Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Travelogue

2:29 PM
So my journey began at 6:30am, Saturday, when I left for the Tampa airport. I have flown out of that airport numerous, but I have taken so many of its luxuries for wifi for example. So I board my first leg to Dallas and we're off! I was little nervous because I was sitting with a kid and his mom, but he has remarkably well behaved. Way to go parenting. In Dallas, I got to use the nifty new SkyTrain to get to my next destination. With only an hour to kill, the time flew by and soon I was on my way to Tokyo, Japan.

It was a 13 hour flight, no stops. Something I don't American Airlines ever considered when building their aircrafts. True I had a lucky window seat, and with the 2 seats-aisle-5 seats-aisle-2 seats set up, I only to crawl over one other passenger. That was good. But the rows are so crammed together that while in my seat I could barely move. That was bad. One thing I enjoy about international flights is in-flight entertainment, and here AA did not disappoint. With my very own viewing screen, I spent the bulk of my flight watching “X-Men: Wolverine”, “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”, “Star Trek”, and “27 Dresses”. And by the time I began to tire of my iPod games (lifesaver, btw), my trail mix and Elizabeth Bennet slaying zombies (plane book: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), we were preparing our decent into Tokyo.

On Sunday afternoon. Yeah, we crossed that sneaky International Date Line, so I “time traveled” if you will, to an entire different day on my 13 hour flight. But I find my way out of the gate and things get a little tricky. I didn't have a boarding pass for this next leg, but the original ticket counter said it would be no problem in Tokyo, so I hoped she was right. I located the gate for my flight, and I hiked the loooong hallways of Naritu Airport, got my boarding pass, no sweat. So Sunday evening, I board a Thai International flight to Bangkok. And let me tell you what, I would fly the remainder of my flights on Thai International. They really do it right! It was a HUGE plane, double decker, and the 3 seats-aisle-5 seats-aisle-3 seats set up. Their airline colors are bright pink, purple and gold. The flight attendants were on top of everything, hustling about. And I got free headphones and an eye mask! So if one can judge a country by their airlines, I would venture to say that Thailand is about comfort, luxury, and beauty. And America is about the money, cramming as many seats into a plane as (barely) possible in order to sell the most tickets. But, I digress. Sadly, as beautiful as the Thai airline was, it was my least favorite leg. When I boarded I realized it was a SIX hour flight from Tokyo to Bangkok (so like half of the flight I just finished), and its like midnight Florida time, and I was on the aisle. So I did my very best to sleep on and off, but it just left me groggy.

But we finally landed in Bangkok, at like 9pm and another problem presented. My flight to Cambodia is on a completely separate ticket, and I can't get to the baggage claim without a visa to Thailand. Which I don't have. Now, I didn't JUST realize this (I'm not a idiot..usually), and the lady at the ticket counter in Tokyo set it up for my baggage to go through to Siem Reap, I just had to verify it in Bangkok. But I couldn't verify it because the ticket counter wasn't open! So after multiple conversations with airport staff, the only thing for me to do, was to go back and just wait for the ticket counter to open at 5am.

So now, I'm in a foreign airport in the middle of the night, hoping my bags are going where I'm going and trying to figure out how to get some more sleep! Thankfully, the Bangkok airport is huge, and beautiful, so I wander and find an internet cafe (not free) and then an airport lounge that let me crash on their couch for a few hours (with free internet, ugh), but they closed at 12:30am and kicked me out. So as I wandered the shops of the Bangkok, an oasis beckons me from afar. I blink twice to make I'm not seeing things. I'm not, it's true...I've found Starbucks. I run up to the counter, and realize they are still open (24 hours actually) and order an iced vanilla chai (almost tastes the same), sit down in a big padded comfy chair (which will double as my bed in a few), plug in my laptop and write this blog. Not a bad ending to a long weekend. So, tomorrow I tackle Cambodia. And after today, I'm ready to be DONE traveling and just starting LIVING. Until then, from across the globe, good night.

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!


Sarah Elinor said...

Thanks for the update Joy! We were praying that everything would fall into place with your flights and I am so happy it did! Praise God for Starbucks Funny how sometimes when we are totally spent, God will give you a little touch of home and just enough to get you to where your going! (although Im not so sure that narcotics in the form of caffeine would be a God send... but you never know i guess!) Love you girl and missed you today at Watermark!

Joy Joy!!!
I miss you already. Thank you so much for the update! I wish I could be there to experience everything with you. Keep taking pictures and updates. We are praying for you. And I am sorry you had to wander that airport that is awful! I know how that groggy no place to go feeling is. no good. Keep enjoying the new sights and sounds of a new world. We love you!