120225 Thaikarl - bangkok bound, and up


winter season seems to be on the decline here, the days are getting hotter, and the nights warmer.  we've been all busy, Tok is going gang-busters with her tamarind business.  some days, she leaves early in the morning and i don't see her until evening.  i try to help out, mostly loading and unloading 10kg backs off and onto the pick-up.  while she's out in the field, my job is to buy tamarind from people who bring it to the house.  i can usually figure it out, what type it is, what grade and what the price is, get it weighed out and pay people, but sometimes i'm grateful mama is here to talk with the people, as i can't.

i'm really excited to be going to bangkok tomorrow.  one of my favorite guitar players, Sungha Jung from korea is going to be playing in a ukelele festival in Siam Paragon tomorrow.  I was planning on taking the bus down and back in one day all by myself, but it turns out that Teri has to go do some applications for university on monday, so we three are going down.  we'll spend the night at Hotel 99, even though he'll be playing Ukelele instead of guitar, i am still jazzed to see him play in person.  and they are having a "meet and greet" session afterward, so you know i'll be in that line. visit his youtube channel and be amazed at his work:  http://www.youtube.com/user/jwcfree?feature=watch

we went to pitsanulok to get my visa extended the other day.  drove up over the mountains, took some photos of Tok wearing mountain people cloths, (4$ rental)

and finally finding the immigration office about 1:00 pm.  an extended string of problems arose.  i had overstayed by one day.  doh!  i had the 22nd FIXED in my brain as the day to go renew, but my passport stamp said good until feb 21.  whups.  that cost an extra 500 baht (15$).  then we didn't have the right papers, they wanted Toks house book with her address.  she forgot her National I.D., so we were stalled.  there was a lot of discussion i didn't understand, and we went off to find some government buildings to try to get the papers we needed.  Tok was worried about where her I.D. was and forgot the directions, but we eventually found a government complex.  they were able to use her drivers license to look up her residence on the computer, and gave her an official paper document of same.  and we had to make copies of everything, that required going to yet another building.  then back to immigration.  lots of paper shuffling, filling out forms, oodles of rubber stamping and signing and notating and paying a total of 2400 baht (72$) i was all stamped in and ready to go.  we'd planned on doing some sight-seeing and shopping, but this whole thing took all day, so we visited and important temple,

and headed back to Lom Sak.  Didn't get home until after dark.  next time, i'll know what to bring!


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