Today, 12/21/2010 (how about those numbers!), Nikki and I are officially registered as a married couple. Our wedding took place a couple weeks ago, but we signed the forms in Bangkok today.
We celebrated with a dinner atop the Baiyoke Sky Hotel at the Crystal Grill buffet. The restaurant is on the 81st floor, and we had a decent view of Bangkok. However, we weren’t facing the river, so there wasn’t really a lot to see. Nice enough anyway and the wind wasn’t bad.
The dinners, with outside seating, included complimentary wine and coffee. And because we ate everything on our plates, our server refunded us 200baht each! pretty great! (I have to admit, the food was subpar overall, but the ice cream was great! and wine wasn’t bad)
Near the end of the dinner, a small trio offered to sing us a song, so I told them to sing “close to you” – here’s the video of the song!
Now we’re home, and we’re married. Time to get back to work
Here’s the story of what it’s like to get marriage certified in Bangkok:
It was quite a process to get registered in Bangkok. We started on Monday at 7am by visiting the American Embassy where we both got affadavits that stated neither of us had been married before. Then we need to get those translated to Thai language for about 350baht ($11.60) for each document. Someone on the street offered to translate the docs for us for only 200baht, but we didn’t trust them.
After the translation we headed across town in a taxi (cost about 200baht) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Here we had to get our documents notorized by the Thai government. We paid for the “express” notorization, which cost 800baht per document instead of 400baht, but it also got our docs stamped and handed back to us the same day instead of us having to return the next day to pick them up.
Even though we waited about an hour to hand in our documents at the MFA and we paid for express service, they still told us we would have to wait until 3pm to pick up the docs. So we decided to visit the immigration services and check on a marriage visa for me.
It was just a short, FREE, bus ride to the immigration offices, where we talked to an official about getting me a marriage visa. He told me since I wasn’t planning on staying in Thailand for a full year, I should just do a visa run instead.
Since my latest entry visa runs out next week, I’ll be flying to Kuala Lumpur on Monday to get a new tourist visa. Once that expires, Nikki and I will head to Buenos Aires, Argentina and meet up with Charles Visconti!
Anyway….. Once we picked up our documents, it was pretty much too late to do anything more. We went to the government district office near our apartment to see if we could sneak in, but they said they weren’t doing any more marriage registrations that day. That was the end of day one.
Day 2 was today! We arrived at the BangRak (which means “love district”) district office by 8am, but we were still late. A group of farangs and their Thai girlfriends were already waiting. Of all the couples in the office, there were really only 3, including Nikki and I, that looked legit. And we were treated differently by the staff than other couples. IDK, maybe legit couples are just less interesting.
Either way, this visit took another hour and a half, but once we signed the docs, we were officially married in Thailand!
It’s been a lot of work the last couple of weeks, and Nikki has definitely bore the brunt of it. Thankfully she’s held up well and we can get back to a more normal routine.
I’ll have another post soon recapping the Thailand trip… sorry for the delay!