Angry and Frustrated

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Angry and Frustrated


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Old 6th June 2010, 01:38 PM
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Default Angry and Frustrated

I am angry and frustrated today.

I invited a lady friend from the Philippines to visit me. I had wanted her to visit me in the States, but the only way for that to happen would have been with a fiancée visa which would have involved a bit of artifice with the State Department. I don’t mind circumventing unfair laws, particularly those that discriminate against fun-loving bachelors. However, it would have also involved raising questions I didn’t care to raise. Anyway, it never happened.

But visiting Thailand seemed a much simpler, more attainable goal. She has a passport. Filipinas don’t even need a visa for visits of thirty days or less. Fares on a puddle jumper were fairly inexpensive. What could possibly go wrong?

I sent her money for the tickets and incidental expenses and looked forward to seeing her again after two long years.

The travel agency wouldn’t sell her the ticket without a notarized letter of invitation.

I checked the Thai consulate web site and argued with the agency, but they were insistent. So I trekked out to the Thai consular offices, which are about halfway to the Myanmar border, where I was assured by several earnest government employees that she didn’t need a letter of invitation.

A terse letter to the travel agency elicited a clarification. While she doesn’t need an invitation to enter Thailand, she needs one to leave the Philippines because there is always “prejudice” against Filipinas. They obviously aren’t heeding Chairman Mao’s advice on emigration policy.

Thailand doesn’t really have notaries. The embassy will notarize documents for U.S. citizens and some lawyers will notarize documents for a fairly hefty fee, but you can’t just drop by your friendly neighborhood bank and get something notarized as a favor.

The red-shirt protests and government intervention gave me a couple of unanticipated days off, but also resulted in the embassies closing, as well as law offices. But in the midst of the mayhem the U.S. embassy set up temporary accommodations for consular services at a hotel so I spent a morning cribbing an invitation from an example found on the Internet and getting it notarized.

I couldn’t send it right away because the post office, FedEx and UPS were also closed. But the letter and other requested documents eventually began their journey.

Meanwhile, the travel agency suggested a plan B. Apparently girls aren’t harassed at the airport if they are traveling in the company of a tourist, so the agency proposed arranging for one of their other clients to beard for me. But somehow that never happened. Marylyn says she waited for them to text her, but they never followed through.

Meanwhile, my documents arrived in the Philippines and the agency assured me the invitation letter would suffice.

But the money I sent Marylyn for her ticket had somehow evaporated, so I sent her money for two more tickets and incidentals.

Finally, all the pieces were in place. The e-ticket was issued. The wait was over. I checked on the airport shuttle schedule and bought her a T-shirt printed in Thai with “I heart Thailand.”

They wouldn’t let her on the plane.

I’m not sure of all the details. I got a tearful call from a hysterical girl speaking in broken English. Apparently, the Philippine emigration officer wasn’t satisfied with her invitation letter and claimed it wasn’t an original, which doesn’t make sense as it was embossed with an official seal. I suspect he simply wanted a bribe. If she had called from the airport, I could have suggested she try to smooth things out with a contribution to the Greedy Scumbags Benevolent Association, but she didn’t call me until she got home. She had exhausted the prepaid balance on her cell phone and had not replenished it, as she wouldn’t be using the phone in Thailand and the official wouldn’t allow her to use his phone. It’s a bit of a lame excuse, as they sell phone cards at the airport. At least they do in Manila. But one can’t expect an emotionally distraught girl to think clearly.

My plans for the next month have gone out the window.

But it doesn’t end there. Today she went to the travel agency to try to pick up the pieces. They were closed. In her agitation, she left her cell phone in the trike (a motorcycle taxi with a covered side car). This is the third phone she’s gone through in the past two years.

Maybe Nona is trying to tell me something.

It isn’t like there aren’t enough pretty girls in Thailand.

She’s cuter than most, but still.

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Old 6th June 2010, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
one can’t expect an emotionally distraught girl to think clearly
Hmm. Ever the cynic, are you absolutely certain that Marylyn's thinking hasn't in fact been crystal clear throughout, whilst on the other hand the Bangkok pollution and humidity has been having something of a dulling effect on your usual perspicacity?

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Old 6th June 2010, 03:29 PM
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There is Yin and Yang in everything.

The masculine concept of truth encompasses those things that can be verified by independent observation and repetition, applying the scientific method. But the feminine side of the brain refuses to accept those things that donít feel right.

I donít believe everything Marylyn says. Itís quite possible she couldnít call from the airport because she lost her phone weeks ago and planned to hit me up for a new phone when she got here. But itís inconceivable that she sold the phone. Cell phones are a status symbol and she loved that phone. If she needed money, she would have asked me before selling her phone.

