Travel and Arrival in Bangkok - Week OneI'll keep this one short as I'm a week behind on it already. Preparation and travel details continued pretty much right up to the minute my plane left for Bangkok so it was a relief to actually get airport and put it aside finally. My amazing family drove me down to Seatac (about 7 hours drive each way) and was a wonderful way to chat and do the send-off. I am blessed to have this incredible, tight knit loving family for those of you who don't know them. On the way down, my sister Jan thought to buy a little stuffed Gopher mascot for my journey, so I'll be stuffing him into random pictures here and there. He's probably not intended to be a Gopher, but close enough and if she says he's a Gopher, he's a Gopher Goddammit. Still trying to decide on a name though. Here he is stuffed into my jacket as I stand with my Dad and Jan in the White Spot drive-in (an ancient and revered BC restaurant chain institution in case you didn't know) in Kelowna on the way down. Totally bad for you road food but oh so tasty. Triple O sauce must be the devil's own invention I think.
Overnight in Chilliwack and then on to Bellingham before Seatac. We met our lifelong super amazing friend (more like family member actually) Candice at the REI there and had a great (wait for it) Thai lunch. Here we all are in front of the B-Ham REI on a very wet Saturday afternoon.
In one of those "Ya gotta love it small world" kind of things, we ran into one of my sisters colleagues Kingsley at the REI way far from home. I love these kind of chance meetings when traveling and they seem to happen a lot if you're at all paying attention. I've met neighbors, friends if friends and distant relatives across the globe through chance conversations in train stations, pubs, museums etc. many times. Maybe less than 7 degrees of separation and you can even bypass Monsieur Le Bacon.
One of the best things about flying at 2 in the morning is that few other people want to travel then. Upshot is that I had my own row of 3 seats for the 13 or so hour first leg flight to Taipei so was able to stretch out (relatively anyways) and get some decent shuteye. My little traveling sleep empire was in the back right in front of some comatose guy in a stretcher attended by 2 Brit medical staff. He didn't stir or make a sound the whole flight but seemed serious. I saw him without the oxygen mask toward the flight's end and he looked a lot like a young Toshiro Mifune - maybe in his early 30's. Hope he's okay.
Taipei airport is beautiful and very clean. They have these really cool little lounges all along the concourse with different nature and other soothing themes. The exception was this giant Hello Kitty lounge... The only word that comes to mind here is "AAAAIIIIIIEEEEE!!!!!!" That is nothing you want to wake-up to at like 6 am after a long flight. I'll probably need therapy now. Yikes.
I never did see the daylight at all Sunday. I hopped on the plane in Seattle middle of the night Sunday and woke up in Taipei Monday morning. Kind of weird to skip a day like that. Getting off the plane in Bangkok to 90-something degree seriously humid and raining weather was a bit of a shock, but I'm acclimating pretty well now. Cold shower as the only temperature setting in my cheap hotel helps to offset this though. I'll try and get caught up on posts as quickly as I can now. Stay tuned.