Today was one of many stressful days... after living through such days all I want to do is crawl in a hole and plug my ears... just be alone... ugh!
The day started off on the wrong foot. We had to go to the immigration office to get re-entry visas for Thailand in order to be able to get back into the country after our trip to Hong Kong. We had to take the kids as well. I packed my bag with loads of coloring books, reading books, crayons, small squishy toys and cars, snacks and a bottle of water... not forgetting our passports, immigration documents and diapers.... oh and a plastic bag to put the trash in. It felt really heavy... but I always have to be prepared when the kids have to spend around an hour in a taxi... it is boring as anything... poor little things....
I called the taxi company to send us a cab... 5 minutes before we had to leave the house they called to let us know that there were no taxis on the road... huh? and that if we wanted we could wait another 15 minutes... ok so we waited another 15 minutes and then they called again and said that again there were no taxis... so jump in the car we did... we parked the car next to the main road and hopped into a taxi whose driver nodded that he knew the place we wanted to go and invited us in… minutes later it was apparent that he had no idea what we were talking about as he was calling someone mentioning the street we gave him.
After making sure he had no knowledge of what we were saying, I called a Thai friend of mine and asked her to translate. Thanks to her we were on our way to the immigration office. You might find this a little bit strange but this is the culture here in Thailand; they like to save face and therefore would not outwardly tell you that they did not know something…. Which might be a little frustrating for someone who is not of that culture.
The kids were not bad at all on the way there… coloring, eating their snacks and reading their stories…. And that was probably the best part of the whole trip.
When we got there, we took a number and headed straight to the rows of chairs to fish out some entertainment items for the kids. We sat and waited for the man in charge to call us. At school, they had previously informed us that if we took a multi-entry Visa that we would be able to transfer it to our new passports if we ever needed to renew them. So thinking that this was the case, we asked for multi-entry visas… he started writing the receipts while he was talking on a hands-free phone to his girlfriend or wife... we then found out that we were short of money… my husband went to the ATM machine and came back with the rest of money but by that time, 2 minutes? the official gave our turn to another person.
After ten minutes, the official who had just finished from another mobile phone call, pointed out that both my daughter and my passport needed to be renewed and that we would not be able to transfer the visa onto them. Then when I asked for a single entry visa for my daughter and I, he started shaking his head showing us his displeasure, which is quite surprising as Thai people are known not to outwardly show any such emotion. It is extremely rare for you to see someone upset, angry or discontent here in Thailand… they are very patient and passive people. So you can imagine my husband’s and my astonishment at his reaction.
Being me… I so wanted to say that if he was not talking on the phone the whole time he was dealing with us, we would have been able to ask him questions... but I could not do that... however, I could not help but ask him why he was upset and explain to him that we were assured that we could transfer our visas…this was all while my daughter was screaming for her father to let go of her and put her down...
Anyway… all was done but after my daughter ran around the whole place 3 or 4 times sometimes screaming, sometimes crying and sometimes laughing… my son wanting to go to the bathroom while my daughter wriggled and had a temper tantrum on the bathroom floor… yukh! Had to wash her hands several times… oh boy!
And then the ride home… oh what a ride home… my daughter would not sit down… she was all over the place… taxis, of course, do not have car seats and so she was not constrained… she was all over me… down on the floor, standing up to watch the other cars… and no matter how many things I took out to entertain her with or ask her to stay in her seat with the seat belt on, she continued doing whatever she was doing.
On top of all that the taxi driver had his music on loud, my husband was trying to converse with me or tell me what to do with my daughter, my daughter was trying to grab my attention and my son wanted his colors… I just wanted to plug my ears and hear absolute silence for 5 seconds… just 5 seconds.
We drove my daughter home and made our way to a coffee shop as my husband noticed that I really needed to just wind down for ten minutes before heading back to work… on the way there, my son put his head on my lap and the only thing that soothed me was having my fingers brush his bronze hair and look at his beautiful angelic face.
This morning, I needed a hole to crawl in… moles and hibernating bears are so lucky. For months they can hear absolutely nothing and they sleep like babies cuddled up in their snug holes or caves.... I think I would like to be one of those animals in my next life (if I have one).