I have arrived.
After a two hour flight to Seattle, our seven hour layover flew by (thanks, beer!) and we boarded the ten hour plane ride to Tokyo. We lucked out, as my tv screen wasn’t working, so the stewardess let me move to a different seat – meaning more space for both me and my mom. The stewardess also gave me a free cocktail for my “troubles.”
On the brief layover in Tokyo – just half an hour when all was said and done – I accomplished my only task: acquire seaweed snacks. I think the 120 pack I bought should do for a while. Yummy.
In Bangkok my mom and I said our exhausted goodbyes. My layover there was another eight hours, so I found a bench and had a nap. A little while before boarding time I popped outside for a smoke, which is when I met Pascal. He’s a guy about my age from Switzerland, and has been to Phuket ten times as his dad lives here. Naturally we became friends instantly. After sharing a cab from the Phuket airport to Patong Beach, we arrived at the hotel by his dad’s place, and it’s gorgeous. I mean it’s not some swanky luxury thing, but it’s way nicer than my usual; there’s a balcony and a huge tv and bed… Ok maybe this doesn’t sound exciting but after travelling for 36 hours it’s pretty damn amazing. So now I await Pascal to finish his shower and we’re straight off to the beach (beers certainly included).
So while I wait for him I’ll finish up this blog with two tidbits of random information:
1. I do not travel with a towel. Ever. No towel. I gave up on sham wows last year.
2. I realised that travelling alone is so much better for me in an odd way; every time I take a plane, train, bus, or boat, my stomach pains kick in. It’s honestly more surprising if I’m not in pain. So believe me, I’m not the biggest fan of these journeys though I do them often. What I realised, though, is it’s bad for me to have someone with me as then I can complain. If I’m alone I keep it to myself and silently suffer and curse in my head. Having someone there just makes me hyper aware of the pain. Interesting.
Off to the beach with me!
I have this weird and perfect sensation. I’ve been waiting for it to hit; I’m going to Thailand… I’m IN Thailand.
It never hit. Not even now, after an hour or two on the beach, sitting in a bar along a strip of all bars (there are 12,000 bars in Phuket, imagine this street…)
And I know why at last.
This is not shock to me. There’s nothing to hit. Being in Canada was shocking… And unpleasant. But no culture shock is hitting; no sense of, “oh my god I’ve left Canada on a one way trip,” is being felt. And I finally realise that THIS is my life. My life is nomadic. My life shows new environments. My life is on the road, alone, yet never alone. There is no shock to be felt, for I’m living, finally, like… Me!
PS From Irish Times in a mall in Phuket, I call bullshit on jet lag.
PPS From an hour later, I take it back. Also, I am thinking from my first half day that Thailand is just like Peru if everyone in Peru was on monumental amounts of acid.
PPPS A tuk-tuk in Peru is a motorcycle with three wheels with a passenger bench in the back. In Thailand it is an open air van with techno music and trippy lights.
PPPPS Please vote for my travel story, Welcome to the Jungle, at www.intravelmag.com!