09.09.13

Temple to Duty Free

Posted in Travel at 1:13 pm by Administrator

Bangkok’s Temple to Duty Free

Emerging from a Thai Airline’s 777-200 like weasels fleeing a flooded den, we emerged blinking, insensate, with only one goal defined with flawless diamond clarity – find “Louis’ Tavern Dayrooms Hotel” and lapse into a death-like fatigue coma. We had been brutally whipsawed by time such that neither my irritable wife or I were even sure what the date was. Having crossed the International Date Line, today became tomorrow, I think, and yesterday became what was once obviously today. Jet lag and trying to sleep curled up on three seats with a seatbelt anchor jabbing me in the kidneys did nothing to facilitate my understanding of the current time save that it was definitely night outside.

Bangkok’s Airport is of a size that brings to mind North Korean synchronized pagents to the Dear Leader plazas, it has literally miles of identical shopping mall meets Blade Runner blindingly lit hallways. Where O where to find our day room oasis and collapse? Nothing to do but head for the attractive young ladies in severe tightly bunned hair styles and uniforms under the big question mark sign.

The differences between the Thai Language and English is a vast gulf. The first booth lady seemed to think we needed to go to Concourse C but she might have said D or E or even G. With her accent I couldn’t be sure, and it was clear from her helpless non-sequester responses that she didn’t really understand us either. Ever resourceful, we marched in the direction she had been waving resolved to interrogate each information booth lady we encountered and average out the results. How could that fail? The initial results were promising, with two consecutive info ladies waving us in the same direction. But at the third booth we hit a snag and the lady insisted we had to go back the way we came! I began to sweat heavily. Dutifully we retraced the quarter mile back through the throngs of bag rolling travelers and glittering Duty Free shops to info lady number two. She, as expected, waved us back the way we had retraced. In desperation we tried to find the hotel phone number but there was a “free WiFi” procedure we needed to follow which in our fatigue was at the boundaries of our mental abilities. After 15 infuriating minutes I got the WiFi up and running only to discover the response time was in the 300 baud dial up range. My sweaty foul clothing felt like it was going to disintegrate off my unwashed carcass. Info lady two called the hotel and again after a rapid-fire Thai consult reiterated that we had to go back. “through security”.

Staggered to my knees with fatigue about ready to stroke out with piss off I told info lady 2 that I had been lead to believe that the day hotel was INSIDE the secure zone. To make a long story tedious this confusion resulted from the fact that we did NOT have to clear customs and enter the Kingdom, but inexplicably we DID have to go through a security checkpoint, just because.

To my extreme annoyance the security checkpoint was directly behind info lady number THREE whom you recall had us (unnecessarily) go back to info lady TWO.

Feeling like hammered shit and looking worse we staggered into the day room hotel. Fortunately it was worth the trouble to find the place. Instead of trying to nod out on seats in a glorified shopping mall we instead showered, brushed our teeth, plugged in our depleted electronic devices and slipped between clean sheets for 5 hours of comfy oblivion. I awoke refreshed and as an added bonus had a nice Contental Breakfast which bucked me up so I could worship at the Temple of Duty Free Shopping which is the Bangkok Airport.

As I write this we are spiraling down in a widening gyre to the Kathmandu Valley and I can see Mt. Everest so I will sign off for now.

Fred

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