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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
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    My post-lockdown commute back to work

    Like many others I suspect, I am on a Non O visa based on marriage to a Thai national. I last entered the Kingdom on February 21st and my 90 days were up on May 20th. I guess I should be covered by the amnesty but I never trust anything here until it happens.

    I last worked in November 2019... and apart from a trip to Singapore and a couple of trips to Bangkok have been at home in Korat for months... and months. Covid killed my work stone dead... oil price crash and impossible travel. But... of course a wonderful opportunity to spend months of guilt-free time with my wonderful daughter and my pack of lovely street dogs.

    But does the money ever disappear fast with nothing coming in and 38 Baht to the pound!

    Anyway... with the gradual opening up I've picked up work with a new contractor back on familiar territory in Norway, with a Swedish outfit of all things. After so long off work this is fantastic news for our finances and for my sanity... but as you know, once it's confirmed it'd be nice to get another couple of weeks off... just to get ready!

    I have a confirmed flight out of BKK 02:10 Sunday morning, heading to Narvik/Harstad (EVE) to join an offshore survey/construction vessel, and after eight months off it feels weird! This is my last evening in Isaan...

    So, first up... get rid of this bladdy thing! My lockdown moustache.... bye bye...



    I don't mind looking like a twat walking the dogs around Isaan but next week I'll be talking to people with more on their minds than where the next som tam's coming from, or what the next story line of some shitty soap opera is... I'll be expected to know what I'm about and sound vaguely intelligent... so I at least want to look the part!

    There... that's better!



    A bit symbolic to be honest... that's lockdown finished with, now out to the big wide world again!

    Although of course I'm under no illusion that my 4 to 6 week trip offshore will mean a lot longer duration away from home than that... I'm expecting a couple of offshore trips out of this work, maybe more... but with the travel restrictions currently in force on entering Thailand I won't be returning home between trips. What's the point when most of the time off would be spent in quarantine...? So I'm full of trepidation about this work as well... when will I see my daughter again... maybe next year? Who knows what will happen with this bladdy Covid... second waves... etc etc? What a horrible year.

    But... I have to do it, no choice.

    I'm spending my last night at home in Korat as I've spent so many... sitting with the dogs as my daughter plays on Roblox inside. I'm having a few ciders with Ya Dong chasers... and what says it's time to get back to work more than that! I'll try and get a BUS down to Bangkok mid morning tomorrow and to be honest I'm getting a bit melancholy about it all... I'll miss the daughter no end... and I hate starting with new companies on new boats with new people... but it'll be ok I'm sure... and Narvik is in the bladdy Arctic Circle... 8 degrees and raining today! Can't say I'm looking forward to it.

    But the dogs take me mind off things... I notice that Yogi, after disgracing himself this morning, is now trying to shag his 14 year old step mother Dan... but she can handle herself.



    Anyway, in this Covid 'new normal' world, I thought a thread of air travel may be of interest... to see what's going on and how the visa situation is approached.

    Sunday morning I have BKK - DOH - OSL - EVE, and I'll try and give some idea of how things are (if I stay sober! ).

    But for now I have a couple of ciders to finish!
    Last edited by Mendip; 22-07-2020 at 10:30 PM.

  2. #2
    fcuked off SKkin's Avatar
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    Good luck to you Mendip in your new ventures. I've enjoyed all your threads you've done while you've been off work.

    Cheers.

  3. #3
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    Buckaroo Banzai's Avatar
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    Wish I could join you. I Just retired less than a year ago . and though money is no problem (two pensions) boredom is. First few months were great , painted everything that will stand still long enough to be painted. Fixed everything that need to be fixed , and broke much that was fine. (will fix them soon)
    But with Covid 19 lockdown there just so much one can do at home.
    Our two mile power walk is the highlight of my day.
    I wish this Covid 19 crap will be over soon so I can travel. I finally got the time, and I am stuck at home. . GRRRR
    I Have to admit. I am envious of you.
    The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
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    ^ I know what you mean BB... but I'm about to spend 6 weeks on a boat working 14 hour shifts every day... I do it because I have to.

    But, one positive about Covid lockdown is that it's taught me a lot about myself and I know there's not a chance in hell of me retiring in Korat under my present domestic circumstances... In 14 years here, I've been used to 3 or 4 week periods back home where you can keep busy with necessary jobs and ignore annoyances... you can't do that over several months. It's made me think long and hard about the future as I won't always have me daughter to do stuff with!

