So here we are, in the land of tropical weather, humidity, and spicy foods. We landed in the Bangkok airport only about a half hour late, and found ourselves faced with an amazing array of modern creature comforts. Moving sidewalks, automated doors, air conditioning, new cars, and consistent electricity all welcomed us to this new and different place. The process of getting a visa, which we anticipated being a few hours long, took less than five minutes! When we braced ourselves for the impending haggling session with the taxi driver to leave the airport, we couldn’t have been more surprised to find out that not only was there a taxi stand to arrange for our transport, but that there were also meters in the cabs. We didn’t even have the chance to haggle, compare prices, pretend to walk away, or utilize any of our other Nepal go-to taxi driver communication tactics.
After a night in a very comfortable hotel, we awoke early to make a 9:15 appointment at the U.S. Embassy, where I had retrieve my official, original United States Government Fingerprint Cards (a background check is just one of the hoops that one must jump through to apply for healthcare work or education programs, and it turns out to be rather complicated when one lives in Asia). We were inside the Embassy, registered, and back out on the street again before my appointment time had even officially begun.
From there, we took a stroll down the street to the local police department, where I was asked a number of questions by confused law enforcement officials. Apparently the foreign citizens who get fingerprinted in Bangkok police departments do not tend to be hopeful nursing students. I found that hard to believe…
After some tasty (eye-wateringly spicy) lunch, we decided to take an overnight train to Phuket to meet Uncle Dave for a week of seaside adventure. The ride was sweaty, but otherwise uneventful, and 16 or so hours later, here we were, in the beautiful seaside town of Rawai Beach, at the very southwestern tip of Thailand. Commence sequence beach vacation.