And it begins! Exactly thirty hours after leaving my house in Menands, New York, I arrived at my hostel in Sukhumvit, Bangkok. Things of note:
- As I was about to get off my first 13 hour flight leg in Tokyo, doctors boarded in the plane in getups that were some sort of odd combination of hazmat suits and scrubs. They walked up and down breathing creepily in their masks and staring at everyone. Then an announcement came on thanking us for our patience and letting us now they were taking one of the passengers into quarantine, and if any of us would like masks just let a flight attendant know. Gee thanks, after our air has been circulating with Swine Flu Patient X’s for 13 hours, now that they’re getting off, yes, now I’d really love a mask.
- In contrast to my New York to Chicago flight last week, where I was snarled at for asking if they had any pillows on board, I was totally spoiled by ANA air. In addition to the pillows and blankets, I had my own little screen on which I watched whatever movies I wished (The Reader and Gran Torino) and played Tetris till my fingers hurt on my own little remote controller. Every time I glanced up there was a smiling flight attendant shoving food at me. They even had little baby Haagen Daaz ice creams! Which I may or may not have had seconds of.
- Anyway, the hostel is very friendly (I have a private room), and the reception people came out and greeted me when they saw my cab outside, and then even carried my human sized backpack upstairs! The room is clean but pretty tired. Its a good thing that I was exhausted and passed out easily or I’m not sure how well I would adjust to Southeast Asian mattresses. I understood that the beds were quite firm in Asia but what I didn’t understand was that by “quite firm”, they actually meant “we piled a bunch of cinder blocks together and put a fitted sheet over them.” Not that I’m complaining. I woke up this morning in Bangkok! Thailand!
Off we go!