. The songtoew taxi only goes to the airport before it turns around, so you either have to walk the remaining mile or take a motorcycle taxi the entire route. I chose the songtoew.
Unfortunately, I walked right on by the post office and continued to walk for another mile or so – in the bright midday sunshine and along the very warm highway. When I finally found someone to ask directions, and thankfully they understood the words “post office,” I discovered I had come way too far. So I headed back, finally asking someone else for directions before finally finding the post office.
In case anyone cares, it is right next door to a Mercedes Benz dealership.
I took a number in the air-conditioned inside area but was directed to go outside in the heat, get another ticket, and wait my turn. When I finally was called, I showed the man my name and address and asked for my mail. He directed me to the back of the building to see “the boss man.”
In the back, I found 7-8 men, none of whom would admit to being the boss man. One man opened up his mail pouch of the day’s deliveries, whereupon I knew my message wasn’t getting through. “No, the mail was sent a month ago,” I pleaded, knowing he didn’t understand a word I was saying.
Finally, I was directed to another man who said I needed a ticket. Why the post office would deliver a ticket to my mailbox but not the actual mail was a head-scratcher. I told him I had no ticket and he told me he didn’t have my mail.
“Where does it go then?” I asked. “Maybe Bangkok,” was the response. Obviously, he was not interested in helping me, or in taking responsibility for the mail.
As I surmised the week before at the bank, this was a waste of time.
The next day, I walked to the bank again, this time dealing with the woman who originally opened my account. She was very friendly and pulled out what she said was my password mail. I was both totally delighted and confused. She said she had called me that she had it but I didn’t answer the phone.
As she prepared to give me the mail, I discovered it was for someone with the middle name of Kenneth, with a different first and last name. So, we proceeded to fill out a myriad of forms so that the password could be resent, although this time it will be sent to her. She will then call me to come pick it up – I hope – next week.
Then, maybe I will finally be able to use my new bank account online.