the dreaded visa run

Posted: November 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Like all foreigners in Thailand I’m treated with  suspicion. No matter what your status,  a farang ( read as nasty bad foreigner)  must either leave the country every 60 days to renew a tourist visa ..like me…or go to the police station every 90 days if you’ve chosen to retire here and explain why you should be allowed to stay. Of course it all comes to us through the lens of  history that is Thailand’s rocky relationship with the outside world included into a a healthy dose of tribalism and flag waving, alongside the frantic world of internal politics.

And so we have ended up with  ….ta ta ta taaaaaaaaaa….the visa run…something every ‘old Asia hand’ will tell you is a nuisance and a pleasure rolled into one. Living in Thailand is something like living in a swirling vortex, like having your head in a blender. Leaving the country for a few days is like the feeling you get when you bob to the surface after a deep dive to refill your lungs with a gulp of fresh air…..invigorating….cathartic.

One of the reasons I choose to position myself here is the geography that Thailand commands in  SE Asia. We can access the rest of the region from this central perch easily and inexpensively. Today I will go to Penang Malaysia for a few days. I haven’t been there for a number of years. I have many fond memories of Penang and hopefully they’ll be resurrected. We haven’t had a good Murtabak for awhile and as you know I’m a devout foodie so I look forward to the change in fare by being in Malaysia temporarily.

BTW…if you have any good info about anywhere in SE Asia for living and lifestyle I’d be happy to hear your stories. Hey…make that…if you have any good travel stories period……I’d be happy to hear them. I travel extensively and am always looking for a new cool place to flop and write.

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