Well, it’s actually been about 10 days since I got back here in Bangkok but I have n’t had time to get online before now …it’s amazing how busy you can be without working !
I had to dedicate some time and TLC to my lady, and give her my undivided attention for a few days. Then the wifi at my condo was out for a few days …”water in cable” was the nearest I got to an explanation for that. This is the height of the wet season and we did have a few days of heavy rain, so I suppose it’s a feasible explanation but does not say much for the workmanship of the installers !
I’ve bought myself a new laptop, and had to wait for the wifi to be fixed so that I could re-download and re-register various programs, I gave up on trying to get the native windows 8 app to connect with my email and went back to the old windows live mail. With 16GB of RAM compared to my old machine’s 6GB, the new laptop absolutely flies when running Lightroom, Photoshop and more at the same time, when the old one would have sulked and slowed to a crawl.
Then this week I had to renew my drivers license which meant a trip over the other side of town to the Australian Embassy for a residence certificate, and then to a doctor for a medical clearance. It took him all of 2 minutes to decide I was not suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction, leprosy or any of the other afflictions which would preclude me from driving legally ….not the sort of place to go if you want a real diagnosis !
Next day it was off to the local Department of Land Transport at 9.30am armed with these certificates plus photocopies of my recently expired license, every conceivable visa stamp and data page in my passport, all in duplicate as Thailand issues separate licenses for car and motorcycle and therefore you need two piles of paper.
It had taken nearly all day to get my license last year so I was happy to see that the office was relatively empty this time. I still had to queue to get my papers checked at the first desk where they gave me 2 application forms to fill in, then over to queue at the next desk where they painstakingly checked everything again before giving me a queue number for the testing room…..only 28 people in front of me
There are 4 practical tests for eyesight and reaction, which you are supposed to get each right at least 2 times out of 3. The first test should have been a “traffic light” colour blindness test but they skipped that and went straight to the peripheral vision test where you have to recognise coloured lights on the edge of your vision. I found them a little difficult to see but apparently I passed. The next test was to line up two markers parallel to each other, using back and forward buttons. When I raised my hand to indicate that I thought I had it the woman did n’t even look to check and just knocked them back to the start and told me to do the next test, where you have to accelerate on a green light and then when it turns red brake within 0.75 seconds …I nailed it in .35 according to the LED scale .
She gives me my test papers and I see that I apparently got 2 out of 3 for all 4 tests despite skipping the traffic light and only doing the last two tests one time !
Back outside to get another queue number for the actual license issuing, and I find there are now 78 people in front of me …how did those extra 50 jump the queue ? Where did they come from ? This was the longest wait but I managed to get in just before they closed for lunch, and after checking and double checking my papers yet again, and handing over 960 baht (less than AU$40) I was legal to drive for the next 5 years. That’s one part of the Thai bureaucracy that I do not have to deal with for a while !