I guess if I was to really start at the beginning I would talk about how I slaved away working long hours at a physical job for months in order to earn enough money to leave the homeland for good. But work is boring, so lets skip ahead to when the fun began and I actually got to leave.
For the first time in my life, ever, I was actually early/on time for my flight. I chose to take this as a good sign. Flying away from New Zealand left that funny feeling in my stomach. That bitter-sweet taste that stays in your mouth when you’re so excited to leave and explore new things, but at the same time, not sure when you’ll be coming back.
But then again, it was 6am, and that might’ve been my three-coffees-on-an-empty-stomach talking…
Travel goal #1 : Give up coffee. Whoaaaaaaaaa hang on – at least just get rid of the addiction.
I flew to Bangkok, but with a quick three day stop off in Melbourne in order to visit the big bro and check out the city. What a COOL place. Definitely noted down in my mental list of ‘Possible places to live’. Almost had some trouble leaving though. While waiting in the longest queue ever for the scanners in customs I got ‘randomly selected’ to undergo a bomb residue screening. “Yeah, no worries” I said, as I briefly looked over the information sheet. As I was watching my space in the line get further and further away from me I heard a long, loud, angry-sounding beep – not the kind that suggests there’s nothing wrong. “Uhh, what does that mean?” I asked the uniformed man meekly. “Positive result” he threw back at me. Crap.
Now, I knew that there was no bomb scraps, or residues or other bomb-things in my bag – hell, I don’t even know what bombs are made of – but there’s always that long moment where you feel guilty anyway. In my mind I was thinking “Just put on a calm face” – “Wait, what does a calm face look like?”, “Stop fidgeting! He’ll think you’re hiding something”, and I mustered the clearest, calmest voice I could and squeaked “So, what happens now?”
There was lots of walking, and security guard changing, and finally a re-test – I was already rehearsing a story in my head at this stage – when I heard a beep… A beep of the good kind. Thank fricking God. The man very kindly asked if I wanted to be fast-tracked through the queue, but I politely declined, knowing that Iwas flying with Jetstar and probably had plenty of time to kill. When I arrived at the body scanner I got handed another information sheet for ‘random testing’. Oh, for Christ’s sake..!
Jetstar, true to their style, delayed our flight for a constantly changing number of hours forcing me to sit at the departure gate and listen to a very loud and proud Australian man tell the world how he met his Thai-bride online. She, a good seven-months pregnant, found him about as boring as I did, and spent as much time as possible talking to another flurry of Thai-brides only paying him enough attention to get him to do things for her, and then scold him for his abismal attempts. If there was ever a better example of bad-advertising…
Miraculously, it seemed, we finally boarded our flight. I was on my way!
Upon landing in Bangkok I was relieved to find my bag on the carousel (I have been one of thoses unlucky ones to have not had a bag arrive in the past) and there was only one small obstacle that remained between me and my finally being reunited with Angelo after almost 5 months apart – customs. It suddenly dawned on me that in all my excitement to leave I never actually did much research on Bangkok. Angelo was supposed to have arrived that morning and sorted out a guesthouse and was meeting me at the airport. So, when it came to writing down where I’d stay – I didn’t have a clue! I couldn’t even remember the name of that street that everyone goes to.
I don’t know how many of you have been to Thailand and seen the ‘blue collar’ portion of society but… their uniforms are bloody tight. I mean, there’s no bending over in those babies. Or breathing. So you can imagine how friendly the customs lady was that had to deal with me. Eventually, after a lot of explaining that I was “meeting my boyfriend here” and “I don’t know the name of the hotel”, and a quick peek over my shoulder to see what the Aussie guy next to me had written on his arrival card, she gave in and let me pass. I guess if she’d gotten too angry she might have popped a button. And we couldn’t have that.
True his word, Angelo was waiting patiently for me at the arrivals gate – where he had been for the last three hours having not seen my email that we were delayed – and he chaperoned me back to Khao San Road for some Pad Thai noodles and a good catch up.