Tag Archives: River Kwai

Our Story : Visa process and long wait – Part 22

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

I was really sad when our holiday to Thailand came to an end. We had had an amazing time together and it was so much fun spending every second together doing things we loved.

The last day, at the hotel, we were busy packing. I couldn’t believe that I had come with an empty suitcase and now there were so many stuffs that AS was having a hard time trying to fit all of them in. It was probably a good we were busy otherwise I would have become too emotional and the impending separation would have been harder.

We took a cab to the airport and checked in. Luckily, we didn’t have any problems with my luggage even though it was 8 kg over the limit. My flight was departing first so we went to the gate where my flight was.

I tried my best not to cry and make him feel sad. We just talked and he promised that we will keep in touch like before and finally he would be with me in Sydney soon. I knew it is not too long in the future but at the same time those few months before he would be in Sydney were going to be hard ones.

With a heavy heart I bid good-bye to AS and went through the gate to board my plane. That last hug lasted longer than intended and both of us were wordless for a while. I really didn’t want to let him go but they were announcing the last call so I had to board the plane.

I looked at him for the last time before entering the plane. It was really hard. Harder than before, because now I had a taste of our life together and thinking it may not happen again soon was killing me. Nevertheless, I had to go back to Sydney and him to his job.

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I really can’t remember the first half of the flight because I had millions of things in my mind. As soon as it was allowed, I opened my laptop and looked at the lovely photos we had taken in Thailand. It felt like a dream and I had woken up all alone again.

Back in Sydney, life resumed as normal. I missed him a lot and we talked or sent messages every day and Skyped as much as possible. We spent several hours talking about our lovely holiday in Thailand and planned more holidays for the future.

All I wanted at that stage was for him to be next to me.

At his end, he was preparing papers for the visa. Some of the documents were taking longer than expected delaying the whole process. Eventually everything was done, visa lodged, and everything was out of our hands. We had heard some people had their visa in weeks and some had gone for months and even years. Therefore, we didn’t know what to expect for ours.

I knew in my heart it was not going to be years but at the same time I knew he wouldn’t be in Australia tomorrow. AS used to make light of our situation asking me to enjoy my single life as much as possible before he arrives and controls my life. I definitely preferred that option than what I was in at that time.

I was back at my job and it was good because that kept me busy and gave me less alone time. Otherwise, I might have gone crazy thinking about our situation. I really don’t know how people handle long distance relationships for long periods of time. For us it was not so long and still I was losing my mind. I especially salute the family of soldiers who are posted away from them months on end; on top that they are always worried about their loved getting hurt or worse.

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I kept reminding myself that we were lucky and things had worked out so well for us so far. Rest of the things would be OK as well.

But then I had the days when I was down and I feel bad thinking now that I had unreasonable fights with AS during that period. I knew in my heart he didn’t have any control and he was doing his best but still I had to take my frustration out on someone and he ended up being at the receiving end. Poor AS.

I have to give most of the credit to AS for our long distance relationship’s survival. He was so patient and listened to me no matter what mood I was in. On my bad days, he just tried to show me the light at the end of the tunnel and on good days, he laughed with me. No wonder I love him so much and I feel blessed to know he is in my life. He is one of the greatest blessings from God, and his love is a gift that I open every day anew.

A few months went by just like that. There were definitely some difficulties at that time but we were still surviving with a big hope of being together soon.

Then one evening he called me. I was surprise that he called me as we didn’t have a plan to Skype that day. I was still at work and he had some other things planned but I was so happy to receive a call.

Me: Hello, baby. How are you?

AS: I am good. Are you Ok?

Me: Of course why? I am at work and will be finishing in a few hours. Can’t wait to go home and talk to you.

AS: I know baby. I was thinking of you so decided to call you.

Me: Ohoo so sweet and thank you baby.

AS: By the way I got an email from the immigration department.

Me: AND???!!!

AS: And that’s it.

Me: Come on. That it WHAT???

AS: And they said that I can go to you whenever I want.

I screamed when he told me that forgetting there were people around. I was so happy.

Me: Ohoo that’s such a good news and I am so happy. Did you call home?

AS: I will soon. Just wanted to tell you first.

Me: I am so, so happy baby. Now no more late night Skype and phone calls. Can’t wait for you to be here and hold me.

As: I know and I feel the same. Anyway, go back to work and I will talk to you tonight.

Me: OK love.

When you receive a good news that you have been waiting for, for a while you are thankful and relieved. That was exactly what my reaction was when he told me, relived and thankful. I was so happy thinking he would get here soon and then I would actually see him at the airport–in real life 3D and not Skype; that would be one of the best days of our life. Finally my prayers had been answered and he was going to be here.

Of course, it wasn’t going to be that easy. Otherwise, our life would have been boring.

Stay tuned for the next post.

Take care ,

M from nepaliaustralian


Go to Part 23

Our Story : Enjoying holiday – Part 21

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

We took a few more tours while we were in Bangkok and they were quite interesting.

Floating Market

I had heard a lot about the floating markets in Thailand so we planned to see it. Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets is a prime tourist attraction that not too far from Bangkok.

