Can you cope with uncertainty? Are you flexible? This is a question you always need to ask yourself if you embark on an expat existence,or if you do independent travel for any length of time. WE are now into our last couple of weeks in Xiamen. We are due to leave here June 7th and travel by train to Shenzhen in south China, just across the border from Hong Kong.From Hong Kong we have tickets to fly to Chiang Mai in North Thailand and the original idea was, after spending a couple of days up there- to cross the new 4th Friendship Bridge over the Mekong, to enter Laos and hang out there for about three weeks till we cross back to Chiang Mai and fly back to Hong Kong and thence to Tel Aviv. I say “the original idea was” because suddenly on Thursday, martial Law was declared in Thailand ,and a curfew between the hours of 10pm till 5am was imposed by the military junta. So now we need to decide what to do.We can of course give up the $300 we spent on the ticket,buy a new air ticket from Hong Kong to Vientiane in Laos ( probably around $400) and cut our losses. We can fly into Chiang Mai and just take another flight into Laos without going into Thailand (also probably around an extra $300 or so).Or we can wait… and see what happens.Trying to get solid information online is tricky.Everyone outside Thailand says of course don’t go there.Some people in Thailand say everything is fine,don’t worry.Others say hang on and see how things develop. Of course nobody has a crystal ball and and tell you what the situation will be like in another 2 or 3 weeks. But the idea of being in Thailand with a curfew (no bars, no restaurants, no night markets) is not overly encouraging.On the other hand, things seem to be pretty normal apart from that,acccording to the folks on the THaiVisa Forum We really don’t have a whole lot of options here.We thought originally of crossing into Laos from the North via Yunnan province in West China. This option however does not exist any more as D’s visa was only renewed until June 11th.( Mine is until July 13th but obviously I am not going without him!)
So that’s how things stand now.We had an amazing farewell party with lots of our friends,with about 25 people. We had a farewell meal in a seafood restaurant with some other friends. We are going out again this week to our new favourite haunt, the Brewhouse .It’s a bar belonging to a Texan, and they have great Western food and live music most nights. So we have mixed feelings. We know we will miss this place and these people a lot. We have had a great time.But it really is time to go. We will have to live with the uncertainty now for a couple of weeks and see how things pan out.Meanwhile the one certain thing here is our flight date home which is fixed.And what we will do once we get home… well that’s as uncertain as everything else! We have no clue.Our usual retort to people who ask us that question is : “The plan is we have no plan!”
Can you cope with uncertainty? Please leave a comment!