I can’t imagine living in Bangkok. Traffic density varies from congested to ridiculous – at least in the places I’ve been. Until yesterday, never had a chance to compare a taxi to the combination of walking and metro between the same start and end point.
While talking with 2 men in line at the US Embassy, one heard me say I was getting a ‘Certified True Copy of my Passport’. He asked why. I said after this I’m going to the Thai Dept. of Consular Affairs (DCA), where I’ll need it to get my Thai Police background check authenticated. He’s going to the DCA. Do I wanna share a taxi? Sure. However, he wants to leave directly from the Embassy. I couldn’t do that. Wished him luck as we left the Embassy at the same time. Taxis cruise that road, so he was quickly picked up.
Route for taxi guy from US Embassy:
Taxi to Thai Dept. of Consular Affairs (DCA) – 26 km (16.1 miles). Twenty six kilometers isn’t much distance, but it’s a lot of time at 8:30 am on a weekday in the part of town he was starting from.
Walk to Hotel – 700 m(eters)
Room stuff, get my backpack, check out, ask for comment on my proposed route to DCA. ~10 min.
Walk to Phloen Chit BTS station – 850 meters. ~15 min because carrying backpack, slow pace so as to not break a sweat, and climbing stairs.
Train to Asok station – 9 min.
Walk to Sukhumbit MRT station – 350 m
Tenth in line for 2 ticket machines – ~8 min because some tourists couldn’t read the instructions available only in Thai or English.
Wait for train – 5 min
Train to Lat Phrao station – 24 min
Walk to street – 250 m
Wait for taxi – < 1 min
Taxi to DCA – 16 km. ~15 min.
Two lines at DCA. Express for same day pickup, non-express for 1 day pickup or sent by mail. I opted for mail. Was #3 in line when taxi guy walks up to the express window. He was doing what I would soon have to, that is, fill out the correct form (like me, he’d brought the one on their website), then bring it straight to the window. Knowing from our conversation at the Embassy how important doing all this quickly was to him, I asked if he choose the express option. Yes.
While waiting for my number to be called to the cashier, I noticed him leaving one of the cashier windows. Also noticed the time. I walked away from the window 10 minutes later. If both of had picked the same initial line, our journey times would have been the same.
Once the authenticated Thai Police background check arrives, I’ll have the last of the Portugal visa requirements that I can’t do on my own. I know how to do the remaining few. After Christmas I’ll request an appointment at the Portugal Embassy.