Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Around The World 2011 Day 1: L.A. to Bangkok

Believe it or not, the above title was not an easy decision.  In 2009, we traveled throughout Europe and I referred to it most often as Eurotour 2009.  In 2010, we did the same and I shortened the phrase to Europe 2010.  Well, this summer site inspections needed be done in, shall we say, faraway places.  Originally we had appointments to check out hotels, and therefore restaurants and sites, in the usual European nations.  But then... Barbie got the call from a company called Trails of Indochina.

Sure enough, this summer we circumvent that little thing you call a globe.  We head West from Los Angeles over the Pacific Ocean and do we turn back?  Heck no.  We keep moving West.  Everyone knows that West is the most American of directions.

The whole point to this preamble is that I could not call this a Europe trip, or an Asian trip.  And I refuse to call it a Eurasian Trip.  Yet I have to call it something.  And no way can I call it A Trip In General no matter how much I like that title. After a meeting with the board of directors it was decided that this summer would be called Around The World because we are, quite literally, going around the world.

You cannot go Around The World without starting somewhere.  We begin, of course, with LAX.  (Yes, I spared you yet another Prius cab ride shot.  Though, technically, you can see the driver's side mirror of the Prius cab in this shot.)  (So there.)

Do you have one thing that you never remember?  For me that used to be a belt.  Now I always remember the belt.  But with the advent of iPods and iPhones, earbuds and/or headphones are as important to travel as, say, underwear.  And guess what I never remember to put in my pocket on a travel day?  Those God forsaken earbuds.  To make matters worse, the earbuds are also meant to allow me to watch movies on the MacBook Air.  And I loaded quite a few movies or this trip.

As we stood at the Thai Air counter checking in, I turned to Barbie and said, "Curse, curse word."  And she looked at me and replied, "You forgot your earphones, didn't you."  I married her for her brains you know.

What is a traveller to do?  Find some airport electronics store to rip me off?  We are in the international terminal.  There are very few stores.  Am I about to fly for 18 hours without earbuds?
There is an overpaid executive at Best Buy who, as of today, I consider a little less overpaid than I considered him yesterday.  This kiosk of traveller's electronics at standard (not marked up) Best Buy prices means that yours truly had earbuds in his pocket before getting on the mother scratching plane.
On our way to the Thai Air lounge.  We have never flown this airline before.  The anticipation was palpable!
Thai Air Lounge Candid, June 2011.
That, my friends, is our ride across the Pacific.
As soon as we were seated in our seats, the screens in front of us showed us the above globe and flight plan.  There is no denying it.  Thailand is not close.

Now... this is a little strange.  Right before takeoff, I noticed that my window was a little loose.  I know what you nervous nellies would have done.  You would have hit that flight attendant button and shouted, "Excuse me!  This window is loose!"  Not me.  No way.  I put the wrist strap of my iPhone on tight and leaned out that window to shoot a video during takeoff.
I cannot explain why there are sheep on this passenger jet.

Okay.  If you cannot tell that I was kidding above, kidding about everything, then you are not the kind of person I need to care about in the first place.  Of course I did not lean out the window.  This Thai Air jet features a camera in its nose that they route to all the screens in the cabin, so that we, the passengers, can look straight ahead and see where we are going.  How cool is that?  Thai Air, I am digging your sauce.

We will see if I remember to make digging your sauce a motif this summer.  Sometimes the slightly clever is not worthy of motif-ness, but that sauce deal might have what it takes, mostly because I have never heard it said before.
The moment we took off the gentleman across from me went to sleep.  I saw this as a prime opportunity to show YOU, the loyal Waster, Thai Air's sleepy chair bed thingy.

By the way... a lot of people on this flight are... Asian.

I know what you want now.  You want a travel tip.  Allow me.

When travelling by air, always wear a hoodie.  Yes, a hoodie.  Why?  There is no more versatile garment.  Observe.
It is keeping me warm and keeping the light out of my eyes.  Can you do that with a sweater?  With a jacket?  Absolutely not.  Fly with a hoodie or be a sad, miserable, pathetic person.  (Hey, should I mention you can get a hoodie with a Colossal Waste logo on it?  I had better not.  I do not own one myself.  Yet.)

After a meal that was not worth of photography, Barbie slipped me a magical cocktail of a Benadryl and something else.  And there was sleep.  A lot of it.  Every time I would wake to adjust my position, I went back to sleep again effortlessly until we were far across that International Date Line.  We were 16 hours away from Los Angeles and one hour from Bangkok.  (Must have gotten a tail wind or something.)

Yes, June 29, 2011 basically never happened to us.  Sure, we experienced it for an hour or so before going to sleep, but that day soon ceased to exist.  Crossing the international date line is a trip.  I highly recommend it for those who like mind puzzles.  And while you are at it, google the stories about Samoa having only 364 days this year so that they can jump to the other side of the date line and join their neighbors after a half century of being tied to the USA's day.  That is Samoa, not American Samoa.
When we finally awoke, this was on display in front of me.  I thought I would share it.  Not everyone has an exact idea in their head where Thailand sits.
A point of view shot from my seat on Thai Air.
Breakfast was good!  But I did not take a picture of it.  Above sits meal three.  Yes, three meals.  I told you this was a long flight.
My last meal of the flight, a rice-y noodle-y thing.
Right before we landed, I got another chance to give you a better idea where you can find Thailand.  A little East and a little South from India.  A bit North and a bit West from Australia.  Right next to Cambodia and Laos and Vietnam and Malaysia and Singapore and all those other countries that most people cannot find on a map, even though these nations could quite literally be the economic engines of the coming century.
Full disclosure.  I always had a thing for Thailand because a friend from college had grown up there.  A very pretty friend, if my drift is caught.  And in my head Thailand was a peninsula.  Wrong!  It is part of one, sure, but the lower half of that peninsula is Malaysia.  And the part of that peninsula where Thailand sits is shared with Burma/Myanmar.  So... thanks educational system.  I blame you, not myself, for this one.

I have already cheated.  It is already the next day.  But it seemed right to finish this post at the point where we landed in Bangkok, even if that means that June 28, 29, & 30 were all involved in the above verbiage.

Until tomorrow....

No comments:

Post a Comment