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    Tropical Heat Tour: Thailand Part 16

    Thursday, August 16, 2012
    Bangkok, Thailand

    The BTS SkyTrain in Bangkok, Thailand.

    The BTS SkyTrain track in Bangkok, Thailand.

    I actually got to sleep a little earlier last night and woke up around 10:00 am, which gave me plenty of time to make it to the Myanmar embassy to apply for a visa–or so I thought. (I’ve been meaning to accomplish that chore for over a week, but I kept sleeping in too late.) So, I moseyed on over to the Chao Phraya and hopped on a riverboat down to the Sathorn stop. I was happy because I got a seat where I could shoot a few pics and clips. After I rode the pleasantly chilly SkyTrain for one stop, I bumbled back down from the sky and walked a quarter mile or so through a blanket of insanely hot midday tropical heat and humidity. When I arrived at the Myanmar embassy around 1:00 pm, I was dismayed to find it closed for lunch, with a sign that said applications were only accepted from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. and pick-up time for visas was from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm. I decided to wait and see if they’d let me apply at 3:30 anyway, so I went to find a restaurant to eat and get a little work done.

    Four tuk-tuks all in a row in Bangkok, Thailand.

    Flash flood! Umbrellas up in Bangkok, Thailand.

    I trudged through a bunch of backstreets in the blasting sun, past a bunch of food stalls, but I wanted to find an indoor spot with a fan or air conditioning. Finally, after a mile, I went into an air-conditioned coffee / sandwich spot and paid $2.00 for a bagel with cream cheese. That’s more than it would cost back home, which is par for the course in an upscale area of the city. After languishing in the cool air for an hour, I took the SkyTrain back over to the Myanmar embassy, where a line of 20 people stood on the sidewalk outside the door. The sun was so harsh, I cracked open my umbrella and hid under it, even though I had on my hat and sunblock. After a few minutes, I noticed a bunch of people standing in the shade across the street. I thought, “When the door opens, they’re going to walk over, cut in front of everyone and just bum rush the show.” Sure enough, that’s what happened.

    Boats and buildings on the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok, Thailand.

    A long-ass barge on the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok, Thailand.

    The lines inside at the counters went fast, though, as everyone just basically picked up their passports with the visas stamped in them. When I asked the clerk If I could apply, he said no, I’d have to come back in the morning. Dang. I just went to the back and sat in the air-conditioning for a little while. As soon as I stepped outside, I noticed the sky was completely overcast and after I walked around the corner, a torrential downpour soaked everyone to the skin. I couldn’t whip out my umbrella fast enough, and even it couldn’t keep my feet and legs from getting totally wet. I had to seek refuge under the roof of a bus stop. But, even that and my umbrella could barely keep the water off of my messenger bag that contained my laptop, etc. After another ride on the riverboat, I just stayed in the Nat 2 all evening and headed to bed early so I could wake up in time to make another visa attempt tomorrow.

    Wat Arun, as seen from the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok, Thailand.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

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