Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 67: Closing the Circle

One night in Bangkok, and the world's your oyster.
The bars are temples, but the pearls ain't free.
from Chess, lyrics by Tim Rice

Well, we are only going to spend 10 hours in Bangkok, and our flight leaves at midnight so I don't think I will get in any trouble here today.

It's a terrible layover, but even back in the first week of April when we bought our tickets, the flight leaving 3 hours earlier was booked full. It takes so long to get into and out of Bangkok - and then you are never sure if the cab is going to take you where you want to go - that we had decided to tough it out at the airport. Not that tough, really, since the Thai Air lounge is one of the best we've been in. And to confirm our decision to stay here, right now the clouds have burst and it looks pretty much like a monsoon outside.

And just to make it a bit nicer, Thai Air offers passengers in the lounge a free massage while they're waiting. Which really contrasts with the customer service we've been getting from Lufthansa on this trip.

Lufthansa seems to have abandoned its heritage and can't seem to do the simple things right. We have been on three legs of this trip with them. On two legs, they couldn't quite figure out how to give us boarding passes where we would be sitting next to one another. And on last night's long leg, despite our booking more than 5 months ago, they put us together but in the back row seats next to the kitchen.

Which meant that when we were looking to doze off at midnight after leaving Frankfurt, we had roughly as much noise as a factory just behind our seats. And besides the clatter of all the dinner trays, the crew seemed to be having a good old time, laughing heartily for at least the first hour I was trying to sleep and showing typical Prussian compassion for tired old guys.

It all sounds a bit petty, I guess, but I do get cranky when I want my zzz's.

Anyhow, the circle is complete tomorrow. Due to arrive in Sydney at noon - assuming the forecast of gale force winds doesn't make the plane change plans.

Both of us are feeling a sense of unreality that we will be home tomorrow after being gone so long. LK has started putting together a list of things we need to do. And she's thinking a party would be a good idea to catch up with everyone.

But first, this night in Bangkok.

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