Any dealings with the mail in Thailand are excruciating painful.
Unfortunately, it is not a simple matter of getting a stamp in the local shop (as they are not allowed by law to sell them) and popping the envelope in a mail box (as there are none). All mail is dealt with only at designated post offices, which have very narrow opening times, and are not open at the weekend.
The “nearest” such post office, which is about a mile and half away, which is quite a walk, in the sun. It is necessary to walk as it is quicker than taking a taxi, which can not get through the traffic, safer than a motorcycle taxi, which are downright dangerous, and I wouldn’t even attempt to get a tuk-tuk, as these are the best of both worlds (both dangerous, and unable to negotiate their way through the traffic).
I have gone to this particular office seven times since you sent me the forms, four of which the office was closed, twice it was open, but none of the equipment was working so they could not take my letter and the other time, there was a queue all around the building in the scorching hot sun, which I could not cope with waiting in. Calling it exasperating doesn’t really do it justice…
The matter is exacerbated by the fact that in the run up to Thai New Year, there have been a rash of public holidays (including Easter – which they do not celebrate but decide to shut down for anyway) and unofficial “Buddha” days, where nothing is open. Today is one such Buddha day – it is Chakri day, so again, all official offices are closed. I shall try again tomorrow.
I, myself, find this entire situation quite unbelievable, especially as I live in the middle of Bangkok – if I was in some backwater in the countryside, this issue could be somewhat more understandable.
I had to deal with the postal system, once before, back in October, and it was a similar issue.
I managed to get the letter sent yesterday.
I went to a different post office at the opening time (8:30). Once again, there was a huge queue of about 20-30 people at the doors, each with a couple of massive IKEA holdalls full or envelopes and parcels.
I think that there must be a system in place, that I am unaware of, where a local chap is given all of the correspondence of a certain community, and they then go to the post office on their behalf.
Anyway, after about 45 minutes I finally got to hand the letter over.