Today I went to Nan Khai with Luck and Masayo (the Japanese teacher) to get my non-immigrant visa. We left for Nan Khai at 8:30 in the morning and arrived at about 11. We went straight to the immigration office. We had no problems; all of our paperwork was in order and the immigration officer put a bunch of stamps in my passport. Luck has gone through this process many times in the last few years and has become quite a pro. The immigration officer actually recognized her!
After handling business at the immigration office, we went to a Vietnamese restaurant overlooking the Mekong river. This restaurant is really popular. Luck had a long list of orders from people in Khon Kaen. There were many boxes of food waiting for us when we arrived. We loaded them into the van and then headed into the restaurant for lunch. We sat on a deck overlooking the river. Laos was just on the other side, so Masayo and I took pictures of each other with Laos in the background. Laos looks just like Thailand, of course!
After lunch we went shopping in an outdoor market. The market was really fun. Masayo & I both bought some clothes and dried coconut slices. I was impressed with how well Masayo communicates with people without speaking Thai. She can barter and everything!
We got back to Khon Kaen at about 4:30, and I walked home. I broke my new bike, so I’ve been walking to work this week. I’ll write about how I broke it later. Tonight I decided to go to a nearby coffee shop to read and have some coffee. The electricity went out while I was there. That seems to be happening a lot lately. The entire neighborhood loses electricity at the same time. I walked home in the dark and sat in my hot room practicing Thai on my computer. The electricity came back on just as I started to get frustrated with my Thai cd-rom.