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I showed up at the new Chiang Mai, Thai Immigration office to renew my one year visa.  I'm still not certain why we are required to do this every year.  The parking lot in front of immigrations entrance was packed with people standing in line to get a number so they could enter the already packed building.  I stood in line for about twenty minutes and barely moved a few feet.  


As I looked around, I had to wonder who on earth is the ringleader of this circus?  This is a brand new facility and is obviously too small to accommodate the foreigners who live in Chiang Mai, in spite of the recent exodus of westerners.  How could this be when these people already know the traffic numbers of foreigners required by law to report for yearly visa renewals, nonsensical 90 day reporting, TM30's, and other ridicules reasons they require foreigners to physically report daily to this facility.


I gave up waiting but as I was leaving this circus, I couldn't help notice several BMW's in the parking lot with immigrations logo on the doors and equipped with overhead emergency lights on the vehicle roof.  You have got to be kidding me, lol.  These people have the funds to purchase BMW's, and don't have the money to build an adequate immigration facility?  This facility has three floors with no elevator.  I guess Thai's have little to no regard for the elderly or handicapped.  After all, they are just foreigners.  


I had to park my vehicle across the street from immigration due to immigrations limited vehicle parking.  I guess not much thought was put into the parking lot capacity either.  As I attempted to walk across the street at the marked cross walk, I was reminded of pedestrians not having the right away in Thailand.  The westerner in front of me must not have known this yet.  He came within inches of being run over as the Thai driver pretended not to see him as he drove through the cross walk.


As I share my recent experience at Thai Immigration, I have an air cleaner sitting next to me running full bast.  The air quality in Chiang Mai, is extremely poor due to Thailands lack of enforcement of polluting the air we breath.  Instead of photographing foreigners who missed their 24 hour TM30 reporting requirement, surrounded by immigration officers who should be sitting at their desks processing the endless forms required by foreigners, maybe they could photograph air polluters instead.   



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