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...and I took the one less traveled by

Starting out

THAILAND | Wednesday, 4 June 2008 | Views [408]

First, a preface for anyone that will be reading this. This is going to be the longer version of my emails, where I am cliche and write about what's been going on and my thoughts. And if you know me, or have been on my email lists before, I can write lot.... Skim through, or just read the emails if you don't want to know all. I'll be sending links to photo albums I upload, and will post a few on here as well.


Since trying to reach the other half of the world is an adventure in itself, I will start there! I got to the airport about 3 hours early (as recommended) The guy checking me in told me he was going to put me on an earlier flight to Chicago -- this worked out very well in the end because the weather was awful all over the midwest. My mom told me later that had I been on my original flight I would have missed my connection in Chicago. From Chicago I flew to Tokyo Narita, 13 hour flight.

I know everyone knows O'Hare is crazy, but one thing I don't like is if you show up to your gate more than 30 minutes before flight time, there aren't agents there and they don't necessarily have it posted that your flight WILL in fact be leaving from that gate. So I was slightly freaking out that I was at the wrong gate because I had barely heard the connection info -- one told me to go to another terminal, but the screens told me where I was and the gate I was headed to was fine. As it turned out, there were 2 flights leaving for the same airport (tokyo) within 10 minutes of each other, different airlines and different terminals.

Anyway, so flight went well. I sat next to this guy on his way to the Phillipines to see his fiance. He's a pastry chef by trade. He was taking lots of gifts to the people he was visiting and when he tried to check in his bags were over the weight limit. He took out candy and put it in his carry on, which he then gave some to me. dark chocolate and mints. I mean, great, wonderful, I love both.... but I already have enough stuff to carry around. I tried to politely refuse, but that didn't work. so now i have some chocolate that is probably already half melted, but I feel bad just throwing it out. I mean, i guess I could just leave it somewhere/ on the street, but then all the MANY stray dogs would eat it. Trash cans are hard to come by here.

After Tokyo -- and the almost scare I had when they asked me where my visa for Thailand was, since I'm technically here 6 weeks according to my flight schedule....It ended up not being a problem in customs -- 7 hour flight from Tokyo to Bangkok. Both flights had the little personal screens for watching movies. I think I watched 4 or so over both flights. On that flight I again had a window seat. Drawback was the guy not wearing deodorant next to me that literally made me gag a few times. BLEH. So the cool thing that happened that I'm going to post a video for -- When I flew over Manila, there was a thunderstorm/cloud out my side of the plane and I could watch the lightning going on inside it. Thank you Eric Snodgrass & Atmos 120 (Sever & Hazardous weather) I know all about those! I thought it was great, considering we weren't flying through it.

When I looked at the flight path we were taking I was a little confused. From Japan we flew south over the Phillipines and then west to SE Asia. A more direct route would have been over China. Since I don't pay attention to the news... is there a no fly concern still happening with China and that was why we avoided it? Someone figure this out.

I arrived in Bangkok, got my bag (THANK GOODNESS) and went through customs no problems. Poong, the friend of the son of a woman my mom has bible study with, who is Thai and lives and works in Bangkok, was at the airport with her friend and brother to pick me up when I arrived. We left the airport to walk to the car and stepped out of the AC -- the humidity SLAMMED into me when I left. Literally, I was taken aback by it. I've found that it's not necessarily HOT here, just SOOOO humid that you constantly sweat. more on that fun later. Poong drove me to my hostel -- I SAW AN ELEPHANT ON THE STREET -- which was out in Sukhumvit. I checked in there after midnight. I was in a shared dorm style room with 10 beds -- there were 9 of us. We shared 3 bathrooms with other rooms.

Tags: bangkok, khao san rd, thailand, travel, wat

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