I made it to Bangkok!!
This is how I got here:
2 hrs early to the airport - and I needed 1.5 of them to get through the international check-in process and security.
10.5 hrs - flight from Portland to Narita (where I found the dirtiest airport bathrooms you will ever encounter)
almost 2 hr layover
6 hrs - flight from Japan to Thailand
40 min - customs & baggage claim
35 min - drive to the hotel
Quite the journey!
It really wasn't so bad. My first leg I had three seats to myself so I was able to lay down for a bit. It sounds great and all, until you try to make yourself fit in three airline seats comfortably. You can't hang your feet out, so your knees always have to be bent. And where do your arms go? It's just an awkward attempt at sleep. I think I only laid down for about an hour total, and then slept sitting up a bit as well. It was really nice having all the space to spread out though.
The second flight-TONS of turbulence and I didn't take my anxiety pill cause I felt like I would be totally fine, just like I was on the last flight (um, where I actually did take the pill). But by the time I realized I really wanted it, I realized it was in my bag up in the luggage bin. I had a window seat and the turbulence was really bad so there was no way I was getting it.
About halfway here, I started sneezing. Not just a couple sneezes here and there, but like a couple sneezes every 15 minutes. The guy in front of me probably thought I was deathly ill. Funny thing about that - I didn't see him at the Japan airport, but when I got my seat on the second flight, he was in front of me AGAIN! What are the odds of that happening?? Esp given that the first flight was only half full and the second was completely full. Anyway, I sneezed behind him for 16.5 hours. Sorry!!
And the sneezing has continued. I sneezed all over Bangkok today.
I found a little convenience store at one point when I was lost and wandering the streets near the Grand Palace and went in to find none of the workers spoke English, so I tried to explain to the girl what I wanted by showing her my tissues and pretending to wipe my noise, and she offered me some tissues. So I said, "achoo achoo" and the three girls behind the counter laughed like it was the best joke ever. She gave me a red packet of pills that look like Tylenol. They didn't help. I later found a pharmacy and the woman did speak English and offered me something for colds. She opened the box right up and sold me just enough for four days. I took some shortly before coming back to the hotel (I had a deadline to meet for work) and within an hour, my eyes were closing. typically cold meds don't make me sleepy but it's possible the meds and a little jetlag were what did me in. I woke up in a panic and somehow got my work done on time.
Half of my first day was nonstop walking and boy can you tell by the blister on my foot. And I think I sweated out 2 pounds of water. But I had some great adventures - I took the metro train, it's a really cool subway that is 2 stories and runs all over the city above the streets. I got to see a LOT of it because I was lost almost every other hour. I also took the water taxis - who knew Bangkok was like Venice?? Not me. I love the water taxis. And they are super cheap, so when I got on the wrong one and had to go back to another one, it wasn't expensive! And then I got lost when I came off the subway-train-thing on my way back to the hotel and had to take a taxi, which cost me the same amount as my combined train and water taxi rides to go about 6 blocks (he was supposed to turn the meter on, he didn't and just started driving and later quoted me a price-I should have fought harder on paying him!). Three local forms of transportation in one day! A great way to explore a new city.
I took tons of pictures already, but alas, I forgot my cord to upload them so they will have to wait. I will have to try to take some with my cell phone so I can share.
We had a thunder storm that may have been the most severe one I've ever seen -lightening striking everywhere, the rain was just pelting, the sky was so gloomy, and the thunder was SO LOUD. Luckily it started right before I sat down to lunch and it somehow magically ended right after I finished. Just like I planned..hahaha. I took a video which I might be able to upload, but not tonight.
I'm off to bed so I can try to get some sleep before my 630am tour in the morning. It'll be nice to have a guide with me so I don't gain any more blisters just by being lost, though if I hadn't gotten lost, I wouldn't have made some girls so entertained with my achoo achoo. And I would have probably been caught walking in that horrible storm.
Good night from Thailand!
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