Our flights are booked and I have now got my visa so just the packing to be done.

There are two Thai embassies in Canada, one in Vancouver, a five hour flight from where we live, and one in Ottawa, a 1100km round trip by car. I had e-mailed the Ottawa embassy but never got a reply so I called them to ask about getting a non-immigrant 'O' visa based on my marriage to Ploy. They were less than helpful and suggested that a) they can only give visas to Canadian passport holders and b) why don't I come along anyway and they will assess my application.

I explained the journey time but that was all they could offer. Given their impenetrable website that looks like it was designed by that precocious brat that advertises Windows 7, and the fact it took Ploy four weeks to just get her passport renewed there, (and not to the biometric one), I looked at going to Hull.

I called Hull and they were very helpful, just bring your marriage certificate, photo, passport and application form, (and money), and if you make an appointment it should only take 30 minutes. A long way to go but at least it guarantees no problems.

But luckily, an accidental search on Google found a new Thai consulate in Toronto, just a hour and a half's drive from here and with a website that can actually be navigated by humans. I called them and they were very helpful, basically saying the same thing as Hull. No appointments, but they would try and process it the same day.

Well we found it, in the basement of an old house, and the consulate, a young Canadian man, took our documents, our $175 (multiple entry) and told us to come back in 3 hours.

Three hours later, stuffed full with sashimi and being the new proud owner of a second hand Tony Bennett CD, we went back and I duly received my visa. Delightful though the trip to Hull may have been, this was undoubtedly easier and quicker.