I know she didnít pocket the money and lie about buying the tickets. Again, if she wanted money, she would have asked for it, which isnít to say I would have given it to her. Also the agency sent me a copy of the e-tickets which are nonrefundable. Iím hoping the airline will reschedule due to the circumstances.

In terms of emotional truths, Iím not looking for a wife or homemaker or a mother for my children or eternal love and devotion. Iím sure sheíll someday find somebody who is better marriage material than I and when that day comes, sheíll drop me like first period algebra.

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Old 6th June 2010, 09:47 PM
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Glad to hear you are maintaining a healthy level of scepticism, which can be a major plus when footloose and free in Bangkok! Still, your masculine Western logic is being applied to the thought processes of a SE Asian female, so there may yet be some scenarios that haven't occurred to you!

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Old 7th June 2010, 10:35 AM
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Default Unconditional Surrender?

Itís all part of a seedy little scam. Now the travel agency is telling me they can arrange to get her cleared through emigration, no questions asked, by engaging a sort of VIP service which will cost me another PHP 8,000 or about $171. And I need to buy a new outbound ticket and pay a rebooking fee to reschedule her return flight so her trip wonít be curtailed by the weekís delay.

We should have simply let the Japanese keep the Philippines.

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Old 7th June 2010, 11:31 AM
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Starts to make sense. The best you can hope for is that your Marylyn wasn't in on the scam. I wouldn't bet on it though

Things can only look up ...

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Old 7th June 2010, 11:55 PM
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Cut your losses now.It really looks like she is in on it.You have not seen her in two years,think about it.

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Old 8th June 2010, 08:41 AM
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Is she broke? It seems you have to pay for everything and maybe shes immature and afraid to meet you in person?

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Old 8th June 2010, 12:29 PM
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It seems my omission of a few details for the sake of brevity and comic effect has inadvertently painted an unfair image of Marylyn.

Iím quite certain she is not part of the scam. She hasnít profited from this except by spending the money I initially sent her for the tickets. A week or so after the travel agency refused to sell her the tickets without an invitation letter, she told me she had spent part of the money. If it were a matter of concern to me, I could have objected, told her she would have to repay me, cancelled the trip or insisted she not spend any more of the money, but I did not. I told her not to worry about it. By this, I did not intend to give her license to spend the rest of the money, but neither did I prohibit or discourage her from doing so. She had had her heart set on a trip that had been unjustly denied her. Naturally, she wanted to indulge herself in some other way by getting her hair done or buying a new outfit or calling her sister in Australia. While inviting a girl to join you for a vacation in another country is probably not a good time to be ขี้เหนียว.

Marylyn has her own agenda that doesnít always coincide with mine. I suggested she bring an outfit I bought her for when we go dancing. Her plan is to bring a minimum of clothes, so Iíll be obliged to buy her new outfits. But sheís not being devious about it. Thatís just the way girls are. Besides, Iím sure the jeans I bought her two years ago are no longer in fashion, even if my lack of fashion sense precludes recognizing how hopelessly outmoded theyíve become.

On the other hand, I suspect the travel agency will pocket half of the VIP processing fee.

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Old 9th June 2010, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gino View Post
It seems my omission of a few details for the sake of brevity and comic effect has inadvertently painted an unfair image of Marylyn.

Iím quite certain she is not part of the scam. She hasnít profited from this except by spending the money I initially sent her for the tickets. A week or so after the travel agency refused to sell her the tickets without an invitation letter, she told me she had spent part of the money. If it were a matter of concern to me, I could have objected, told her she would have to repay me, cancelled the trip or insisted she not spend any more of the money, but I did not. I told her not to worry about it. By this, I did not intend to give her license to spend the rest of the money, but neither did I prohibit or discourage her from doing so. She had had her heart set on a trip that had been unjustly denied her. Naturally, she wanted to indulge herself in some other way by getting her hair done or buying a new outfit or calling her sister in Australia. While inviting a girl to join you for a vacation in another country is probably not a good time to be ขี้เหนียว.

Marylyn has her own agenda that doesnít always coincide with mine. I suggested she bring an outfit I bought her for when we go dancing. Her plan is to bring a minimum of clothes, so Iíll be obliged to buy her new outfits. But sheís not being devious about it. Thatís just the way girls are. Besides, Iím sure the jeans I bought her two years ago are no longer in fashion, even if my lack of fashion sense precludes recognizing how hopelessly outmoded theyíve become.

On the other hand, I suspect the travel agency will pocket half of the VIP processing fee.
So now whats she doing? Will you fly to her?

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