TRICYCLE Some of you might know that in mid-November I bought an adult tricycle in Chiang Mai and paid for it in full. In December when the trucking company went to pick it up the shop owner said it had already been picked up in September (unlikely since it wasn’t purchased until November).
This has been an ongoing saga filled with frustration. Upon my return to Thailand in early May I visited the bike shop and explained the problem. Came back the following week with the receipt and Adam, the guest house owner where I stay who translated. The owner said I had to have an original receipt, mine was only a photocopy. Of course the trucking company had lost the receipt from 7 months ago.
So Wednesday afternoon I went back to the shop and a nice young woman (much nicer than the owner) listened to my problem again. She phoned the owner who maintained that without an original receipt there could be no proper proof. Thus, I went to the tourist police.
The Tourist Police visit was equally frustrating although they were very nice and there was a terrific translator. At first they said “tough luck” using more polite words. Then after about 45 minutes the police officer called the bike shop owner. He came back saying that the owner remembered ordering it for me and then it was picked up. LIE #2: there was a white trike on display which I purchased, they adjusted the seat, added lights, reflectors, etc. (LIE #1 was that it had been picked up.)
Bottom line per police: I must show up at the shop with the truck driver and Mink, my friend in Pai, who contracted the trucking company. The chances of us all being in CM at the same time are fairly miniscule. So, most likely, I’m out nearly $200. It really irritates me since if I were Thai and not falang (Westerner) I doubt this would happen.
iPad adventure was equally frustrating. I took my iPad with the shattered screen to the Apple Store and found out they couldn’t fix it. However, the sales clerk did tell me at the other, larger mall there’s a non-authorized Mac place that might fix it. Let’s hope so. Will go there next week on my way to Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai is on my schedule because by July 30 I must leave and re-enter Thailand on a “visa run.” Every three months this occurs even though my visa is good for a year. My tentative plans are to take an early morning mini-bus from Pai to CM, spend 4-5 hours there, and then catch the big bus to Chiang Rai. I’m hoping that breaking up the trip in two segments will make it more bearable. Each bus segment is around 3 hours long.
Then one night at a guesthouse in CR where I’ve stayed previously. Next a morning bus to Mae Sai, the Thai border town with Burma, which takes about 1.5 hours. Will spend a couple of hours in Burma and return to CR where the excitement begins. On Monday-Tuesday nights, July 30-31, I’ll stay at an Akha (hill tribe) village about 20 miles outside of CR. My recent CouchSurfing guests stayed there and loved it. Their photos of a nearby waterfall were spectacular. If I like it, maybe I’ll stay a third night. No doubt there’ll be a future blog entry about the Akha village.
Well, friends, this is the fourth blog in July–a new record. Feedback is welcomed.