Going to immigration is never anyone’s idea of a fun way to spend the day, but in Thailand it is somehow a bit more bearable than other countries. I’ll admit, I am biased because I really love it here. It’s more than my opinion coloring the experience though, it’s based on the calm and careful way official matters are handled here.
Thai people are extremely polite. That continues to be the case, even at immigration, plus an unhurried friendliness that makes a long wait OK. Maybe it’s because I’ve been meditating, maybe it’s the serene presence of the monks who comprise a few of the people in here, maybe it’s because it’s nice and cool in here, whatever it is I am completely happy waiting here.
My number has been called and it’s my turn. Everything has been explained to me concisely, clearly, and pleasantly in English. I don’t have to guess what will happen. That’s a switch from many immigration offices I’ve been to.
As I sit here and wait for my forms to be processed, people smile at me. No one shouts, no one gets upset, patience is practiced. It is an art here.
I think we in the West have something to learn from this approach to life. It certainly works for me.