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
    Buckaroo Banzai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    ^ I know what you mean BB... but I'm about to spend 6 weeks on a boat working 14 hour shifts every day... I do it because I have to.

    But, one positive about Covid lockdown is that it's taught me a lot about myself and I know there's not a chance in hell of me retiring in Korat under my present domestic circumstances... In 14 years here, I've been used to 3 or 4 week periods back home where you can keep busy with necessary jobs and ignore annoyances... you can't do that over several months. It's made me think long and hard about the future as I won't always have me daughter to do stuff with!
    I know exactly what you mean. “absence makes the heart grow fonder” . You sound like a younger guy, though in that facial hair I did see a bunch of white, so you are right, Daughter will get older and have a life of her own, and spending every hour with the wife .... well let's just say is asking for trouble.
    So some ideas about new projects , either private or professional is a good idea.
    I am in the process of getting a Greek passport,as soon as I am allowed, and it is safe to travel there, and buying a small place on a Greek island (my brother is already there) . Near the water, ans fix it up. Perhaps get a small fishing boat and spend some time with my brother who is ten years older than me (I am 63) and not sure how much longer we will have with each other. On the way back we can stop at the fish market , buy some fish and tell the wive's we caught them.
    Enjoy your time at work, 14 hours of being challenged is not all that bad.And keep us in the loop, with plenty of pictures and small words ( you know many of us have problems with big words) so we can live vicariously (big word LOL) trough you.
    Chock de

  6. #6
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    Good luck and safe travels, Mendip.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    I'm about to spend 6 weeks on a boat working 14 hour shifts every day.
    Easy, buddy.

    Just think of the number of peas at the end of it.

  8. #8
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    I haven't seen my daughter in over a year. Thing is is that she's a young adult busy with studies. Your girl is in those wonder years. Tough to miss that time.

  9. #9
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    ^^^^ Thanks BB... the big picture frightens me at so bad I've fukked up... but the immediate future looks good... I enjoy the work and am looking forward to some Western company.

    My dream has always been to live on the coast with a small fishing boat... and I've somehow ended up in Korat where you couldn't get further from the sea!

    Greek Islands... wow... I'll come and visit!

    ^^^^ Absence... I'll certainly miss my three favourite girls!



    Easy to tell the Commandant was away tonight! Dan sneaked in to share my last Isaan meal for probably some months...



    Yep... steak and kidney pie and chips! The daughter has got all posh since Sukhumvit and wants her beans 'separate'!



    It may seem a strange choice for my last Isaan meal but I'm heading to a Norwegian vessel... the Scandinavians don't do meat pies! Can ya believe it...


  10. #10
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by happynz View Post
    I haven't seen my daughter in over a year. Thing is is that she's a young adult busy with studies. Your girl is in those wonder years. Tough to miss that time.
    We went to the zoo today and had a good chat. The questions thrown at me included...

    Why are hiccups called hiccups?
    If you're dead do you just see black all the time?
    Why don't all 7Elevens have banana milk?
    What would we do if we have a zombie apocalypse?
    If you're shot in the head do you live for one second?
    I bet Den (our dog who was put down a couple of years ago) will be happy to see you when you die!

    Wonder years indeed!

    And the questions I had today after Yogi did the deed with Coco!
    Last edited by Mendip; 22-07-2020 at 09:04 PM.

  11. #11
    I'm in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    In 14 years here, I've been used to 3 or 4 week periods back home where you can keep busy with necessary jobs and ignore annoyances... you can't do that over several months. It's made me think long and hard about the future as I won't always have me daughter to do stuff with!
    Mendip,

    I am sorely disappointed we didn't get a decorating thread out of you, but i blame Coco for that, dragging you everywhere when you should have had a paint brush in hand.

    Its not been wasted time however if its brought some clarity to your long terms thinking, even if its resolved the fact that Korat isn't a long term place to stay post retirement. I don't think i can stay in one place, i plan about 1/2 year in UK ish, some in Thailand some travelling but as BB has said its getting used to that switch from work routine to not having to work is going to be a shock - been working since 16.

    ^ i miss those questions.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat
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    ^ Yeah NPT, it's taught me a lot.

    I was a gypsy with offshore work until i hit 40... maybe I should have stayed a gypsy.

    But I reckon if you're in the right relationship you can live anywhere... if not the location becomes extremely important.

    Financially, I need another 10 years out of my industry to think about retiring... by which time my daughter will be independent (er) and It'll be possible for me to be a bit selfish.

