Day 1: Da Plane, Da plane
It’s late, and I am tired and cranky—both K and I suffer from pre trip anxiety—and both of us worked a full day. We have to consciously remember that is a vacation, not a death march. There were several “are you panicking” calls today.
When we check in (me in business and K in Premium Economy) they are nice enough to give her a pass to go with me to the Lounge—in the end we could have used my Red Carpet pass, but still a nice gesture and a for-shadowing of the treatment on board.
The Thai Airways (Star Alliance Lounge) at LAX is quite nice---all over a domestic lounge: for one thing the liquor is free, and the food is plentiful. From some sort of Thai noodle dish to tiny sandwiches—yummy.
Boarding is relatively painless and quick, and still we leave an 30 minutes late---Kristina is about 10 feet behind me and I can see her if I turn around. Kind of weird, as we are both used to hanging on as we take off, and sharing in flight conversation.
I am seated next to a lovely main-Reiner, who is a scientist physician on his way to Bangkok for a conference---his specialty field is cancer and he works with stem cells.
Right behind us are two families with 3 children, hmmm. How is this gonna work? Well 20 minutes up and we know: one of the kids is coughing a deep wet cough and we decide to take advantage of several empty seat and we move…better. I warn that I sometimes take pictures of food.
Meal one comes shortly after we level off—great appetizers pretty good lemon tart. A very nice Tokay Pinot Grig, Michel Nartz 2003 and I am ready for sleep.
The flat beds are great but not all they are cracked up to be—slanted and a wee bit hard, I am awake at 2:30 am and my achy left hip area tells me that the rest of the flight will be piriformis hell. My fears bear out, and I spend the next few hours tossing …at 7:30 I am on the floor trying to remember stretches that will relieve the endless cramping.
The next meal arrives—many people are still sleeping, and my watch says 8:15---I am wide awake but no amount of caffeine is gonna make my stomach say yes to the garlic pork they bring (what was I thinking last night???)
We are over Korea and a glance out the window shows lights far below where there once was the relentless back of the Bering Sea. Not much longer. In fact, flight data says 5:40 more to Bangkok. We will be arriving early.
Day 1, or 2 or maybe 3? Bangkok
There is truth in all the sleep deprivation theories. We land early 6:10 and immigration is a breeze---the new Bangkok airport is HUGE and looks eerily like Denver. Lots of lying buttresses and while sheeting…we look, but our brains are not quite catching up to our eyes.
A cab takes us to the hotel which sits right on the Chao Praya river---it’s early and they are not quite ready to let us check in, so we walk thru motorcycle taxis and food vendors to try and reach some caffeine that we can recognize. We find a bakery that makes incredible croissant, lousy coffee and a great view of the people getting off the river boat to go to work. It’s 8am Saturday .
When we get to the room, it gives us an impressive view of the northern curve—we take pictures before we decimate it, but really what’s for lunch?
Both K and I need to get out—get to the streets and smell…and taste. We have an errand to run, and then hit the road…
The Wat Po Buddha is still huge, the streets still crowded with sites and sounds and smells and no matter what happens, the Thai people sooooo friendly… we put on 5.5 miles today—before we have a massage. Bed comes early because tomorrow is Tong Day.
You can see Kristina’s take and lots of better pictures at http://www.wired2theworld.com/ click on Thailand/Cambodia 2007.