Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Back to Bangkok

I am a little reluctant to post this because it sounds whinny to me, but it is written so I guess it should be put someplace. Sorry.

Tuesday December 9th – Bangkok

Well Bangladesh beat me. I hate to admit defeat but it was a tougher opponent that I had envisioned.

Yesterday I bought a plane ticket from Cox's Bazar to Dhaka. I would have got a through ticket to BKK but in Cox's you could only buy domestic tickets. The travel agent assured me I could book a flight internationally there.

I jammed all my worldly possessions in my bags, hailed yesterday's electric cart driver sped off to the airport. Halfway anyway. I Phone 6 and $2k was still in the hotel's safe. No in room safes don't ya know? Eventually with everything in hand I made it to the airport and the plane. The plane took off and the plane landed where it was supposed to.

At the Dhaka airport I started looking for ticket counters and didn't see anything I recognized as such. Then I was told that I was in the Domestic terminal, the International one was 'just over there'. I've learned what 'just over there' means in Bangladesh. I caught a taxi and got gouged, because it was really – just over there.

Still no ticket counters. Actually there were ticket counters, but on a rotating basis between the airlines as were being checked in and then the next airline took over that space. Mr. Saudi Air said that Thai Air was on the second floor. The second floor without an elevator I might add.

Step, drag. Cluck, clunk. Drag, pull I went up the stairs and found Thai Air's office. Closed for lunch or something. They would be back soon passers by assured me. I just sat on the floor by their door and rested. Thirty or forty minutes later a man walks up and says he's with Thai Air. I tell him I want to buy a ticket to BKK. He says the next flight is tomorrow. One flight a day, and while I was waiting for him, he was loading today's flight! ---- He did tell me that Bangkok Air had a flight out later and I should try them --- on the next floor up.

At the stairway a Army/cop/cos-play somebody asked where I was going. He walked me up to Bangkok Arline’s office. I didn't offer to assist me with my baggage in anyway, so clunk, step – etc. The sign on the door said hours 5 pm to 11 pm – it was two in the afternoon. He said I could wait down on the main floor. Then he asked for a tip (“Baksheesh). Really Dude? I gave him about a dollar and he asked for more. SCRAM! I'm tired, I don't feel good, nothing is working out – I was grumpy and didn't have the patience for this uniformed dildo. I walked toward the stairs and he went down the stairs.

Once he was out of sight I sat down, put my little pack behind me for support and wadded up my parka and rested my head on my big bag and dozed. I was aware of people around at times, but ignored them If stairs were in the picture the could carry my limp body down them. Someone came by and asked me if I was alright, and I explained my situation. He said there was an employee elevator down at the end of the hall I was welcome to use, which I did.

I was back up at Bangkok Airlines office about quarter to five and an employee opened the office and asked me what I needed. Buy a ticket? Oh, no you can't do that here. We are only for check in. – Gimme a break Universe ! What should I do, I have no mobile and the airport has no Wi-fi? – he said stick around. At five thirty the rest of the agents came and said it I had a credit card I could use their computers to purchase a ticket. – Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!

Ticket purchased, now to just wait until the 10 pm boarding.

At last the musical chairs check in counters rotated to Bangkok Airlines and bags checked boarding pass in hand off to the gate where hand carry was x-rayed again, and a pat down. I walked into the curtained ladies pat down area and assumed the standing position. Arms out and feet spread. She was gentle and efficient. My computer/camera bag needed further examination. While the guy was trying to figure out of 8 gig memory cards were a threat, she was telling him (I think) something like “She just walked in and …. “. I told her I used to do that for a living, it wasn't that big a deal. Suddenly my electronics filled bag was alright. That made me feel really safe – Not.

The guy sitting next to me was a drinker and a talker. Three and a half glasses of wine and three whiskeys for a two and a half hour flight. He was some sort of NGO or U.S. government worked, doing some thing to do with the law. I put on my headphones and closed my eyes. After landing I took the Bose off and talked some more. He said “ … when I retired from Riverside Sheriff's ..”. I asked him if he knew so and so? Yes, she was my Captain. I said “She was my next door neighbor. She got her job about the same time as I got mine” I am glad we hadn't hit on this at the beginning of the flight, because we were suddenly the bestest oldest friends ever. His card read U.S. Embassy and if I ever needed anything it was mine for the asking. He never asked my name, so feel free to call him if you are even in need of an embassy contact.

I now know BKK almost as well as SeaTac so the trip trough the terminal and taxi was zip, zip. Same for directions to the hotel, which I didn't have reservations at. I was greeted by name and she searched and said only smoking rooms were available. I nixed that, and she called around and found a nice hotel a few blocks away.

I was in bed by 4 am, about the same time I got out of bed the day before, this was supposed to be a day of rest after the slip and fall. I'm glad it was nothing serious.

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