Friday, June 3, 2016
30 Days in Thailand Day 1
Thirty days in Thailand > Day 1 and 2: I am not gonna lie, this was not an easy trip. 32 hours on planes and airports and 6 hours driving. I was tested on a couple different levels. The driver picked us up with no problems and got us to the airport three hours early. We checked in one piece of luggage willingly but I wanted to keep my backpack as one of my two carry ons but the Qatar airlines attendant with her cute little Qatar hat with gold wings covering her hair bun and her bright red lipstick (Signature for their attendants), informed me it was overweight by 6 pounds... uggh! The main reason I wanted to keep it was I know there is always a chance for a flight change for unforeseen reasons on a trip to the other side of the world. If you drilled a hole into the earth at IAH intercontinental Houston it would come out on the other side in Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok BKK. So I tried to do a little pleading with her which seemed to work at first but in the end I lost that battle...let the mullygrubs begin. So after sulking for a few minutes I decided to not let it get me down and said a little prayer that we would not have an issue there. Then I looked at the radar. Bad bad weather ... Really bad heading toward the airport. We ate at Rubys diner then boarded the plane. Taxied out to the runway...then the dreaded announcement. The flight will be delayed for 45 minutes due to weather and add the 30 minutes we were already behind... 1 hr 15 was lost. So our 2 and a half hour layover cushion at Doha Qatar was starting to dwindle rapidly. Then as we started to move again I got all excited thinking we were ready to take off, we would not miss our connecting flight after all, but instead the captain pointed the 777 back toward the loading terminal and parked it and came on the air and said .... Its gonna be another hour. The test plane (that checks the weather from above) can't even take off. It was storming buckets of rain and lightning. So our 7:05 departure became a 10:30 pm departure. Arrived at Doha an hour after our connecting flight had departed. Doha was not prepared for the onslaught of unhappy arrivers at 11:00pm so we had to wait an hour to get a new flight and boarding pass. I verified with the attendant that my 2 carry ons would make it to the new plane and she assured me they would. Luckily Qatar airport "Gateway to the world"... in Doha had free wifi so I could send and receive emails to let our friends in Bangkok know we would be several hours later than planned (and they gave us a free 30 Qatari rial food voucher), and 4 hours later at 1:45 am instead of the original time of 8:30pm we were taking off for Bangkok. I was very impressed with Doha airport...never seen anything like it...Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches on display huge statues, an indoor subway system massive duty free shops massage spas, food courts restaurants galore sprawling airport people literally from all over the world like I have never seen. Definitely saw a few cases of racism and chauvinism. I thought one guy was gonna be arrested for picking up a display plaque and threatening to hit the little flight attendant with it because he blamed her for his missed flight..unfairly, it wasn't her fault. About ten others gathered around her and stopped the guy. Then I saw some Saudis all in white with sandals shove some Asian guys out of the way and laugh at them for no reason other than they could..$$$$. They stopped a guy from praying to Allah in the aisle of the airplane on his hands and knees not allowed on the plane, and another Thai guy was harassing sleeping women on the flight to Bangkok, He would get up and go sit next to them in an empty seat until they woke up and called the flight attendant to have him moved or they would move. I saw it happen three times to three girls and I actually saw him sit in 7 different seats on the plane! Can't believe they didn't do anything about it. Okay so this blog is long enough already. To make a long story longer we got to Bangkok. Got our visas rather quickly, got our luggage off the carousel and trotted through customs without a glance or a missed step. So no luggage issues after all. And there were our friends waiting for us. Got our rental car, exchanged dollars for a huge bundle of Thai Bahts and headed south. Whew steering wheel on wrong side of car...car on wrong side of road...motorcycles driving wrong way on wrong side of road...no driving rules other than don't wreck...note to self never drive in Thailand! Made it to Klaeng...they threw me the keys and said find us a hotel!!!!! Friend couldn't drive at night. You Gotta love driving in Thailand...Dutch guy gave away our room cause we didn't call by 5pm...gotta love Dutch guys!!! God bless McDonalds Wifi and my Thai speaking/reading friend and google maps. We made to the palace hotel, checked in, and drove a mile down the road to have the best food I've ever had in a restaurant next to a busy street whole fried fish, calamari, rice, soups, vegetable dishes etc.. Stuffed ...Its 2am Friday night here, and watching it lightning out the window, its raining and I'm laughing at the sounds of all the different mufflers outside at this intersection...heading to the lobby for the wifi password and upload this ...good night! Only 29 more....Hello Thailand....Island Koh Maak tomorrow.