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The way to Bangkok

rain 28 °C

Sitting in a cosy armchair on the rooftop of my hostel in Bangkok, I can announce that I made it here in more or less good condition, not feeling jetlagged actually.

Some words to my way here.

I spent my last night in Hamburg at my parents house organising things until four in the morning, then sleeping like a baby until seven. My mother and me started to the airport around nine and got stuck in the typical Hamburg traffic jam only twenty minutes later. My adrenelin level was skyhigh in seconds, as I wanted to be at the airport by ten, so we left the motorway at the next exit and went on by train, which would have been the better way to go anyway.

My mother got off at Barmbek to fetch the only pullover I wanted to bring along, but left hanging on the wardrobe in my flat the evening before :(

I went on to the airport on my own, where I met my sister and father and checked in my luggage. I felt well prepared and as I did all the check-in stuff a lot in the past years, it wasn't that exciting. My mother met us some minutes later (which was honestly a relief) and when looking back, my pullover was a really precious item on the flight. Would have arrived here stiff frozen without it.

We kissed and waved goodbye and I could hardly suppress my own tears when my mother started crying. It weren't the first tears in past 2 days that I had seen and I am quite happy by now to hopefully not see any for the next weeks. It made me feel guilty and I will always prefer to make people laugh instead of making them cry.

I spent the next 15 hours in the hands of Norwegian Airways, and what they call "service" is worth some stories.

We were boarding when our plane should have been in the air already, the pilot apologised that they had a five minutes delay when arriving in Hamburg (why this caused a 30 minutes delay to take off again didn't make sense to me, but anyway), I felt a bit nervous, because according to schedule I had only 80 minutes in Oslo until the connection flight to Bangkok would take off. And those minutes were melting away like an icecube in the desert.

When we arrived in Oslo, I hurried to the gate and had just the time to go to bathroom before boarding started, punctually at 14:20.

I was seated next to a young Norwegian couple, chose to sit close to the gangway this time as I hate to wake up people next to me when I needed a pee. Was a good choice after all, as there wasn't that much to see outside anyway.

What I still don't understand was the following: scheduled depature was 14:40. Instead of taking off at that time, our plane remained grounded for 1.5 hours without any obvious reason. And it's obviously not Norwegians politics to keep their passengers informed whats going on. But with no connection flight to catch this time, this wasn't by far the biggest problem I had with them. As soon as we took off I fell asleep as if someone had hit me on the head.

When I woke up again 2 hours later, I felt dead hungry. No wonder with one bun in the morning and a half peppermint chocolate bar on the flight to Oslo being the only food so far.

Something I had missed when I booked my ticket, was that when you go with Norwegian, you have to preorder a meal. Otherwise you don't get anything- not even a drop of water- until everybody else who ordered one got theirs (which takes about 2 hours). And what you can order then, is well described by the word "snack" but for, well, Norwegian prices. I ate the other half of my peppermint chocolate bar, thinking about how to cope with the next 10 hours. A former friend told me that the tabwater in aircrafts is actually of drinkable quality but for a reason I forgot about, they are not allowed to label it lake that (and for Norwegian there is obviously no reason to do so as there is only water supply in return for money). Correct, even on a twelve hours flight you don't get anything without payment. Not even a smile from the cabin crew. When I saw the stewardess refill the brand waterbottles from the trolleys with - guess what, tabwater from the boardkitchen- and found no sign, that the tabwater in the bathrooms is not drinkable, I refilled my collapsable waterbottle in the bathroom. Hehe. And survived it without any problems. The hunger problem was solved by purchasing a 250 g milkchocolate bar from the on board duty free for 6 dollars. Probably the best calories per dollar deal available on board. The same chocolate from the "snack bar" was 40 g for almost the same price...

Yet not the biggest problem I had with them.

After watching Black Swan and 5 more hours to go, I decided to take another nap. Not that easy with a child two rows behind me changing between sleeping and screatching in unbelievable decibels every five minutes. And what did I do, being a well prepared pharmacist? I popped half a pill of zopiclone and within 15 minutes passed out completely. Would always do that again, because when I woke up 4 hours later I felt refreshed and relaxed.

Soft landing in Bangkok with half an hour delay, made it through the passport control without any problems. Nobody cared about my onward travel ticket, which I had booked to skip the need for a tourist visa (40 dollars from Bangkok to Siam Reap on July 3rd, of which the 50% airport fee are refundable. Will decide later if I'm going to use it).

Everybody got their luggage except for- well- me. I had feared that would happen, it was left behind in Oslo, since there wasn't enough time to transfer it, I was told. Didn't understand it, our airplane had been standing around there for 1.5 hours doing nothing. They offered to deliver it to my hostel the next morning. Best thing about this is that I didn't have to carry the 13 kilos to the hostel myself. I looked down at myself, wearing transperent compressiontights underneath my zipoff trowsers in hiking boots...looked weird (especially after zipping off the legs), but thought I could live with that for one day and since losing my temper wouldn't have made my luggage reappear, I decided to take things as they are and not let my actually good mood be destroyed by this instance.

I hit the first 7 eleven I could find to help myself to some kind of breakfast (guess my need for chocolate is cured for the next weeks), took the trains to the hostel, found it instantly and was allowed to check-in though being there 3 hours too early. I sank to my bed and woke up only once when the room was being cleaned. Not knowing where I was, I must have looked pretty shocked at the woman. But she just smiled and said "sleep". And so I did.

I have decided to go slow today and get aclimatised to the (really!) humid air. Strolled around the hood in the afternoon and did some shopping at the 7 eleven. What makes me sad is that you can buy drinks only in cans or plastic bottles (which I actually wanted to avoid). Only found one brand of water which is sold in (tiny) glass bottles :( and I'm looking forward to having my reusable shopping bag (safely packed in my luggage -.-), because for those couple of items I bought were packed in three plastic bags.

Right now looking forward to my first thai beer (Chang). So cheers everybody and read you soon.

Btw: to those who haven't noticed yet, there is a "Subscribe" button on the right. If you leave an email address, you will be informed as soon as there is something happening here. Probably won't do such detailed reports every day ;)

Posted by Augensternchen 06:54 Archived in Thailand Tagged bangkok_start

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