Bangkok Arrival and Preparation Day
(Sorry to those that read this first part already, it wouldn't let me do two posts with the same date nicely. The end is different, and there are pictures down there!)
Got to the airport just under two hours before flight time. Waited through long check in line.
Security was quite an experience. Every piece of tech had to come out. James ended up with an Allen wrench being confiscated.
Flight delayed 1/2 hour because of the snow in the morning. Got to our gate finally. Only to find that they had moved it to a different gate at the other end of the airport of course. Had to go in a bus to our plane. Nearly froze going up the steps. Supposedly 24 degrees plus wind chill. So cold. We were sitting pretty much all over the back part of the plane, we had seats from row 39 through 57 I think it was. Crazy. And we slept.
Longest immigration line ever in Bangkok. Wow. Awful. Just over 2 hours. Then to look for luggage. Jon's was missing. We soon discovered why. They had searched it and took 6 of the batteries for the Phantom. Those are over $100 each. We are sick.
Flight landed at 1:10 am. It's now 3:52. Chris and I with Luke and Sarah are in one taxi. Jon was told to get a van because he had too much luggage. Praying he was able to. No way to contact each other yet. Going to the guest house hoping we can check in before they get there. Hungry and so tired.
Finally to sleep about 5 am. Knock on the door at 7:20. Ugh. Wrong door. Then back to sleep. But suddenly, at 8 am, workmen next door, hammering etc.
Finally looked out at 8:30, only to see that the entire building next door is gone! Jon says it was the Peachy Guest House!
So no more sleep this morning.
Have to go next door and see if we can get rooms at our favorite guest house for Sabbath. And get some fruit etc for Sabbath meals. And hopefully sleep in such a way as to help us beat jet lag sooner. Ha! We have such a full itinerary and some of us (Jon, James, and Mary Ann) are still sickly.
By the way, just want to Praise the Lord! We heard this morning that a donor will be sending $5000 for MissionTrek. This will finish off the $8000 fundraising goal for the show! And it should allow us to replace the batteries which were lost! But only in the safest conditions of course! Isn't God good??!?!?!?!?!!!!
Welcome to Friday the 20th! Last night/this morning, while we waited in one of the many lines we waited in, we were talking about what day it was, the kids were so funny about the missing Wednesday. :) Wish I could remember what they said!
(New part starts here.)
We got rooms at the New Merry V Guest House! First time we stayed here was in 1998! They have seen our kids as they have grown, and are amazed especially at James' height!
We are all moved and going to breakfast downstairs at Ricky's, the little cafe that's here now! The staff remember us too.
We enjoyed the Thai breakfast so much, mango shakes for some, fresh squeezed orange juice from the lady down the street in front of 7-eleven for others. Garlic tofu and rice, three different curries, and fried rice. Nothing in the world tastes like Thai food in Thailand.
Jon and Chris exchanged more money. Exchange rate was 34.93 I think, so better than the airport.
After breakfast we had a meeting together to talk about the day's plans. Jon and James are going to the bank and MBK. Chris and I and the kids will be hanging out here, walking around looking for a travel agent to see if we can go to the Floating Market on Sunday.
So we went walking, found a travel agent that gave us a price of 250 baht each for a half-day tour. Told her we would think and talk to Jon about it. Then we walked some more.
Lilyann bought a little purse she liked. Then she wanted some "funky" pants. But not this kind of funky pants, and not that kind of funky pants. So there are grades of funky pants, we figured out. Some funky pants are just plain weird.
We bought water, bread, jelly, and some peanuts, and had to take it all back to the room so we didn't have to carry it around. And then we realized that if we stopped walking around, we would give in to jet lag.
So we went walking some more. The girls all ended up with the same kind of "funky" pants but different fabrics for 150 baht each (less than $5).
We walked some more, looking for fruit for Sabbath breakfast, and trying not to succumb to jet lag.
We had texted Jon and James but they hadn't responded. So we went to the travel agent and bought the tickets without their input! :) The lady gave us a discount so we got the 8 tickets for 1800, which is 225 each.
We bought some mangos and Pomelo for breakfast, then took that to the rooms.
As we were walking around, we saw the fresh squeezed orange juice lady, and Chris, who had almost fallen asleep once already, said, "we could have orange juice and go to bed." Then later, we passed a massage place, and she said, "we could have a massage, and orange juice, and go to bed." Jet lag is tough!
Then we got a text from Jon telling us to go ahead and buy the tickets. Good thing he agreed with us!
So we texted back telling him we were going down to the fort and we'd wait there until 5:30. If they weren't back by then, we would go get supper by ourselves (Jon had said there was a cafe he wanted to have supper at).
We walked up to the Phra Sumen Fort and found a bench in the shade, watching the boats on the Chao Praya River and birds flying over. There are some beautiful flowers there. There's the Rama VIII bridge just up river from there. Sarah was especially enjoying taking pictures of the flowers.
We were getting tempted to go get dinner and go to bed, when Jon and James showed up.
So we went to the cafe. It's called the Joy Luck Club. Tiny place with Thai food. They brought us tiny shredded taro root appetizer. It tasted really good (but not with hand sanitizer on it)! There might be a story there but I'm not telling it.
We all had juices, some mango and some watermelon. And Thai food, rice and noodle and tofu along with many other ingredients. So yummy!
Then we said what we were thankful for, but couldn't say we were thankful to be in Thailand.
Then we went back to the hotel, some of us took melatonin, and went to bed. Most of us were sound asleep by 7:30 or 8.
First Sabbath is here!