The banking odyssey continues


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.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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2 Responses to The banking odyssey continues

  1. 2bagsandapack says:

    Price you pay for a different culture.

  2. Eric Torrey says:

    If that is typical of how the banks and post office work… thank God you are not trying to get a local license to drive — I can’t begin to imagine what their version of the DMV would be like! LOL

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