I’ve been in Thailand for almost a month now, on island southeast of Bangkok, called Koh Chang. I’ve been wanting to blog about my experiences without inciting jealously at my lifestyle, which is pretty amazing right now. But being the crafty lady I am I manage to turn positives into negatives and then just as easily back into a positive again. The yoga way and the only way I know how.
I’ll tell you some of the experiences I had that were not so glamorous. Though not glamorous, they are not horrible either. They are just what they are. Experiences, lessons, you make what you want out of them.
Part 1: What it took to get here
I departed Calgary and had a long layover in Vancouver, where I stuffed my face with Chinese food. Then I flew from Vancouver to Guangzhou on China Southern Airlines which was pleasant.
I flown to South East Asia more than a dozen times before and this experience was probably one of the more physically taxing experiences I’ve had.
When I arrived in China, I saw there was an hour flight-delay due to a storm, which was fine with me. I even told myself, good for me, safety first. That 1-hour delay turned into 3-hours. And the strangest part was that us passengers at the gate looked completely puzzled as we watched several other airlines board and take off to Bangkok, Phuket and other Southeast Asian cities, leaving our China Southern airlines still on the ground. How very intriguing.
As I watched another flight take-off to Hanoi, I asked a ground staff if he knew anything about our flight. He told me, “Not this gate, downstairs, go now, leave now!”
“Why didn’t they say anything?!” I thought. I announced out loud so others would know, “They changed the gate, it’s downstairs now.” And I rushed to the next gate, which was a good 10-minute speedwalk away. Other passengers followed suit. When I got there, I checked with staff at the gate to make sure that it was place I needed to be. Nope. They changed it again.
Finally we were in the right place. It seemed. And so we waited. Then, they put us on a bus and ushered us onto the tarmac and waiting for about 30 minutes as we watched planes take off and land all around us, without feeling a single raindrop.
I met a Thai girl and we started chatting and she decided it was time she started giving the staff a hard time. She asked if we could wait on the plane instead, they said, “No.” And then she asked if she could smoke on the tarmac, they said, “No.” Then she asked if she could go “kaka” on the plane, they said, “No.” It must have worked because shortly after, he radioed a bus to pick us up. So we got on and we were ushered back on it and sent back to the terminal.
A two hours later, we finally got on the plane and took off.
I felt exhausted by the time I arrived in Bangkok. I was due to arrive at my hotel at 9PM, thinking I could shower and rest before my 8AM bus ride. I got there at 4AM instead, had I known, I would not have booked the hotel and waited the 4 hours at the airport. But since I already paid for it, I went anyway.
Exhausted with 2 large suitcases, 1 roll-on suitcase and a laptop bag, I arrived at the cheap airport hotel and checked-in only to discover there was no elevator to my floor. Exasperated after a 30-hour journey, I left the largest suitcase at the front desk, too tired to care if it will be tampered with or not – thank goodness it was not.
Got to my room, showered and got an hour of sleep. Then checked out.
Got to the airport, and got the last seat on the minibus/van to Koh Chang. Since I am getting married in February, I brought along extra stuff that I needed for my wedding, including a wedding dress in my roll-on. Usually, I travel with a backpack. And most of the passengers on the van were backpackers. They stared in disapproval as my suitcases took up most of the luggage space and I shot them an apologetic look.
I almost said out loud, “I’m in Thailand for 6-months, then I’m getting married, I brought my dress. I’m sorry, I really need this stuff.”
But I didn’t, and they must have thought I was a pretty big jerk. Meh, I’ll never see them again. Then, since I stayed back to help load my suitcases, all the other passengers piled into the back and I got to ride shotgun. Shotgun for all 6 hours to Koh Chang. Yeah, I got the evil eye for sure.
When I arrived on Koh Chang, I told the driver to leave me on the pier and my resort would pick me up. The driver who spoke very little English said, “Bag.” As in, I’ll help you with your bags and a British guy chimed in with, “Yeah, don’t forget your three suitcases!” I wanted to respond and explain, but smiled sheepishly without a word and got off, thinking, “Meh, I’ll never see him again.” Sometimes you need to choose your battles, and this one was not even close to worth it.
And besides, I had arrived!!! I was excited, nervous but mostly in need of a good sleep.
And at the time not knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get a good sleep for another week.
To be continued…