Monday, March 29, 2010

It Wouldn't Be Interesting If It Was Easy

So, we've been planning this go to Thailand thing for a while now. And by planning, I mean not planning. But we've had plane tickets and we have known we were going. According to the State Department's travel web site or the Thai Embassy web site (I cannot remember which one now) we didn't need to worry about Thai visas because Americans can be tourists in Thailand for 30 days with out a visa. We figured we would stay in Thailand less than 30 days and then go to Cambodia and Vietnam before coming back to Thailand to stay for less than 30 days. No problem.

Oh wait, problem.

So just for shits and giggles, Cale decided to call the Thai Consulate in Chicago just to double check on that...last week...two weeks before our departure. Surprise, surprise. For the no-need -for-a-visa-thing to work, you have to have proof of departure within the 30 days. We did not. Our fight home is in July and we don't have any further travel on tickets to Cambodia yet. Hmmm..

So the Thai Consulate suggests that we need to get two 60-day tourists visas that allow for two entries into the country. To get said visas, we need to give them our passports. Just what we need, less than two weeks before departure and we need to send our passports away to Chicago. They told Cale that if we mail it it takes 5 days, if we come in person it takes two days. But Cale was given the impression that the five days had to do with the mailing process and that it could be sped up if we overnighted it there and back. So we did. They got our passports and applications at noon on Thursday. We included a paid for overnight return with a tracking number. We were hoping to see them send it back to us on Monday at the latest. When the tracking number didn't go active today, Cale gave the consulate a call.

Oh wait, problem.

So it appears that it takes five days to process if we do it through the mail, regardless of whether or not we overnighted it. The guy on the phone seemed to think they would send it back to us on Thursday. If they remember to use the overnight envelop we sent with the application our passports should come back on Friday. Our flight is Monday morning at 8am.

We like to cut things close.

— Sara


Bruce said...

The overnight return envelope included in the application has worked for me in the past, when it was necessary to go that route. Worry not.

Patty Leal said...

It's nice that Bruce urges you not to worry. I'll be worrying enough for both of you. Just reading your entry made me start to hypervenilate. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out.