Thailandsurvival III: Part One

สุขสันต์วันคริสต์มาส!

No, my blog hasn’t been taken over by spam, that is actually Merry Christmas in Thai (even though they don’t celebrate Christmas).  Fascinating symbols they use, you should hear their version of the Alphabet song.

My 2.5 weeks in Thailand are coming to a close giving me time to reflect on my time here, I can’t regale you with many adventures as there are few situations that arise from lying on a sun lounger all day – well, one day the lounger suddenly fell back of its own accord when I was reading, one side had slipped out of its slot but I just put it back and carried on with what I was doing.

No holiday, or no holiday blog post can truly begin without a tumultuous journey to your destination as witnessed in Egyptsurvival: The Diarrhea Diaries.

So my tale begins at Heathrow Terminal 5, I’ve enjoyed a pleasant lunch and my alcohol intake has commenced.  We begin our walk to gate B48 when we spot a couple asking for directions of a passer-by.  We pass them and then they shoot past us in a blur.  I check the signs above that I am going in the right direction.  Affirmative.

We soon catch up to them as they stopped again to ask for directions.  The cycle repeats a further time.   I get to my gate as they catch up to the same point.  I wouldn’t say I am particularly adept at understanding an airport signage, but armed with my gate number and a sign pointing to the gate I find it isn’t the hardest code to crack.

I note a lot of French people are on the flight, We gauge that there must have been a connection in Paris prior, a tad annoying as it meant the half full flight was now full and the prospect of a 12 hour flight in potential discomfort sunk in.

I’ve honestly never understood the animosity toward the French, I stress I never understood, I soon would.

My seat was called, from seats 32 to 49, a small queue formed, the attendants separated the multitude of people who are born with the defect which renders them being unable to understand instructions, to one side.  I was then was pushed aside by a girl who declared she was seat 37 and proceeded to push her way to the front.  My plane nemesis had arrived.  I cast her a steely glare.

It began innocently enough people found their seats and adjusted themselves.  Then the guy in front of me puts his bags into the overhead as various debris cascades down upon me, he looks and ignores and takes his seat.  I pick off his debris from my person.  Then as soon as we took off my knees are crushed by the weight of their chair in front, I manage to contort myself into a position where I can see around to give him one of my glares. But he is wearing a sleep mask (it’s 4 in the afternoon) and has blanketed himself and has decided he is going to pretend to be in business class despite the compact surroundings.

I observed the homosexual flight attendant and a knowing exchange ensured my constant supply of vodka.

The guy in front was unwakeable when the ladies trapped by his position on the aisle, they shook him for 10 minutes.   He would begrudgingly wake so we were able to eat before resuming his position in my lap.

As the spirits took their toll I kept poking my partner across the aisle who was engrossed in movies for entertainment, with the seat in front of me being so low I could no longer view my screen and since BA only have screens the size of smartphones I found it a pointless exercise attempting it.

As I leant in to speak to my partner a noxious smell engulfed my nostrils, a stench akin to something rotting, it smelled of death and stale cigarettes, of soiled bathrooms, of unwashed clothes.   I looked around to see where this evilness was emanating from, then I saw him, it wasn’t hard as he was sat in front of my partner.

He was leering over at women in other seats, licking his lips and eyes bulging from its sockets.  He was a single male traveller to Thailand, which usually means he is going there for sex.  I shuddered and thought of the poor girls or guys who would have this foul-smelling wretch breathing over them, inside them.

He had tried to throw his seat back too without checking if it was ok, my partner predicting this put his hand up to stop the seat being set back.  An argument ensued in French, what happened I asked, “Nothing, he’s just a dirty french paedo” he replied.  Not being multilingual as he is I rely on my glares which are universally understood.

I called over an attendant for more drinks who said this was the last time and we would have to get our own in future,  I chuckled at this so very British response.  I reminisced about flying with a good airline with staff who did their jobs and enjoyed it.  I imagine going to a restaurant and being told to go order your food with the chef.  Or walking to a bar and asking for a drink to be told to do it yourself.  Anyway, I would go help myself, they wished they hadn’t when I cleaned them full-out of vodka before proceeding to gin.

They spent the next 8  hours chatting out back and not attending to anyone as they turned off the cabin lights and most people complied and fell asleep.  I found the only other person who was breaking convention, she was celebrating a 10 year anniversary and was as tipsy as I was.  We connected over both our partners choosing to ignore our increasing drunkenness and had a good old chat outside the attendants station, topping up our drinks as needed.  She asked if we were celebrating an anniversary, no I replied, just on holiday.

After we were told of for talking to loudly as people were sleeping and defending ourselves by reminding them it was  only 7.30 in the evening we departed to our seats.  I then recalled it actually was our anniversary, the 10th December when we first met, I hadn’t even made the connection.

Though I expect hers was a wedding anniversary and as for mine?  I’m not sure you can get a card from Hallmark commemorating the anniversary of an online hook up.   “Happy Anniversary, thanks for not giving me genital herpes”

*********

Today’s blog header to commemorate my soon to be departure from Camden Town is the bridge that runs over the lock canal connecting the markets.  A lovely spot surrounded by weeping willows and pubs where you can watch the barges lowering and rising as it passes through the canal’s lock system

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20 Comments

  1. You will never be a travel writer with that attitude… Ha Merry Christmas buddy

    Reply
  2. The extra few bucks for legroom is always money well spent.

    And to be fair, I think Hallmark is missing a very popular niche by not offering those cards.

    Reply
  3. This post is loaded with the joys of long-distance travel … and here’s something for you.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

     /  December 26, 2013

    Sweaty pervs on a plane is a film worthy of Samuel L

    Reply
  5. I think you’ve struck gold with that Hallmark card. Millions of people would buy them!
    Happy to hear you’re lounging and drinking in Thailand. I would kill to be there right about now (Maine had a big ice storm last week)

    Reply
  6. Oh how I love your travel stories. I hope some day you’ll post a picture of your international glare. And happy anniversary, Joe!

    Reply
    • Thanks! Most people do too much on holiday and miss the little things. Sure you can go skiing and break a leg or you can sit and spy on people and write it up on a blog

      Reply
  7. I’m surprised no one’s ever been murdered for reclining too far for too long on a plane.

    I once sat behind a tall bald man who put his seat back all the way for the whole flight. It took all my willpower to keep from drawing rude pictures on the top of his head.

    Reply
  8. You old romantic you.

    Reply
  9. I am so glad I don’t fly anymore! In Europe, it seems like you guys fly anywhere at the drop of a hat. Going on holiday – fly to Spain or Italy or wherever! But it sounds like flying is becoming as desirable as sitting on a Greyhound bus.

    Reply
    • It is convenient and very cheap to pop to Europe for a weekend. But you’re right their are consequences in the experience of doing so.

      Happy New Year!

      Reply
  10. Happy New Year Joe! Look forward to spending time together in 2014! Pics from new place please!

    Reply
    • Moving in a few weeks by all accounts. Not as nice as where I live now, but that’s the price you pay to buy a property.

      Gonna miss Camden

      Reply
  11. You’re so funny Joe. I was missing reading you, so catching up on posts I’ve missed. Just ignore my wanderings around your blog.

    Reply

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