For the First Time
Three days ago we returned to Thailand--NOT for the first time but for the 11th time, if my memory serves me correctly.
It's been almost three years since we left, just as COVID-19 was wreaking havoc worldwide. So, it is good to return.
BUT this time, I decided I would treat the trip like it was my first. I want to experience it like a newbie--to enjoy the highs and lows, the wonder and uniqueness, to soak in ALL that Thailand is through curious, child-like eyes.
And then, to write about it.
So here I am with my first post and I've already experienced a few firsts: the first time flying Air Canada over the Pacific Ocean AND the first time flying directly from Vancouver all the way to Bangkok. That's 16 hours on the plane which is bearable if you can sleep. Me--I can't. I know that about myself. I slept for about an hour out of sheer exhaustion. Otherwise, I watch brainless movies, I try my hand at games on the console in front of me, I listen to music or downloaded podcasts on my phone, I read, I write on occasion, I play Sudoku, I chat with my neighbour and, when it's offered, I eat. But sometimes I just sit and rest my tired brain and body and listen to my husband's heavy breathing or light snoring.
And time passes--funny how that is. Time always passes.
One of my favourite things about flying? Mealtime, which is ironic since I'm not necessarily a lover of food. On the plane, however, I'm always curious about what will be placed in front of me--sometimes good, sometimes bad. But I appreciate the fact that it breaks up the monotony of the flight.
So, after hours of being scrunched in tight quarters in the dark, I'm always so happy when one of the flight attendants announces over the intercom that the cabin lights will be turned on shortly for the serving of breakfast. That announcement is not so much about the food as it is about the timing. Breakfast is generally served 1 1/2 hours before landing. Breakfast means the flight is almost over!
I will say, however, that breakfast is always my favourite meal on the plane. Maybe because I know what it means. Maybe because I'm a sucker for breakfast. But also maybe because airlines can't go wrong with breakfast food, can they?
Touch down. I like the feeling of the jet wheels touching earth, knowing that soon my feet will also get to touch that same earth.
There's always a certain amount of unpredictability upon arrival in a foreign country, especially one where English is not the main language. Usually there's some new way/new requirement when going through immigration and customs. This time? Easy peasy. It seemed more streamlined, which was a pleasant surprise.
And our bags? They made it too. You can't always expect that to happen. Watching our one purple and two green suitcases circle the baggage claim oval brings relief.
And away we go. Out of the airport. Out into the warm 24C morning air in contrast to the -14C from whence we came. I am FREE! The breeze blows across my face and my wound-up toy body. I release--a quiet jack-in-the-box. Boing!
It is good to be here--for the first time!