Today was my day to go to immigration to make my 90-day report. This is required for anyone on a one-year immigration visa, as I am. You must report to immigration every 90 days or face fines. Seems like only yesterday I was at immigration to finalize my one-year visa.
While I was somewhat nervous about doing this the first time by myself, I shouldn’t have been. I had downloaded a form from the internet but there often is a problem printing out Thai and the form looked weird, so I grabbed a blank form when I arrived about 8:45 am.
Yes, that’s right, I rose early this morning to finish this task, as I also wanted to do double duty on the trip by stopping at the fresh market on the way back. So with my empty backpack, a bottle of just-brewed coffee, and without my iPod Shuffle, which decided to be out of juice this morning, I walked to Petchkasem Road, where I could catch a motorbike taxi.
Now I hate riding on the back of these things. It always feels like I’m about to suffer a horrible death, but so far, so good. My taxi guy brought me there safely and waited for me to finish.
After filling out a new form (they have them out front, very organized), I went inside to find I was third in line. Forty-five minutes later, I was finally called to the counter. There were only two officers processing the few expats there and they finally added a third, who called me up.
She looked over my form, gave me back the two head shots I had attached, and put the form in a drawer. I had not signed it yet and told her so, but apparently it didn’t matter. She told me Dec. 19 was my next report date (you can report up to 15 days early or 7 days late) and I was done. Three minutes, tops, once I was called.
My taxi was still waiting and he dropped me off at the fresh market (round trip – 200 baht), where I stocked up on vegetables (very cheap), chicken breasts and large prawns (60 baht for 6, or about $1.70). And as long as I was there, I stopped at two food stalls to pick up some roast duck and rice for lunch later, and some green fried things. Those turned out to be two kinds of spinach-based “pastry”, one fried lightly with a bread covering and the other in a gelatinous something or other.
The green taxis park in this area, so I found the one moving out next and took a seat. A friendly Japanese lady and her brother climbed on, and I helped her tell the driver she wanted to get off at the Villa Market. I told her it was right after when I would get off. We had a nice conversation afterward, as she told me she and her brother retired to Thailand three years ago.
Oh, and I received my electric bill for the month – about $20-22. I don’t run the A/C but I do have 6 fans in the house, with two running pretty much 24/7. I can live with a $22 electric bill for a two-story, 2BR, 2-bath house. I expect the internet bill to be higher. For water, I pay 150 baht/month ($4.30), no matter how much I use. Later, I will walk to the mall to pay the electric bill, and I might also stop at a billiards store on Soi 88 for supplies and a new tip for my cue.
And while I’m at the mall I will have the form I downloaded to vote in November digitized so that I can send it in and receive a ballot. That’s if I’m still registered in Florida. There’s a great online service to receive the initial application form, but you still have to mail or email it in to your local voting registrar. The ballot, once I receive it, will have to be sent by regular mail. Have to do my part in the upcoming election.
A busy and productive day.