Adventures With The Thai Embassy In Canada

April 9, 2011 2 Comments by afamilyinmotion
Thai Embassy

Thai Embassy | Thailand Passport

A Thai Birth Certificate In Hand At The Thai Embassy

We visited the Thai embassy in Vancouver BC this past weekend. I love going to Vancouver–it’s an international city full of life and diversity. I enjoy the restaurants, Granville Island, Chinatown, and especially jogging around Stanley Park. I have been visiting Vancouver and Victoria every year since I was 18. The misses and I had our first official “hook-up” in Victoria, so it’s a special place for us. On that same trip we ended up in a gay hotel (Hotel Royale–how could we not have known?!) with communal showers and male strippers chasing our English friend around the hotel bar. But that’s a story for another post….

The objective of this trip to Vancouver was to renew my mother’s Thai passport at the Thai Embassy. Our other option would be Los Angeles, but we were told that there is more bureaucratic red tape at the larger location. My mother didn’t have any trouble getting her passport re-issued at the Thai Embassy in Vancouver, BC. The consulate workers were polite and helpful after Mom buttered them up in that uncanny way of hers. They were able to look up her old Bapa-cha-chone (Thai ID card), and even though my mother’s Thai passport is about 40 years old, they were able to process her passport right away. She should be receiving a brand new Thai passport within a few weeks.

The Thai Embassy Needs More Information On Me

By tagging along with my mother, I was hoping to present my Thai birth certificate and be issued a passport on the spot.  I was optimistic after seeing what a breeze it was for Mom.  Unfortunately, it was a different story for me.  I was told that if I had been born in the USA, they would be able to issue me a Thai passport immediately.  In an ironic turn of fate, however, since I was born in Bangkok 40 years ago (really–that long ago?!) and the record-keeping system was not as streamlined as it is now (tongue in cheek here) records of my existence are murky at best.  Basically, the Thai government has no way to prove I’m not a serial killer.  There’s also the tiny little issue of not serving my mandatory military service there as a youngster.  Every Thai male citizen is required to serve in the military for two years.  However, if you are attending school overseas when you come of age, that requirement is waived.  And, luckily, I was attending college when I turned 18….and managed to stay in school until I was 27.  Geez, was it really that long? So, once in Thailand, I need to jump through a bunch of hoops, prove I’m not a mass murderer or a draft dodger, and beg for them to grant me my citizenship.  My mom’s new Thai passport will help.  So will an application greased with a few hundred Thai baht (hey, that’s the way things work over there–something else we’ll all have to get used to).  And then, hopefully, it’ll be dual citizenship for me and, eventually, for my daughter.

Passport Not Issued For Me From The Thai Embassy, But The Food Was Good

Even though our adventure to the Thai Embassy in Vancouver didn’t result in a passport for me, the trip was a success for Mom….and it wasn’t a total bust for us either.  Sometimes it’s just nice to get out of the place you live and explore something different for a few days.  We had a couple of great runs around the water in Stanley Park, and we ate some fantastic Asian food (there were seriously at least five ramen places on every block in downtown Vancouver).  Lovely Little Miss enjoyed exploring the Granville Island kids’ emporium while we noshed on the fabulous salamis and cheeses at the market, and the wife had a couple of relaxing hours of uninterrupted window shopping along Robson St.  This trip was also a great bonding opportunity for my family.  At a steamy noodle shop in Chinatown, my mom told us muddled stories of her childhood, funny, poignant and incredulous.  On the long car ride back, my dad shared his experiences in Thailand as a young man in the army and stories of my parents’ early life together as a couple.  I’ve heard many of these stories before, in broken bits and pieces, but I am starting to appreciate them more as a whole, as a thread that weaves all of our common experiences together.  We are part of the entire story, and I hope to be able to share a similar experience with our daughter when she is grown, telling her about our embellished adventures as a young family, keeping the oral history alive and well for the generations to come.  Keep an eye out for future posts regaling my mother’s stories from the the old country.

 

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  1. […] research (facebook group discussions and the like), and a trip to the Vancouver Thai embassy (BC post), I am hopeful that I will gain my citizenship fairly painlessly.  Once I have mine, Little Miss […]

  2. By - siamsocietyrealestate.com on November 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    […] research (facebook group discussions and the like), and a trip to the Vancouver Thai embassy (BC post), I am hopeful that I will gain my citizenship fairly painlessly.  Once I have mine, Little Miss […]

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