Late November evening we heard the call
“Shalom, friends!” – a familiar voice said to us.
“Aviv, is it you? How glad we are to you! As always, you have such a cheerful voice, but we are completely bored here, in Bulgaria, it is cold and dreary here …”
“So you are in Bulgaria … I don’t know where it is. Near Turkey? Is it very cold now?”
“No, we have great weather. Ross (Aviv’s friend) and me are here in northern Thailand in Chiang Mai for about a month now …
There are few tourists now and everything is quite cheap here. We rented part of the villa, the owner is friendly.
Ross has a remote job, he retouches, in general, he does something with photographs on some American website, and we have enough for life and even for daily parties. Ross just loves them, and I’m tired of them.
What’s wrong here? Long expensive flight, and visa-free travel is already ending, it is only thirty days. An acquaintance of Ross promised to extend our tourist visa, but I don’t know if he can be trusted. I don’t like it here at all, and Ross is just a fan of the place. He made his tattoos here and wants to add more, although it seems that nowhere to put them.
Yes, you have a financial problem?
Yes, I understand you as well as possible. Okay! I’ll try to send you some money now.
Tell me your credit card number. Dictate! Yes. Yes, I’m trying to send …
It seems to work, it took you $ 150. Do not be offended that it is not enough. I helped as much as I could.
Bye guys, Ross is calling me. Call us! Not in the morning … We don’t like to get up early.”
“What do you think of that?” – I asked.
“Ross truely, when he was in the diving club said that he got a tattoo in Chaing Mai and would like to go there again” – the son replied.
“Did I mean Aviv or not?”
“Honestly, I don’t know. What do you think?”
“I don’t want to guess if it’s him or not. Tired of it. Let’s better see if the money has come, and this will most likely be the answer to the question.”
After looking at the balance on the bank card the next day, we saw that the money really came, and about a week later we decided to register an electronic wallet and knowing that Aviv is an expert in this matter, we called him again.
“Shalom! I can’t speak for a long time now.
We are sitting with Ross in the cellar and do not know what to do. The owner runs back and forth, swears, yells so that we hide, that we have put him in a difficult position, and if the neighbors see us and report to the police that we have been here for more than a month without an official extension, they may consider him our accomplice … and he will be prosecuted.
The situation is dire!
The man who took the money for the extension of the visa said that everything is fine, that we had received the extension.
Ross and I were delighted, went to the migration office, where they showed us something on a computer in Thai, but they did not put any extension stamp on our passports. In response to our questions about this, the office worker said that it is the 21st century and they no longer put such stamps in passports, and again showed us something in the computer, written in their font, where of course we did not understand a single letter.
We went to the migration office again the next day, but with the same success. There was an employee who spoke no English at all, and the next day was already the thirtieth.
And now the man Ross found says the extension has failed and demands more money from us to do it retroactively.
And our host, a Thai about 60 years old, of short stature, when he found out the name of the one through whom we wanted to extend the visa, turned pale, then blushed and began yelling at us, running around the house and hitting dishes.
“Do you even know who you got in touch with? Why didn’t you ask me? Why are you such donkeys? Your so-called “friend” will now demand money until they run out, and then take you to the Golden Triangle, where you will finish your stupid lives on pointless work, understand? And he will offer me either to bear criminal responsibility for what I was hiding you, it’s 15 years in prison, or to make from my so hard-earned villa a den and serve his gang for the rest of my life. You goofs! Do you understand something? I don’t know what to do now!” – he shouted.
In general, we should probably try to leave to the nearest border, this is the border with Myanmar, the main thing is not to get caught by the police on the way. Maybe at the border they will simply take a fine from us and prohibit entry into the country in the future.
But it is dangerous to drive, there are police checkpoints at the exit from the city because of the threat of the coronavirus. In general, we do not know what to do …”
“Well, guys, you are in such trouble. And why did you have to stay, not understanding whether there is an extension or not. Such games with the migration service are not played.”
“Yes, but Ross trusted him, but the main thing now is what to do?”
“We only think to go to the border and leave as soon as possible. There is no other way out. Good luck!” – we finished our conversation with Aviv.
“Don’t you think, Yaron, that we are again in the maelstrom of other people’s, most likely fake business, instead of doing ours?” – I asked.
“I think this is the right thought” – the son replied …
And the money, as it turned out, was sent by our relative Vlad, to whom I simply cannot express my boundless gratitude for his disinterested help. Our endless thankfulness and low bow to you for the real support provided to us and for your kind heart!!!