Nice my friend! As for the Thai... Hello...Sawadee Cop (just as it sounds, despite crappy spellings in guidebooks, and quite fast with the accent on the Cop) Thank you...Cop Kuhn Crop (minimal pronunciation of the 'r' as the entire population tends to omit it in their speech.) Looking forward to future entries! -Brandon
31 Hours to Paradise
So I’m off to Bali today from San Diego, and writing this post from the Bangkok airport (which, I can’t seem to understandhow the wifi works, so I’m typing it up and posting later). It goes like this:
It’s 31 hours of travel, including layovers.
Well…for many years now I have wanted to visit Asia, to see this “up and coming” (or already there in some ways) part of the world. China doesn’t hold a lot of interest to me, but many other parts of the continent do.
I think my reading of Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Work Week a few years ago and more recently Chris Guillebeau’s Art of Non Conformity got me thinking about traveling and actually LIVING someplace not just quickly passing through.
Then there’s my friend Dan Andrews, who moved from San Diego to Manila to Bali, and has been loving Bali for the last year and running his businesses from there and kicking some major butt in the process! I’ve been a listener to his podcast for over a year, and him mentioning things about Bali on nearly every episode had some influence.
Then there’s my friend Mike who spent a good amount of time in Bali, doing business and surfing. His exact quote was “It’s the most spiritual place on earth, and I’m an atheist.” He describes the beauty as nothing like what you will see anywhere else in the world, and the way of life and people as something you have to experience.
Then there’s my friend Craig who has been to and surfed Bali and always has stories.
So this trip will be a combination of being a tourist, and living in the area. The plan after 30 days in Bali is a flight to Singapore. Then it’s unplanned, but most likely I will be spending a few days in Singapore, and taking the train through Malyasia and up to Thailand for at least 15 days (crazy tourist visa restrictions but there may be a way around it). I’d also like to visit the Philippines. So I’ll be a busy bee there on the second half of the trip!
So leading up to the flights today was INSANE, I moved out of my place and ran into every glitch you could possible dream up (that damn murphy and his stupid law!), and BARELY got everything moved out and in storage and to the SD airport. But, we’re good so far!
The flight from LAX (which, BTW, does NOT have wifi, I guess they are living in the stone ages!) to Bangkok was 17.5 hours. Longest flight I’ve ever been on! But, it’s a pretty first class airline- good leg room, good food, attentive staff but not too attentive, and lots of movies to choose from with a cool remote thing that you can also use for music and check out where the flight is and bunch of other stuff.
I got really lucky with my neighbor. She was a tiny Thai lady, she lives in LA but is from Thailand and going back to visit. She’s was super nice and pleasant and was okay with letting me have the window seat, which was my preference. Since I pretty much don’t sleep on planes, I used a sleep enhancement this time (ambien)- and wow was I glad I did! I slept for close to 6 hours, and actually woke up feeling pretty refreshed- or as much as one can be refreshed sleeping in a sitting position! Also, luckily, I didn’t have to pee much and when I did my neighbor didn’t even have to get out of her seat because she was so little!
So the security thing, as usual, is just stupid all over the world. Even though I went through security in San Diego, AND LA, to get to my gate of course in Bangkok I had to go through security yet again (just in case I cooked up some explosives on my flight over!). So the Thai version of the TSA is almost identical to ours- body scanner machines, shoes off, and they stole my water and the guy searched my bag.
Alright I’m over this layover, I forgot that it was 3 hours, and I can’t get on the internet, and I’m a little jet lagged…but still thrilled to almost be in BALI! Just a 4 hour flight till my arrival. Then I meet up with my friend Elisa at the baggage claim…and I’m sure that’s after all kinds of bureaucratic fun times getting a visa and going through yet more privacy violations!
I tried to learn hello and thank you in Thai but I give up. It’s REALLY hard to say it right. I’m just going with English for now while I’m in the airport.
Alright, flight is about to board, on to Indonesia…