Progress Report

Sept 12, 2010

As of this afternoon I’m ninety percent sure I’ll be departing around four weeks from today. What’s been giving me pause is an unresolved health issue (knee ligaments that I badly twisted last year, which three doctors so far have been unable to correct). But since the condition is hardly life-threatening and not causing me any pain while walking, I’ve decided not to let it hold me back. If I start having serious troubles, I can always visit a Thai physician. Hard to imagine them being any worse than the ones I’ve gone to here in the U.S.

Good news! Two days ago I received my passport back from the L.A. Consulate. Attached to one of the pages is what’s called an Entry Visa in shades of Regal Blue with “Kingdom of Siam” as the heading. This gives me permission to enter the country and receive the…drum roll please…Retirement Visa Stamp at immigration. Good for up to twelve months of fun.

The second piece of welcome news was a reply from Jii, the manager of the guest house in Pattaya (a city about two and a half hours south of Bangkok) where I stayed the last time I was there. I’d emailed her a while back saying that I was thinking of coming over again. This was well received, with her telling me that although she is no longer working at the guest house, her sister is and that I can get a room with a good monthly rate there. So the accommodations are ready and waiting.

Things are starting to fall into place.

One aspect I’m going to particularly enjoy this time around in Thailand is not having to watch the calendar. In my previous visits, there was always the pressure of trying to cram as many experiences in as possible before my thirty day Tourist Visa expired and I had to depart. Now, with my shiny new Retirement Visa, I can take things at a more leisurely pace. During the day, I’ll work on my memoir, read paperback novels and study the language. Evenings will see me eating out (real Thai cuisine!), playing pool, and meeting cute women, all of said activities to be found just down the block from where I’ll be staying.

It will be my own little comfy world.

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