Don't ask me why I believed him, but I was told by an American friend who just married a Japanese woman that "it was a piece of cake, got it done in one day", so I thought I'd try my luck and get it done in a day as well. I'm marrying a Thai woman, and she got things prepared by bringing a "BAI SOT" (which essentially means a "card of single status") the last time she was in Thailand - got it translated into English while there.
--- MISTAKE #1: didn't also get it translated to Chinese, we both ought-a thought-a that...
So I read some posts on forumosa, made an appointment for notarization of an affadavit that I'm single from the US AIT on Xinyi, get my trusty office assistant to tag along, head to the AIT. No sweat, in and out in 10 minutes, US$ 30.
My assistant and the posts here say to head to the MoFA (Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs) for authentication, but before that, decided to stop by the Thai consulate/whatever-they're-calling-it on Song Jiang to make sure she's all kosher.
--- MISTAKE #2: there are about a billion people in this tiny office - turns out Taiwanese need a visa for Thailand, and as Thailand is Thailand, pretty much the entire citizenry of Taiwan (male and female alike) want to go, and were squooshed into the office.
So we push our way through the mob, or rather my fiancee and my exec assistant (which btw, just saying "my fiancee and my executive assistant" sounds HOT!!) and 10 minutes later they're back to the elevator: "oh, so sorry, you need the Taiwanese embassy/consulate/whatever in Bangkok to provide a marital status affidavit, then bring it to MOFA, etc."
Well that sounded like a lotta crap to me, what does the Taiwan office in BKK have to do with it - they don't have any more access to marital status databases in Thailand than the original Thai office that provided the BAI SOT does. So I suggested we get a Chinese translation here of the BAI SOT to go along with the English and Thai versions, get it authenticated, and off we go to the Taiwan Household office
--- MISTAKE #3: don't think rationally or think by yourself, you will be wrong and severely punished
We head over to MoFA next - it is NOT the main MoFA building on Ketagalan, it is 1/2 km away on a nearby side-street next to NTU hospital. There's a line out the wazoo out front, but thankfully it's for the picture-taking booth. We troop up to the third floor. Pass by all the homely stragglers and refugees from lame 90's videos, and over the authentication window. Get my shit authenticated ("yep, it's brown": STAMP!). Ask the lady about my subversive plan to actually get this done in the Year of the Tiger - no dice! Must go to the Taiwanese embassy in BKK.
Head back to the office, assistant calls the Taiwan embassy in Bangkok
--- MISTAKE #4: do not believe what one government office tells you when another branch of the government will deny it
"Oh no, sorry, we don't do that here". Now, if she were marrying a Taiwanese guy, yeah sure, we can help... My assistant: but hey, your MoFA said you do it there! Ah, well, see, um, I can't authorize that, uhhhhhhh, but hey, why don't you call my boss back on Tuesday when he returns to work (best guess: a light round of golf, off to the mistress for a quick massage, then over to karaoke and whiskey with the boys, incommunicado all weekend getting over the JW red hangover, Monday in for a knob-polishing, fresh and new and back in the office by 2PM tuesday), maybe he can authorize it...
NEGATIVES: wasted a whole day out of the office and got nothing done
POSITIVES: wasted a whole day out of the office and got nothing done
to be continued next week....