Yesterday went slowly, I repacked twice, threw some more gear out, added some in, charged the phone twice, looked at my watch 20 times. Finally, relief, at 3.30 we head to the airport, checkin, security goes well for me, no alarms because of my metal knees, instead I get the full body scan, I wished the Navigator could see the scan so she can tell me what I have wrong with me, but I suspect the good Dr Reid really knows whats wrong. Despite whats on the news regarding the airlines being in a mess, QF2047 arrives early, everyone is checked in so we actually leave early and arrive in Sydney early. T2 to T1 by train, Rydges check in, healthy meal at Macca’s then after a discussion on Australian political issues TMM nods off, so I get stuck into a Candice Fox crime thriller on the Kobo.
Give me a human anytime
We’re on the plane, finally, 3-4 hours into the flight, and about to leave Australian territory. Jeez there is a lot of Australia. Not sure exactly where we are but there are a lot of big rivers below, the Moving Map is a static blank screen, technology is a treat because you dont have to deal with human beings, but more about that later, one thing The Navigator and I think TMM and I agree on.
An early start, we get to Qantas checkin at 6.15am, who said I sleep in! Now we aren”t Business Class or Qantas Club so we don’t get to go to see a human being, we get sent to a roped off pen with machines and some pleasant women to help us master the technology. I read the screen as I’m going through the process, I’m feeeling confident as just last night I mastered the Maccas ordering screen and assisted Dale with his order, but it says you cant check in power packs,you have to take them in carry on luggage, I’m warm (sweating in my Kathmadu polar fleece), I take my bag off, unlock the lock but then cant get the lock off because the cable tie is blocking it. F…..!, So calm down Pauolo, unlock the small compartment, find scissors, cut cable ties, scrummage around find battery f….g pack, tidy up, lock it all up and start the check in over again. Feel like I’ve just arrived in Bangkok, sweat trickling down my neck. Meanwhile the human help has been great, its those f….g machines I hate. Baggage check in next, this nearly brings me undone, the bag is on the scales, but thinks its a backpack (sort of is but isnt) so won’t sent it, the human help comes over and sorts it out. Glad we got there early.
Next step is through the gates of no return. The lineup is long but patience prevails, I’m jealous of the ones with kids and old people (wait…. I’m one of them!) who go through via the short line. Next step is breakfast and seeing we’ve mastered Maccas and the Qantas f…up check in we try the Maccas order screen again for a healthy breakfast. TMM (The Maintenance Man for those of you with dementia) does his first solo run on the Maccas machine, what a legend.
QF23 to Bangkok is delayed a little because catering is short staffed or their trolly broke, at least its humans and not robots loading it up. The pilot, Captain Juan Fangio Something-OrOther, assures us he’ll have us in Bangkok on time, TMM brings out the Minties with a look of doubt on his face. Lets see. As usual the food is crap, definitely not up to Macca’s standards.
The movies are not that impressive, so I switch the Bose headphones over to the phone to write this rubbish and listen to some music eg Lana Del Rey, Amy Shark, The Heavy, Billy D & The Hudoos, All Them Witches, Playing For Change, mostly blues and weird shit a lot of you wouldn’t like. This will get me to Bangkok.
There aren’t any weird or interesting people on the flight, that I can see anyway, what a tame bunch. There’s the odd person picking their nose and scratching their bum when they stand up. I know I could make some stuff up about people but you’d probably pick that, I’m assuming if you’ve read this far that you are intelligent and perceptive people. Sometimes boring is good.
The last bit into Bangkok we can see green and paddy fields, and buildings everywhere. There is a little confusion as we come off the plane trying to work out where immigration is and where you pick up bags, but oodles of Thai women in tight uniforms sort us all out, and we find ourselves with our bags at Exit gate 3-4 and sign with our names on it. a nice drive in a flash black Honda hybrid sedan to our hotel the Siam Champs Elysee Hotel. Google Mpas off line maps are treat. Its in the old Bangkok town, not far from Khoasan Road so a quick check in, sort the wifi,call home and then wander to Khoasan Road for a a meal and a beer.
The place is pumping, sort of Bangla Road at Phuket without the bar girls and ping pong shows. We find a table, an amiable waiter and order a padthai and a chicken rice stir fry with a big Leo beer each. Its stick hot, the food has a nice spice to it, the sound is abit loud but after 2 large Leo’s (a full strength Singha beer) I’m not worrying.
End of Day 1, I’ll need to sort out wifi for my Samsung tablet so I can post this with a few photos. OK the wifi doesn’t get sorted until the next morning, I think the Leo’s affected my brain a bit, at 5% alcohol. A dry mouth and a small headache convince me that if I drink Leos then only have the small ones. The room is quiet, air-conditioned, bathroom ok, beds comfortable.
So today is going to be a light day, explore Bangkok a little, catch the ferry up the klong to Siam from Phanfa Bridge, sample the BTS skytrain.
Caio from Bangkok – Paolo