I’m still working on getting my work permit. It has been a crazy long process. Luck, who works for the Education dept., is in charge of helping me get my work permit and non-immigrant visa. We’ve visited two immigration offices this week. Luck does all of the talking at the visits and fills out my paperwork for me in Thai. I just sit there and smile at the immigration officers.
Yesterday, Luck filled out some forms for me and gave them to the immigration officer. The immigration officer started entering information into her computer. When she got to my birthdate, she asked Luck a question and got out her calculator. I figured that she was trying to determine what 1978 was in the Thai date system (it’s currently the year 2549 here). There was a lot of confusion and eventually 3 immigration officers were huddled around the calculator. I kept hearing Luck say that I’m 28 years old. I had a class starting in 20 minutes and was starting to get really annoyed that this was taking so long. I asked Luck why they couldn’t just subtract 28 from 2549. She shook her head and said “I know. It shouldn’t be this hard”. I started watching the numbers being punched into the calculator and realized that they kept using the number 1928. I looked at my paperwork and realized that it said my birthdate was August 3 1928! The immigration officers were confused because, according to my paperwork, I was 78 years old! I pointed out the mistake and we all laughed about it. I’m glad the problem was cleared up. I’d hate to have something like that stall the process of getting a work permit and visa.
I will go to Nankai to do more visa/work permit stuff on Friday with Luck and the new Japanese teacher. Nankai is about 3 hours away from Khon Kaen. People say that there’s a really good Vietnamese restaurant there and that it’s a good place to do some shopping.