Bangkok: Almost

The Dzong at Paro

The Dzong at Paro

Driven to Paro from Thimphu to catch my plane to Bangkok, I couldn’t help falling asleep on the hour long trip. Not very good company for the driver.
I managed to compress all of my augmented belongings into two bags again, folding the Gho really carefully (the thing is huge), even folding my dirty laundry, finding room for this huge book of data on Bhutan and all of the other presents I’ve been given as well as the tchotchkies I’ve picked up here and there. Unfortunately its all so heavy now I can barely carry it. Exquisitely planned this trip was not, at least on my part. How my visas and tickets and transportation got arranged in 3 days by everyone else I have no idea.

I almost made it 2 weeks without getting sick. Almost!!! The night before I leave I end up with the runs, and it is not pleasant people! I’ll spare you the details.

In the airport it’s impossible to understand the announcements, so when a large number of people head for the door I assume its time to go. When I find my seat on the plane however, the video monitors show a 25 minute flight to Guwahati, India…not a much longer flight to Bangkok. Have I told you about once hopping an expensive overnight ferry from Mallorca to Barcelona, only to wake up in Ibiza? That was my 21st birthday. Anyway, some anxious inquiries suggest I’m on the correct flight anyway, and off we go. Bhutan slowly disappears into mist and then clouds, and I feel a little nostalgic, a little grateful, and a little eager to be home again.

We are warned that photography is not allowed at Guwahati, the same warning we got in Kolkata. A steward comes through after some passengers disembark, verifying that every bag in the overheads has an owner, and I suddenly realize they are very concerned about terrorism. I thought at first that they didn’t want the rather forlorn state of the infrastructure to become public knowledge.

Lunch is served on the next leg, chicken or veg, rice with more veg, roll, salad, yogurt, carrot cake (not too sweet or frosted thank god)…coffee…I sleep the whole way to Bangkok. There, we’re loaded onto a bus, delivered to the terminal, ushered with very confusing directions to immigration, directed to belt 10 for bags, I change $60 because I don’t know what to expect even though I’m only here for a day, and then I wander off to look for a phone to order up the hotel van. Only, when I’m directed to a phone, I can’t for the life of me figure out how much money to stick in it since it obviously isn’t free. I wander some more, find a guy who directs me to a guy, wander some more, get redirected to another guy, who calls the hotel on his cell, and then 10 minutes later escorts me to the van. “Wandering” seems like an inadequate system, but it worked for me.

Music videos on BANG TV

Music videos on BANG TV

Thai television is very…saccharine. It’s 6:30 pm. I have to get up at 5:30am to catch the flight to Tokyo…find the most amazing cup of coffee in Bangkok, which is 30 kilometers away, or catch a quick dinner locally, or simply call it a night…hmmmm.

One Response to “Bangkok: Almost”

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