No temples today, but some adventure and some organisation to be sure.
Firstly, after phoning the Apple Service Centre I was told my MacBook Air will be ready tomorrow before lunch, and before heading to Ayutthaya. Good news!
Secondly, we have to get to the Vietnamese Embassy to fill out our visa applications – this also involves getting some photos for Luca and Mateo.
Thirdly, get the bags packed and into the storage at Suk 11 – we will take all our clothes in Oskar’s and Luca’s rucksacks, we are only going there for 3 days after all!
So, after a late breakfast we set off from Suk 11 on foot to walk up to the next Sky Train station and took a left. Just on the corner, the landscaping around the office block had a sloping wall that rose in height and was like a red rag to a bull for the kids. A man made slide that HAD to be slid down, and so we waited patiently at the bottom to catch the children one by one as they zoomed down the steep tiles to our outstretched arms. Simple pleasures!
Heading down the street we walked and walked, passing various embassies but not the Vietnamese one. Asking several security guards along the way we eventually doubled back on ourselves and after some more wrong turnings, we found an entrance to the visa section, obscured from view, no fanfare, no sign other than Visa Application. Not even an indication as to which country’s visa you would be applying for.
We escaped the boiling sun into an air conditioned, soulless and bare room with 3 service windows at the end behind which sat po-faced and unsmiling personnel. Grabbing the necessary forms we set about filling them all in, one for each of us, and affixing the photos with the glue provided, we rejoined the queue to window 1 whilst the boys played Uno relatively amicably.
Eventually we handed over our forms and passports, and to be fair the man behind the glass was pleasant enough. We then moved onto window 2 where we handed over the necessary fee for 2 adults and 3 children for a one-entry 3-month visa. We did have to explain clearly that we wanted a three month visa as they are more used to issuing 1 month ones, but in the end we were all happy that the message had been received and understood.
Walking back out into the heat, feeling pretty faint with hunger, we abandoned our resolve to not have fast food and sheepishly entered a golden arches establishment, much to the delight of the kids. Feasting on nuggets and burgers, chips and coke we had to ignore our self-disgust and embrace corporate nutritional offerings. At least its not every day!
It was then a trek in the broiling heat back to the guest house to commence the packing. The boys disappeared off to the TV room to watch Harry Potter leaving us to our chore. Then a late dinner and bed.
Ayutthaya beckoned tomorrow and we were eager to be on our way for a taste of the former capital of Siam.