Wednesday, November 16, 2005

visa trouble

yes, i *am* alive and healthy.

why i've been too busy/lazy to update:

Reason 1:

i'm embroiled in visa extension woes. my visa expires dec 8th.
here's what i need to extend:

1) take myself to the police station and register
2) fill out registration form
3) registration certificate x4
4) copy of passport with visa page x3
5) passport photos x5
6) copy of terms and conditions of business x3
7) letter of business addressed to the FRO by the business firm about duration of business x3
8) IT (income tax) Returns of the business firm for the previous year x3
9) financial guarantee affidavit issued by business firm on a government document sheet attested by notary x2
10) proof of local residence x2 (a rental agreement showing my length of stay on special (i.e. expensive) govt paper, plus police go to your home to confirm.)

It makes one nostalgic for US bureaucracy.

Unfortunately I haven't finished any of these steps, because the local official tells me my visa is "out of order". apparently the bangkok embassy did not list name of the company i'm visiting on the visa. the embassy, which i have called, faxed and emailed on numerous occasions, claims they don't list the name on the 6 month business visa as a matter of course. they don't seem to want to send me a document the authorities here have asked me for. we've hired a local "agent" to help grease the wheels.

if this doesn't work out, i'll have to hop on a plane to sri lanka for a brand new visa. i suppose there could be worse places to have to go. though that would make my planned week in kerala far less likely to happen.

Reason 2:

absurd socializing. the usual ridiculous all night parties with 22 year olds. it wears on you.

recently "the great indian octoberfest" was thrown into the mix. india has a lot to learn about beer drinking festivals, as these stats prove:

Number of different beers available: 1
Sizes available: 1 - tiny
Month OCTOBERfest was held: November
Number of people visibly drunk: 0

though i did enjoy the indian heavy metal band covering Dream Theater songs.

Reason 3:

work. yes, i work.

Reason 4:

the gf. she's become increasingly demanding of my time. but i know exactly how to entertain her (unusual for me). either (1) let her talk, (2) take her to a bad movie, or (3) do both at the same time. it works out. i hate the movies she likes, so when she talks over them i don't care.

in general she has terrible taste in movies, music, books and tv. i have told her this, and she thinks the same about me, so it's ok. and it has its advantages. suppose i want to buy her a dvd. what to get? i merely ask myself, "were i tortured at Abu Ghraib, what dvd would rumsfeld force me to watch again and again while lindsey england points at my genitals?" duh. "charles in charge, season 1." i buy it, she loves it. no guesswork.