Tomorrow it is exactly two weeks to departure. Time is running so fast. I’ve already packed my bag. My plan this trip is to pack more than usual, not having to buy so much stuff in Thailand. There is really no reason. Half of my wardrobe I bought there anyway and as I lived in Spain for the last year my clothes are mostly for summer.
Today I went to the Thai consulate in Liverpool and handed in a visa application, my passport, two passport photos and 75 pounds. Tomorrow I’ll be picking up a triple entry visa, which gives me 6 months in Thailand. I’ll have to cross a border and come back into Thailand every 60 days during those 6 months, but that is so much better than having do hassle with visa runs only giving me 15 days, crossing by land, or 30 days if flying in. It also saves me the hassle of staying over night in Laos, standing in ridiculous cues outside the Thai Embassy there. The only downside is that I’ll have to do a visa run when Alex is in Thailand. Therefore my plan is to stay at my paradise island at the time being and do a quick visa run to Burma. I’ve done a visa run from Ranong in Thaiand to Ranong in Burma my previous trip to Thailand and it’s very smooth and quite cheap. The Burma visa I’ll have to pay for in order to get my Thai visa stamped is only 10 dollar. A bargain compared to the over 30 dollar visa to Laos or the 20 dollar visa to Cambodia. A little of an adventure as well as the visa run is done by long tail boat.
I might not stay six months in Thailand as I can’t know if I’ll obtain a teaching position, but at least I’ll have the right visa needed to have the right to apply for a working visa if I find a job. One is not allowed to apply for a working visa being in Thailand on a 30 day exemption, as I understand it. Anyhow, it is getting closer. Everything is arranged. I’m only waiting for a new visa card my my sent me today. I first hand withdraw money from my master card as that bank doesn’t charge any fees or take any commission, and the exchange rate is the best one. Although I want to bring my visa card if I lose my master card of if it breaks. I’m still after almost two years annoyed that Thai banks started charging 150 Baht fee when withdrawing money with a foreign card. It was a great freedom when they didn’t and I could withdraw money everyday and never had to travel with big amounts of money in my wallet. Well, luckily there’s only the Thai bank fee charged when I withdraw in Thailand. Having to use my visa card would turn out very expensive as that bank charges me about 4 Euros each withdrawal. 4 Euros plus 150 baht every time. No thanks. Not if I can avoid it!
My friend Emma is in Thailand at the moment and she told me the other day that she was staying at my friend Nong’s resort on Koh Chang and that he sent his love to me, asking when I’ll be there. That made me very happy. I’m remembered and expected.
The volunteering! I’m exited and I’m nervous. I really hope my trip there goes smoothly and that there will be no mix up resulting in me not getting the bed reserved for me at the learning centre, although I’ve already been assured a few weeks ago that they’ll have a bed for me in the girls dorm. There seem to be a lot going on at Isara at the moment. They seem to have many volunteers at the moment, they just fixed a library at the learning centre for the students after a big donation of books they’ve got. The recycling Centre seem to be up and running with success. I can’t wait to be there and see everything for myself, take part of the teaching, the projects and so on. I might not never want to leave. I’ve actually been thinking I should volunteer six weeks and not only four. Alex is not coming until March 18. The only reason I want that gap of two weeks is that gives me the chance to have some Malin time, visit some friends and just be me. Lets see what happens.
For those who don’t know, I finished the TEFL course, 120 hours Master Diploma with the final grade A. Very happy about that and I hope the Diploma will serve me even though I obtained it online. On site TEFL courses seem to be more valuable and more asked for by schools in Thailand when recruiting teachers.