Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sawadee ka (Hello)

     I was debating about what I should put in my first blog post from Bangkok but I think I should stick to a chronological order. Therefore, I’m going to talk about my trip here as well as my first day.

     I boarded my first plane around 7 a.m. Thursday morning Eastern Standard Time and landed in Bangkok at 1:10 a.m. Bangkok time. Whoa boy. I’m still a bit tired and cramped and I had an entire day to recover so far. I think by tomorrow I should feel better. Let’s see, what stands out? Well, my first two flights were short. Flight number one to Charlotte was only 30 minutes and flight two to Dulles (Washington D.C.) was just at an hour. I had a nice conversation with the flight attendant on flight two since they stuck me in the back of the plane right beside where she sat. That airplane was a small one; there were two seats and only one aisle.  Not so bad. I had to book it to my connecting gate in Washington and was not able to sit or walk around at all. They were holding the plane for me, in fact. That plane (flight 3 from D.C. to Tokyo) was HUGE. There were nine seats in each row and two aisles. I was sitting in the middle in the middle. The last two flights were booked full too so there was no elbow room. I think I understand what cattle feel like now. They herded us into the planes in lines-to stand and wait-and then crammed way too many of us into a space that should only hold half the amount it did. Poor cattle. The last two planes were the same, a Boeing 777. Here’s a picture.

I was sitting about two rows back from that partition-wall-thingy. Yes, that’s the technical term for it. I heard them say it: in English, Japanese and Thai. J
     Oh, and the coolest thing about my flights--the in-flight entertainment. You can see in the picture that the seatbacks have a small screen about 6 inches by 3.5 inches. They were interactive and you could choose movies, tv, trivia games, audiobooks, satellite radio, and more. There was also a GPS map that told you exactly where we were at that moment. You could see the satellite picture along with our path, both intended and already traveled. At the bottom of the screen the readout told you all sorts of info; things like altitude, time left in the trip, outside temperature, and more whenever you wanted. I found myself frequently pausing my movie to find out where we were and how much longer I had to play sardine. The movie selection was excellent, there was at least 15 new releases to choose from, and about 15 more in various categories. I watched Larry Crowne, Water For Elephants, Unstoppable, Friends With Benefits, Something Borrowed, and a few more that I can’t remember at the moment. Did I mention they were long flights? The selections of TV shows were good as well. I watched a few episodes of Glee, Dexter, and Big Bang Theory. By the end of my traveling I think I accumulated maybe four hours of sleep, but I’ve never slept well during flights.

     Other than the long conversation with the flight attendant on flight number 2, I didn’t really talk to anyone on the planes. It was very bus-like. People come in, sit down and the headphones go on. What else…? OH, oh, oh man are people gross. I was in economy seating so there wasn’t really room to leave a mess. But the people in first class and business class! I mean, really? Really, people? Rolling my carryon through those areas while I was disembarking was astounding. There was trash everywhere, blankets just thrown willy-nilly on the floors, and the headsets left out, cords stretched out just begging for someone to trip over them. Those poor flight attendants! I just consider it common courtesy to put back what you took out. If you found the headset wrapped up in the seatback pocket in front of you, then when you’re done, you wrap it up and put it in the seatback pocket in front of you. In my opinion. They fed us a lot, too. I ate like 3 meals, 4 snacks and had maybe 4 sodas and 4 or 5 waters during my flights.
     Also, the signs and monitors were very easy to read and follow. If there wasn’t English available usually the pictures were obvious enough. All the restrooms had the pink skirted female form and the blue male form, so I didn’t accidentally walk into a men’s room. Which is good, ‘cause I can just see me doing something like that. Oh boy, now I’m really glad I didn’t do something like that, lol.

     Okay, so I landed in Bangkok, used the restroom, and proceeded to Immigration. I filled out my arrival card on the airplane (thank you flight attendants!) and after about waiting maybe fifteen minutes it was my turn. I was anxious because this dude with the stamp could keep me out. So I had all my paperwork ready and organized and when it came time…the Immigration officer didn’t say anything! Not a word. Not a ‘How long will you be in Thailand?’ or a ‘Where are you headed next?’, nada, nothing. He looked at my paperwork and passport for about thirty seconds and then stamped everything. 

     O-kay, so…that was easy. But since turnabout is fair play, when I next went to baggage claim, yep, you probably guessed it, they lost my bag. One bag! However, I was smart enough to bring the really important things in my carryon luggage, along with 3 days worth of clothes. They will be delivering my bag very early tomorrow morning, maybe early afternoon. I even put bright pink duct tape all over the thing so that it would be easily recognizable. Ah, well.
     My new employers picked me up from the airport around 2 a.m. and then brought me back to their house.
     I am currently staying in their ‘other’ house, yes you read that right, they have two houses. They are living in the other one and they wanted to give me a little space and time to recuperate from my trip and jet lag. Isn’t that nice? It’s a lovely home in a nice location, and close to some shopping centers and sky train stations (more on those later).
     I’ll tell you a bit more and then reserve the rest for later, I know this post is long.

This evening, they took me out to eat dinner and then to a supermarket to get a few things to eat at the house. Sorry I don’t have any pictures. I will take some foodie pics tomorrow, I promise. My first Thai meal was egg noodles and pork with a green leafy veggie in a pork sauce. It was very yummy but very tame on the tongue, mild. I added some Thai jalapeño to it and it tasted great! I couldn’t even finish the whole thing. I also tried some of Art’s dish and it was really yummy!!! Spicer and very flavorful. She said they have it at most Thai restaurants, so yay! I knew I’d like it. I was concerned about the whole new bacteria thing. I read that whenever you travel abroad, you oftentimes will have quite an upset stomach for a while because of the new bacteria in the food that your body is not used to. My stomach was a tiny bit unhappy this evening but nothing horrible, so if my body can acclimate quickly I will be a very happy camper. I leave you with some pictures of money, 'cause c'mon, who doesn't like money?

That’s all for tonight folks. I’ll regale you with some more awesomeness tomorrow.


  1. I am so proud of you going out and seeing the world! Take of advantage of every moment, you only live once! Be safe, know your surroundings, don't over react. Your a super smart girl, use it! Keep intouch! Love Aunt Missy

  2. I'm glad that you're getting into the swing of things there! Pretty soon those plane rides will seem like a dream from another life...So much begins to happen as you adjust to your new life that sometimes it almost feels like you were reborn when you got off the plane. That sucks with the luggage thing! Keep on postin'!

  3. ^ That was me.

  4. This is Rebecca. I am working my way to catch up on your posts. Sorry it took me so long. You said you saw Something Borrowed, do you see what I mean about that being Kate Hudson? Was Water for Elephants good? I haven't seen it. I'm sorry about your luggage not making it. Sadly that doesn't surprise me. Dulles and Philadelphia are the two worst airports I have ever seen when it comes to bags and customer service. I'm so glad you're liking the food. You have always been good about trying new things. I am even less adventurous than usual. Baby is now kicking so hard that James can feel her. On to more reading...

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