Farewell, Thailand for now: Thoughts from the airport.

I love airports.  It’s a microcosm of our world, a mixture of languages, dress, and behaviors.  This is our first time spending the night in an airport as a family.  We decided to attempt the overnighter due to principle.  We will not overpay for taxis to and from the hotel and the airport!  Plus, our flight was departing at 5:30am, and paying for one night just seemed unreasonable by our standards (still figuring out what “our standards” are..).

So far so good, it’s 12:15 am, Emma is asleep (that child can sleep anywhere– even on a motobike–oops, probably shouldn’t have mentioned that–or mention that Aye took a picture of Emma sleeping on a moving motobike…), Aye was rearranging luggage contents (for Nth time…shh), and the hectic pace of the airport lobby seems to be waning a bit.  There are several solo’s, and couples sleeping on the benches around us.  I feel somewhat obligated to guard their belongings.  With the lights so bright, BKK international reminds me of a typical Vegas casino…Just without the casino.. That did not make sense…

My better half, Aye (pronounced “A,” not ‘I”)  has so many great ideas for blogs, but just didn’t seem to have the time during the trip.  I guess that’s what heppens when we only bought ONE SIM card for Thailand…It is ironic that I’ve been the one writing, as she came up with the Twitter idea for our travels this summer.  Trust me, her stories are unbelievable.  Just be patient; or send tweets to her to encourage her!

Off the top of my head, here are a list of things I’ll miss about Thailand (dodge the bullet points):

  • Hospitality of the Thai people – from monks, friendly shop owners, to new friends, both expats and local residents, we’ll miss you.  Plenty of blog material here, and I’ll await entries from Aye.  As a bilingual Burmese American, her visit to Thailand was quite an unique experience.
  • Hearing “Sawadee Khaaaah!” as I enter a store or family restaurant.  I like that level of formality and respect, and am glad the Thai people have maintained that.
  • FOOD! Fruits are to die for (as you’ve read here), and you can’t beat fresh meals for $30 baht (less than $1).  I’ll definitely miss the mom/pop noodle shops and stands, and Emma’s screams when she sees Durian!  Actually, it’s anything sweet–she yanks our hands, exclaims at the top of her lungs, “Look, Rotees!!”  Speaking of Rotees (or Barada), that has to be Aye’s favorite dessert this trip.  Last year, on her Buddhist pilgrimage with her mom (she needs to blog about that!), her mortal weakness was Fanta soft drinks.
  • Seven-Elevens. You heard right.  In the states, there are countless convenient store franchises, and none seem to stand out.  Not in Thailand – 7-11 is KING.  We used it as a daily stop for cold yogurt drinks, instant MaMa noodles, and to cool off or evade the rain on a hot day (which was EVERY DAY).
  • The history that surrounds you everywhere. It’s easy to forget how YOUNG the United States is.  I love the U.S., but there’s something spiritual about walking on grounds that kings/queens ruled, and where bloody battles were fought thousands of years past.
  • Pace of life, especially outside of Bangkok. It was great to have lazy days strolling through local markets, with no particular plans in mind.
  • Motobikes! You know by now my obsession with anything that has wheels.  I loved the freedom (noise and air pollution, not so much) of getting from point A to B so easily… I’m hooked.  While I know that the Tuk Tuks are generally tourist traps, I do think they are very creative vehicles, and wondered what it would be like to take Emma to school this fall in one…squeezed in between the mammoth SUVs…

(Zamboni wax machine whizzes by–destroys train of thought–which reminds me, when is the train to the airport due to be completed?)  That thought process is a sign that this entry is about to end.

Although this is our last day in Thailand, for now, our memories and journals of our encounters are just beginning.

Ayutthaya, Thailand (Last day)

Ayutthaya, Thailand (Last day)

  0 comments for “Farewell, Thailand for now: Thoughts from the airport.

  1. July 29, 2009 at 12:16

    I love that about airports too. When I am in an airport, I feel like the world surrounds me in all its diversity. Your daughter is adorable, by the way. 🙂

    • gotpassport
      July 31, 2009 at 22:32

      Thanks for the nice comment. Sure airports and travel have their sour points, but we love airports… Emma looks forward to them, too.
      -Jack

  2. July 31, 2009 at 14:32

    I love that photo of Ayutthaya. Haha, I was just talking with my friend Angie about all of the 7/11’s in Thailand last night. I am not kidding. Just last night!

    • gotpassport
      July 31, 2009 at 22:34

      Hey D & D,
      Our last few days in Sukhothai, then Ayutthaya were great, despite the hourglass approaching empty… Trying to live in the moment is hard now, back in the U.S., but we try. When I see a 7-11 here, I smile…
      -Jack

  3. July 31, 2009 at 15:46

    Awww…what a cute family portrait. It’s so sad you’re heading home, but on the bright side…you’re moving to Thailand next year, right?! Yay!

    And sshhh…when we were in Greece, we harnessed our then 7-month-old daughter to my chest (via baby Bjorn) and rode on ATV around the island of Santorini. Hey, in our defense, locals said it WASN’T illegal. When in Rome…

  4. gotpassport
    July 31, 2009 at 22:36

    Hi Jen,
    We’ve been back to U.S. soil for 2 full days now, and still feels surreal that we’re back. An extended trip can do that to you I guess. It is amazing the contrast of driving here… we Americans are quite the rule-followers when it comes to driving. Very little tolerance for anyone breaking the norms.. In Thailand, the NORM was to have no rules… and anything goes…
    Thanks for sharing,
    Jack

  5. August 3, 2009 at 02:38

    Welcome back! But hope you won’t stay for long.. 🙂 I’m sure you already plot your next adventure.

    So true about rule-breaking people in Thailand.. haha.. I can confirm that. I remembered when I lived there while driving as long as there was enough space to squeeze my car in I went. There was really no lane during traffic hours. Now, whenever I go back, I couldn’t drive in BKK anymore.

    And I LOVE 7-11. The hot dog there was my dinner for a good stretch. Hot dog in Thailand comes in different style. My favorite one was with cheese. 🙂

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