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[Independence Day Special][Short Story] Pis-Aller

  "He that studieth revenge keepeth his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well"-John Milton He was in his nineties now, slow, fragile and nearing death. Still, every day he used to wake up at 6 in the morning and stare outside the window, blankly. They said when he was young, he was agile, healthy and quick, no one knew what his profession was, but he did retire rich at the age of fifty-five. His only son used to visit the old rooms twice a day, 'Baba, I request you again. Come with us to the big house. What is there in this dump?' his son used to question. 'I can't leave now, there is one final task left son,' he used to smile, 'One final task.' Baba had sent all the furniture from the room to the new house but kept himself a bed and the jewel beaded box. 'No one has ever removed the box from under the diwan since last 20 years, baba,' the daughter-in-law use to question, 'Don't let the servants, but please let me

Landing in Thailand - Getting stamped

Humans love to travel. All our stories talk about people and heroes travelling from one place to another. People started from a small village in Africa, to Marco Polo who set out to do greater good for mankind. Humans travel. In this grand tradition of stepping out of boundaries, I decided to travel to Thailand. I do not know if there was greater good involved in this or no, but I knew one thing, I needed new socks.

When I planned a trip to Thailand, I had no plan. All I had with me was money that I had saved and a date. Me and my partner survived one year of living together, and it was a moment to celebrate.

With that plan in mind, I found myself sitting in a plush chair in front of a man with dapper mustache staring at me. Gleaning at my plain white cotton shirt and trousers, he, first, did not believe I was looking for an international trip. I was unnecessary nervous, thinking about the hole in my sock and focusing on the package he was throwing at me. When the agent told me about Bangkok and Pattaya, I asked him to add Thailand in the package too. My entire geography mark-sheet flashed in front of me, when the agent explained that the cities are part of Thailand.

Finally, we found an army doctrine in form of itinerary for 6 days in Thailand. The package included back to back site seeing tours that started at 8 in the morning. If I had to get up early on a vacation, I would have stayed home. All my attempts to find a more spacious tour package failed. Most people prefer the no-time-to-breathe package that gives greatest benefit for smallest prize.
After a lot of research (Meaning: Google search), I came up with a website that offered custom packages.
I booked two decent hotels and arranged transport between Bangkok and Pattaya. The website offered a few other things in my 'package' which I gleefully added and thus, I finalized my plans.

Thailand is a visa on arrival country, which means you get a visa when you actually land there. This raised many questions, do they reject people arriving there? What happens when they don't want you there? And so on. A few google searches added more confusion to the question. Although, every time you ask google a question, it offers the diagnosis that you have cancer. Every forum, blog I visited had a different answer to the same questions.

The touts in suit at the Mumbai airport convinced me to buy a Thai Sim Card, which was useless, because you could get the same card for free at Bangkok airport.

I had a lot of questions and fear in my mind, for I was travelling abroad without a visa, hoping they do not send me back. But before I could land in there, I had to cross a very nosy auntie sitting at the immigration desk in Mumbai. Even though I had purchased new socks for my trip, that hole in sock earlier came to haunt me as I stood in the long queue.

The auntie and uncle at immigration table in Mumbai ask all those nosy question, your mother used to ask after a late night party. They are the one who will (if they don't believe you) ask you if you have money before leaving for Thailand.
There is a tremendous amount of confusion about the money that you should carry to Thailand. Every site / forum I visited had different information. So finally, the confusion got clear when we learned that you should carry 650 USD as a family or 1000 Thai Baht.

The flight was pleasant with a 'Oz' movie entertaining us on the way. It was my first trip abroad, and the prospect of free booze, excited me. But when it actually came to order some, the nervousness kicked in and I timidly accepted whatever was offered. With the dexterity of Indian blood we raced to find the carousel that carried our luggage but was politely informed by a sleepy Thai police officer that we need to get my visa stamped.

