So I made it up to Laos and finally got my visa! After going on a fruitless trip to Burma,traveling up to Bangkok and into Laos,spending a lot of time and money on this and I finally got six whole months to stay in Thailand ( If I maximize all my visa extensions) But all up for a six month visa to Thailand it cost about 150 USD just in visa fees not to mention all the time and expense I have paid to get up here and get this! The actual process to get the visa (should have) been straight forward and easy but there was so many people there and they didn't call out the assigned numbers in the correct order so it took forever!
As I write this I am back in Thailand and tomorrow is another holiday (Constitution Day) so I will stay in Bangkok tonight and rest and leave for my little town tomorrow. I have met some really cool people on my journey to get this visa and soon I will be meeting up with some of them to hang out. I have a lucky knack for meeting really cool people wherever I go :)When I was back up in Laos I met up with my Aussie friend Maurice. It was good to see him again and catch up but I left him back in Laos he should be here for Christmas though. We may go see a movie or something today and it will be nice to see my friends back in Bangkok.
On the way back last night we stopped at a 7/11 (There is more 7/11's here in Thailand than there is in America!) many times you will see one 7/11 right across the street from another selling the same stuff at the same prices haha. If you are in Thailand and you are super hot from being outside, go in there. They always have air conditioning and if you need someone who speaks good English look no further than their employees. A strange thing about Thai gas/petrol stations is that they have "squares" you have to park you car/truck/motorbike in before you fill up. It is all very orderly haha. They don't generally do self service that much, they have people to pump your gas for you. It is like three dollars a week for me to fill up my motorbike so it is cheap! They also have much higher octane gas than we have back home. They go all the way up to 99 octane and they sell LPG and a bunch of other "alternative fuel" that we don't generally have at home. They have some flavours of chips and things that would seem odd in America but not here! I love the Peking duck flavour chips made by Lays here and they have a sea weed flavour that sounds gross but it is pretty good. They have "milk flavoured bread" that is super good and many other things you wont find in America.
Oh! I wanted to mention that last night I did get to see the lunar eclipse here in Thailand ( I was actually in Laos when it started) then we crossed the border and I saw the rest of it from Thailand. Our bus was not amazing but it got me back to Bangkok in one piece and a 15 hour bus ride cost me only 25 USD! We watched a DVD (Captain America) in English that was the same DVD I watched on the way to Laos lol. We had a blanket and air conditioning that worked! ( It usually doesn't work at all or is WAY too cold) and on the way back to Thailand my reading light didn't work but for the first time EVER and I do mean EVER my reading light WORKED! on the way to Laos! I have taken hundreds of long haul bus journeys in many many different countries around the globe and that was the first time I can remember the little reading light actually working, I was so excited when tried it haha. I always try it just out of habit really not expecting it to work after so many failures, when it worked I almost had a heart attack! lol.
Here in Bangkok I had the rare privilege of having a really super nice taxi driver! He actually charged me less than what the meter said! He also spoke really good English and gave me some great tips. After having my "rip off alert radar" going for so long it is refreshing to have this experience! You know Thai traffic lights here in Bangkok are strange! They have a "countdown clock" so you know how long it is before the light turns green or red. You must wait at a red light for 184 seconds! That may not seem like long but, when you are sitting there going nowhere it feels like forever! Also, it is only green for 94 seconds! Strange huh?
One last thing: I am a published author now! I submitted a travel story of mine to a website that is putting together a travel book of stories from people all over the world. Cool idea huh? Well they picked my story to be in the book! I may post it on here soon. It's only 2000 something words. Anyway I am pretty excited about that and profits of the book go to charity! Once they get the book published I will let yall know. Take care,Tyler