Travel Blog: Week 61
Week 61: 06.01.2014 – 12.01.2014
This week was pretty much one of reading (I clocked up a number of books including the delightful ‘Alchemist’ which follows a young shepherd through his journey to discover his life purpose!!!) sunbathing and contemplation. I still seemed to have things on my mind and needed time to consider them and hopefully let them go. Having Ange and Nigel around helped as I could talk through things, and their wise words seem to still the swirling waters in my mind. (Thank you both for your support and understanding).
There were a few things of note, which are worth sharing. You know me, there’s usually a few stories to tell each week.
On Wednesday I took the train into Perth in search of the Thai consulate. I wanted to obtain a tourist visa to give me a few more months back in Chiang Mai. I had actually looked up the location before setting off (a first for me) but having exited the station I couldn’t get my bearings for the west of the city. I dropped into a nearby hotel, hoping they’d have a printed map I could use. I did better. The receptionist was really helpful and printed me a map and directions from the hotel. It was fair walk, but the landscape was interesting and it took me to a new part of Perth.
I found the place easily, not that it looked anything like how I would expect the Thai consulate would look. I high rise modern office! I spoke to the girl on the desk who was helpful and listed the things I would need in order to get a visa. I thought I’d bought all the necessary paperwork and photo I would need – but here there’s a few more hoops to jump through. I had to have my flight to Thailand booked, which forced me to decide how long I would stay here, and a copy of my Vevo visa…. what ever that was!!! I tried getting on the Internet to find this visa document with no avail. There was nothing for it but to head home and do some research – my favourite thing, NOT! I didn’t head straight back but did some window shopping and wandered around Perth. I also found a fabulous little cafe and had a mega healthy salad bowl and a brownie
Most of that evening I tried to track down this elusive form. Nothing! The Internet just took me in circles. Ange then suggested I go to Australian Immigration – they would have it.
So back I went into Perth on Thursday. Having found the site of Immigration, the old site that hadn’t been there for three years, I was directed to the new location. It too was out of town and also in the other direction to the Thai consulate. More walking and more new sites, including fantastic graffiti.
I arrived at immigration and queued to be seen by reception. Great – the guy in front of me was pretty pissed off and included more swear words in one sentence than I’ve had hot dinners. And I’ve had a lot of hot dinners! That’s going to put reception in just the right mood to speak to me! As it happens, they were very helpful and after more queuing I left with the aforementioned form.
I stopped of at Dome cafe and booked a flight. I sat next to a couple of young British girls who seemed to be having an interview with a very professional looking man. When the man left, my curiosity got the better of me and I asked them what had just happened. It turned out he was looking for someone to house sit his swanky apartment for a few days – get this, he would pay them $30 AN HOUR. They could make a killing in just a few days!!!
Anyway, back to my quest. I had everything I needed now. I just had to find an Internet cafe to print off my flight confirmation. You’d think that would be easy in Perth. If only! They were limited options on my route to the consulate. Phew, I found a post office with Internet – except it was broken, a mini market with Internet – although it hadn’t been installed yet, and finally I tried a print office. They usually printed business cards etc but agreed to print my itinerary. Thank you!!
With 5 minutes to spare before the visa desk shut, I submitted my papers. I’d just have to wait three working days before I knew if I was successful.
As well as the visa run, I spent a few days wandering around Joondalup. The next town along on the railway line. I like it there.
There’s a big shopping mall, which is being developed and is soon to be the biggest in WA, but there are some more traditional high street shops too. They also have a great Asian restaurant – for the Aylesbury bods it’s a bit like Noodle Nation but with a much bigger menu. I splashed out and bought a top, a nose ring to replace the stud which had been driving me crazy and a stock up of vitamin tablets.
It was also lovely to have dinner with Ange and Nigel. We mostly ate in and the cooking was shared between us. I think Nigel gets the prize for cooking the most memorable dinners in include steak, curry and chicken cordon bleu, and dinner out ….Thai. Love those mixed starters! And STOP PRESS Nigel ate something green, lettuce, which is usually against his religion.
By the end of the week the temperature rocketed. It was well into the 40s. I did a fair amount of walking during the week and on one occasion when I walked back from the station one section of the path was littered with dead spiders and on another section caterpillars were literally falling out of the trees, dead. It was that hot!
That was my week. Where does the time go?
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