What I want to share with my fellow farangs is the
experiences since my resignation from a position here — and in particular,
the ‘entertainment’ portion of a long day on a bus to Cambodia.
First, I went to cancel my work permit, as that document
states must be done within seven days of a resignation. At the Labor office,
I was told to then proceed at once to Immigration, in order to have my
existing visa canceled. There, I was told that I had seven days to exit the
Kingdom. So I elected to fly to Singapore for a two day visit, and
re-entered Thailand, receiving a 30 day tourist visa.
Upon the expiration of that visa, I chose to take a visa
run by bus, from Sukhumvit Soi 12 to the Cambodian border, in the spirit of
experimentation (I’d been to Myanmar and to Laos, so that was the next
country, for the sake of variety, and also to minimize the expense,
The ‘Jack Total Golf’ bus departed at exactly 7 a.m.,
and preliminary paperwork was completed just before that. The double-decker
bus was comfortable and about half full of farangs. In addition to the usual
selection of men ranging in age up to the senior years, the passengers
included a husband and wife and their two youngsters (probably around 10 and
The travel was smooth, and traffic was not congested,
this being Saturday. The countryside was interesting. A movie was shown, and
a rest stop occurred at the end of the movie, about two hours into the trip.
Then a second movie was shown on the rest of the trip, and we arrived at the
border at 11 a.m., where processing was rapid and efficient. Lunch was then
obtained on the Cambodian side, included in the 2000 baht price of the
excursion. Photos were not permitted in this restricted compound; all we saw
of Cambodia was a few very unwashed urchins begging for alms.
On the way back, another cumulative four hours of bus
travel, two more movies were offered. Of these four movies, one was, to me,
very offensive in its grossness (it was something involving Deuce Bigalow).
Its very foul language (and indeed, the entire story line was juvenile and
vulgar) was a perfect example of the unfettered abandon that has taken over
the once proud American movie industry. Doubtless someone will remark that
such products are the price of freedom, but I submit that the bandying about
of “freedom”, without the necessary responsibility, is one of the
typical ills of today’s American scene. (Witness W’s bringing
‘freedom’ to Iraq, in an undeclared war that even he now admits was
begun based on wrong intelligence — not to mention that the real
terrorists were in Afghanistan, and their leader still has not been found.)
Probably the managers of this visa run service think that
they’re doing a good thing by providing four American movies to the
farangs on the bus, their customers. But I cannot help being rather insulted
by the low-brow level of at least one of their selections, which to me
represents one of the reasons that I am glad to be in Thailand — where I
can get away from many of the most egregious American evils.
Kenneth P. Seidel