    Ten years... fark!

  13. #13
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    Buckaroo Banzai's Avatar
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    You guys are killing me with all this great food.
    Yesterday it was Tomcat and Macaroni and cheese, now it's you and the meat pies . and they all look sooooo good.
    That's another problem with the lockdown. all i do is eat all day. I put on at least 10 lbs. LOL
    I definitely need to make these the meat pies though . Don't yell at me for the sacrilege but a couple of drips of tabasco sauce with them makes my mouth water.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...safe travels, Mendip...I look forward to a work thread, a travel thread and regular updates about Coco & Co...

  15. #15
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    Good luck.

    Thanks for your lockdown threads.

    Send a post from the runway and take care with those Norwegians.

    P.S. During the dark nights some celestial event photos would be nice.

  16. #16
    I'm in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    During the dark nights some celestial event photos would be nice.
    OhOh, i don't think Mendip bats that way

  17. #17
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    Originally I wrote, "heavenly experiences", but knew some would misunderstand!

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Good luck.

    Thanks for your lockdown threads.

    Send a post from the runway and take care with those Norwegians.

    P.S. During the dark nights some celestial event photos would be nice.
    The lockdown threads have been my way of staying sane... although maybe that's debatable once I started dressing my dog up in the wife's underwear...

    And you'll be out of luck for any celestial events... 24 hours daylight where I'm headed OhOh. Although if the trip goes on long enough...

    Quote Originally Posted by NamPikToot View Post
    OhOh, i don't think Mendip bats that way
    You think correctly NPT... but who know's if I get stuck on the boat long enough...

  19. #19
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    So that's 3 nights solo in Bangkok to get your OGUK 'aye

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Safe trip / travels!

  21. #21
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    Safe travels and have a good hitch, Mendip. Look forward to seeing you back on here, September-ish.

  22. #22
    Pedantic bastard
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    Safe travels mendip. I will miss your slice of life threads.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    I will miss your slice of life threads.
    ...I imagine the gardener will, too...

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Get on with it, if luck's as good as your posts you have no concerns.

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Headworx View Post
    So that's 3 nights solo in Bangkok to get your OGUK 'aye
    As Headworx so astutely points out, it does indeed appear as though I'll be getting a couple of nights 'solo' in Bangkok... I don't think you can really count Saturday night as I'm flying out in the early hours of Sunday morning. I won't be wasting any of this valuable time getting a medical at Bumrungrad either... already spent three days getting that a while ago!

    My life is pretty much either full-on father or full-on work, with nothing much in between. I like a few days buffer between the two and Bangkok is the prefect place to shake off home life and get mentally prepared for work... and vice versa when I return.

    I guess in theory I could get a taxi down to Swampy from Korat on Saturday evening for my 02:10am flight... but what would be the fun of that!!! I've got some cider to drink and some pies to eat... and some sleep to catch up on without a howling pack of dogs to keep me awake!

    This is a point to point contract, meaning I get paid from the day I leave the house to the day I return, but of course I can't charge for a couple of days on the piss in Bangkok. As part of the 'new normal' this company has already said it will only cover one travel day for mobilisation and one for demobilisation, I guess to avoid any liability associated with Covid related delays. But to be honest that makes no difference in this case as Saturday will be a travel day and I join the boat in Norway on Sunday evening for a full work day. It's only when working in Brazil or West Africa that travel can take a couple of days or so.

    Anyway, the dogs came out to see me off this morning!

    Poor old Coco doesn't know it but she's a day away from a small procedure at the vets!



    But once I dumped my bags down Dan got the hump and disappeared... she knows what this means and will be down in the dumps for a few days. I've got a very strong bond with Dan.



    I kept the bags on Coco's side of the gate... last time I dumped my bags down first Yogi, then Tommy and then Max cocked their legs and pissed on them. They marked them in ascending order of seniority, each dog trying to cover the previous one's scent. The bags were drenched and my carry on hasn't smelt quite the same since.

    And then my work commute started... 09:45am Thursday. The gardener kindly gave me a lift to the bus station... I couldn't help but mention the length of the grass out back!

    Even Anna was about to say goodbye.



    The daughter came for the ride... but was a bit glum and refused to smile. We are very close and will miss each other a lot. She's also had a lot on her mind since witnessing Coco and Yogi disgrace themselves in the garden yesterday... I've had a few awkward questions but think I've got away with it!
    Last edited by Mendip; 23-07-2020 at 12:25 PM.

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