This was it, the dreaded moment, when I had to figure out if they will let me enter or kick out. Every forum and blog that I had visited, except for those who told me I could have cancer, had a different answer to what you should carry. These were the items we carried,

1. A return ticket within fifteen of your arrival.

2. A hotel stay voucher for the fifteen days you are in Thailand.

3. An immigration form (you will be given these in the plane) and your boarding pass.

The line for Visa on Arrival was filled entirely by Indians (also because this was Bombay- Bangkok flight, I justified) and they were making their country proud by making the worlds worst straight line. The charges for Visa on Arrival are 1000 Baht and there is a separate line for 'Speedy' visa on arrival for extra 200 Baht. A couple over smarted me and got their visa stamped 'speedily' by paying extra and then were sitting for two extra hours outside the airport.

If you are travelling early on, there is no need to go in the speedy line, as the normal line is as fast as a man can work. Getting visa stamped we were welcomed by a Thai Airport hostess who was waiting near the luggage and distributing them by checking the ticket number. There was no immigration, no custom and not even a single nosy and question asking person in Bangkok. We had left all those behind.

The shared taxi (that was previously booked) was waiting for us at the airport along with what seemed like twenty-thirty Indians around us.

As we stepped out of the airport a fresh breath of bad english blew on our face. Sleepy and confused, we attempted to talk to the taxi driver who also was taking in english. Only thing was neither of us was understanding what the other was saying. After multiple attempts we realized we had to wait for the next shuttle to Pattaya from Bangkok. We were trained in depicting and understanding bad english by the locals in Bangalore and for the first time I was proud that at-least one country was competing with India on bad english.

So all said and done, I had left my home country 3000 km behind, got my visa stamped. Now here we were in a foreign country away from the prying eyes of nosy people for a complete week.

Armed with a smart phone, few printouts and a bag-pack we boarded our share taxi to Pattaya.

Coming up next: Landing in Thailand - Bad English, Bars and Barbecue pork. 


  1. I'm among the tourists who travel by motorcycle, it's part of the traditional holiday for me and my friends. After we discovered with the features of driving in Thailand and watched a video about possible accidents, but we were ready for every situation. We chose good motorcycles http://catmotors.net/tips-for-riders/, and we didn't hurry on the road. We really enjoyed nature and landscapes, instead of having to deal with local drivers. A good experience for those who are planning to visit Thailand soon.

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[Short Story] 9123

This post has been published by me as a part of Blog-a-Ton 59 ; the fifty-ninth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. In association with ​IndiCreator. For Creators. By Creators. . Share Your #LockdownTales at indicreator.com She sauntered around the room, brushing her finger on the settled dust on the placid bedstand. How many days had gone by since she had seen another adult? She wondered. The dredge and the humdrum were now drowning into a routine that she could not shake off. She drank the old room around her, not bohemium or minimalistic or too fancy. It was a standard room as any room can be.  A large diwan in the centre, a cupboard and a common bedstand. Nothing too fancy. Nothing too cheap. Just enough.  But now this room looked enough and dreadful for her. She wanted to spread her wings, and she wanted to fly. She wanted to taste worldly flavours, and she wanted to go out. She pulled her hair behind and secured them in a pony. Tied her dup

[Landing in Thailand] - Bad English, Bars and Barbecue pork.

Part 2 of 3 of Landing in Thailand. Read the Part 1, Getting Stamped about preparing for the journey from India. There is one thing you should do when you travel to Pattaya (Thailand) if you are a hardcore vegetarian (who cannot bear the smell of meat and prefer separate utensils for food), don't travel to Pattaya. Although I do not know why vegetarians leave their own house if they have so much food problems, if you still do wish to travel to Pattaya this article gives few tips on how to survive. I should tell you at times like these, the fact that you are an Indian acts like a thing of pride. Doesn't matter that the passport you had visa stamped few minutes ago was made by paying something extra to an agent or the fact that your driving license is responsible for the most corruption in your homeland, the fact that these documents are there in your pocket gives you a warm comforting feeling of your belonging. Last time when I left I had stepped outside the Bangkok airport and