We were picked up from the hotel in a van and driven 100 km southwest of Bangkok to Damnoen Saduak. As soon as we were in the canal area I saw lots of floating boats some with tourists and some selling colourful souvenirs, fruits and other items.

The floating markets of Thailand is a great place to view colourful boats with vendors selling fruits, vegetables and other delicious goods. It’s a great place to also see a traditional way of buying and selling goods of the Thais.

The best things about these markets are the food stalls. There is no Thai dish you cannot find here. The hardest decision is narrowing down your choice to one or two. Squashed in amongst the food and tables lining the canals are handicrafts, plants and clothing stores too.

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We were asked to hop into one of the boats and we had a guide who took us around the 32 km canal. Sitting on a wooden long tail boat, we ventured out to the floating market. It was fun passing through narrow canal lanes and underneath bridges. It was a really fun way of seeing the market.

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Once we were back where we had started, we had some time to look around by ourselves. I ended up buying lots of souvenirs like a floating boat, a tuk tuk, a hat and a beaded earring.

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River Kwai and The Jeath War Museum

The next stop for us was in Kanchanaburi province where we went and visited the war museum and the river Kwai.

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Once there we went to the war museum and there were lots of information about World War II.  Then we went to the bridge over the river Kwai which was built-in World War II.

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The JEATH War Museum is situated on the junction of the Rivers Khwae Yai and Khwae Noi, right on top of the old rail tracks. The name is an acronym recognising the primary nationalities of those involved in the construction of the Death Railway; Japanese, English, Australian, American, Thai and Holland. To the locals it is known simply as the Wat Tai War Museum.

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The museum is divided into several sections. While the main path through the exhibitions charts Thailand’s involvement in the Pacific War (from the first invasion through to the destruction of the bridge, and finally Japan’s retreat accompanied by the release of prisoners), other areas offer a range of different perspectives on the region.

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One room focuses on the prehistoric evolution of the area, while another charts the annual winners of the Miss Thailand competition. There seem to be Buddhist shrines tucked away into every empty corner, and there isn’t an inch of wall space that hasn’t been written on. Some of it in Thai, other passages in French, English or German, and these verses range from military history through to religious philosophy. To read them all would have taken a day at least.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the museum however, are the wooden effigies used to depict the suffering of Allied POWs. Carved in a similar style to those that appear in Thailand’s numerous Buddhist Hell Gardens, these often crude figures show naked men engaged in hard labour, being tortured, or lying dead and bloody at the bottom of rivers.

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The intention is to shock… but also to bring home the very real pain and suffering which prisoners were subjected to. Towards the end of the museum, a courtyard is walled in with mounted figures of WWII’s military leaders: Churchill and De Gaulle; Mussolini and Hitler; Japanese Generals Tōjō and Yamashita; Joseph Stalin and General Douglas MacArthur. On an adjacent wall, written in both Thai and English, hangs a sign which reads, “War is sinful behaviour”.

Perhaps the most poignant feature at the JEATH War Museum however, is the broken wooden structure which protrudes from the riverbank beneath an observation platform. This is all that now remains of the former bridge, and is a stark reminder of the tragedy that befell here; in 1945 both the Royal Air Force and the US Army Air Force mounted bombing raids on the bridge, but after both attacks it was repaired using prisoner labour.

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Finally, on 24th June 1945, an RAF squadron was ordered to halt the Japanese movement into Burma at any cost. Fearing defeat, the Japanese filled the bridge with as many Allied prisoners as they could fit, in a hope to deter the bombers. It failed however, and when the bridge was finally put out of action, its destruction came at a cost of many Allied lives.

Kanchanaburi’s ‘Tiger Temple’

The last stop of the day was the Tiger Temple and it was the highlight of our trip. It is a Buddhist temple where there were many monks, lots of tigers and few other creatures.

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Almost a decade ago, monks started to look after tiger cubs whose mothers had allegedly been killed by poachers. With the outbreak of tiger-euphoria, tourists reported enthusiastically how the monks of this remote temple devotedly cared for the animals. Initially there were just a few young tigers – joined by freely roaming deer and other small mammal species. Therefore, it all started as a neat little temple zoo with lovely deer, orphaned tiger cubs and monks as keepers.

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For around fifty dollars each, we were allowed to be up-close and personal with the tigers. This was 600 Bhat admissions and 1000 Bhat for photo with the tigers. It was a really unique experience and I was a bit scared but then it was all good as there was a guide with us all the time. I patted the tiger and he didn’t eat me 🙂

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We also saw a cub on the way back and we were allowed to take pictures and pat it. It was a really nice experience.

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After coming back from the holiday, I did some research about the place and I found lots of negative things so I am still confused as to what to believe.

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Also if you are going there make sure you wear a covered dress as they will not allow you in otherwise as they have a dress code for both men and women.

By the time we got back to Bangkok both of us were tired and ready for bed.

For the next few days in Bangkok, we met AS’s cousin and went shopping. I was feeling sad already as I knew we were going to different places once the holiday was over.

More on that in the next post. Till then take care.

M from nepaliaustralian


Go to Part 22