THE BANGKOK AIRPORT
The issue, I learn, is that all but one of the remaining pages of my passport has been covered in stamps and visas. Rookie mistake! Two passport pages are required to enter Indonesia.
I flip through my passport, helpfully pointing-out to Agent Ratched all of the half-filled pages at the front of the booklet that they can use.
THE U.S. EMBASSY IN BANGKOK
I arrive at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok drenched in my own sweat, having baked in the AC-free cab the long, traffic-addled ride from the airport.
The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. There to aid Americans in distress. A trusted friend. A lighthouse of hope to guide me through my Thailand travails. So glad I’m here.
No one Is answering the gate phone. It’s so, so hot.
The guards laugh at my obvious frustration. Not that Thais are cruel people — they tend to be very sweet — they just don’t display their anger and impatience like us farangs. Their mirth frustrates me further, fueling their amusement. I ask them what’s the deal with the embassy, but they speak only Thai — which makes sense, since I’m in Thailand — but c’mon it’s the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. U.S.!
I ring again, a man answers. Yay!
“This is Dave.”
“Are you there, Dave?”
I explain the situation to Dave. He tells me that I should be glad that I’m not the poor schmuck with visa issues that they let onto the plane yesterday, who is now resting in a cell in Indonesia Passport Control. Dave explains that the embassy is closed for Christmas. But the country is Buddhist?…?
I ask Dave what time the embassy opens tomorrow.
It doesn’t. Boxing Day. Since when do we celebrate Boxing Day?
I ask Dave about the following day.
Weekend. Closed. Oh for fuck’s sake.
THE INDONESIAN EMBASSY IN BANGKOK
Dragging Bagzillo and my two carry-ons behind me down the torn-up sidewalks of this crowded, polluted, stinking town, there’s not an available cab in sight. I hail a tuk-tuk. It’s either that or spontaneously combusting, right now, right here on the corner.
“Indonesian Embassy? Indonesian Embassy? You know it? Embassy Indonesia?” I implore of the tuk tuk driver. It’s a long shot, but possibly, possibly the Indonesian Embassy could help me.
“Promise?” I hop on, he piles my crap behind me.
And….he has no clue where the Indonesian Embassy is located, but when has not knowing the location of a destination every stopped a Bangkok driver? We circle, stop, ask. Circle, stop, ask.
And we’re here.
The Indonesian Embassy is also closed in observation of Christmas. Since when do Muslims…? Why ask why?
I kick Bagzillo. Dumb bag, dumb!
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.; 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (I know Spanish bankers who work longer hours)
Address: U.S. Embassy Bangkok 95 Wireless Road Bangkok 10330
After Hours Emergencies: In the event of an emergency outside business hours, American citizens may dial (011)(66) 02-205-4000 and ask to speak to the duty officer.