November 18, Somewhere Over the Skies, 22:30
Boy: Hi, my name is Robbie. How about you? *sic*
Me: I’m Cole. It’s nice to meet you.
Boy: It’s nice to meet you, too. What are those?
Me: These are headphones. Want to try them on?
Boy: *nods* *grins* I CAN HEAR SOMETHING!
He’s 3. So adorable.
November 19, Suvarnabhumi International Airport, 00:30
Ten effin hours to kill.
Ten ridiculously long hours to kill at Suvarnabhumi during the dead hours of the night; not even coffee-shops to bunk in, makeup counters to raid, restaurants to go about and try, book-shops to explore new titles. Ten hours without internet connection. Ten hours with nobody to talk to, nobody to exchange silly stories with, nobody to laugh with. Ten hours of solitude in one of the busiest, if not the busiest places on earth. With thousands, maybe millions of people occupying the same space as you do. Sea of faces and lives and you don’t even get a chance to know them cos they’re all thinking of their next stop.
Transient, that’s the word. They literally just pass you by as if you don’t exist. Is this what purgatory is like? The melting pot of lost souls floating around before you get to your final destination? I love to travel. But God, do I hate airports. And I really need to pee. I found an empty lounge which would serve as my home for the next 10 hours. If I take my luggage with me, somebody might snatch it and where will I stay? I don’t want to sit next to the canoodling couple, I still have some pride left in me. I don’t want to sit next to the male backpackers, that might send the wrong message. And no, not next to the old man.
But I really need to pee.
Oh oh oh! The check-in counter is open! Starbucks, I need to go straight to Starbucks. Oh no, must change money first. No, change your clothes first!
Finally at the boarding gate. Lao Central Airlines, let’s see if you’re okay.
Five reasons why you should fly Lao Central Airlines:
5 It’s relatively clean–no weird aircraft smell
4 Cabin crew members are accommodating, very Lao 🙂
3 ON TIME. Opening of Check-in counter, gates, and boarding–all smooth sailing.
2.2 The only LCC I’ve booked with that provide LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE OF 20kg AND NO RIDICULOUS HIDDEN FEES. The price quoted is exactly the price you’ll pay, no additional.
2.1 When they said *snacks*, it’s pad thai + fruit cup + dessert. EVEN TASTIER THAN THAI AIRWAYS, I kid you not.
1 CHEAPER & CONVENIENT. Above everything else, IT’S AFFORDABLE. No need to cross to Udon, you guys!!!
This trip is going well, so far. I already love Lao Central.
Ah, Joma, I missed you so damned much. From my Vientiane Times internship and data gathering for my undergraduate research up until today that I’m taking a whack at graduate school, you’ve been there. Oh hang on, Mina’s here. We’re going to her dress-fittings. Can you imagine? Me accompanying my BFF to dress-fittings. Either she married too early or I’m friggin old.
November 20, Lao ITECC, 20:30
It’s a different wedding. Usually I attend weddings with friends or family. This one, however, was a little more disconcerting. I had nobody to talk to. Cos the person I hangout with is the one who just got married.
I can’t do it. I can’t sing this song. It’s mushy and romantic and intense. I am not capable of feeling the feeling of this song. But oh oh oh, there goes the first note. And oh oh oh—I’m gone.
November 21, Sengpachan Hotel, 07:50
Dad: Where are you going to eat lunch?
Me: *cracks an eye open* somewhere.
Dad: Okay. *locks the door, leaves the room, then I hear keys jingling* Do you want to have lunch at Khop Chai Deu?
Me: *dammit, I almost forgot. It’s a tradition* Yeah. Okay.
Dad: Alright. See you at 12.
Man: Excuse me? Do you speak English?
Man: Can you help me? I bought a new tablet but the keypad is in…*comes over, shows tablet*
Me: Oh, in Thai.
Man: Would you know how to change it? *stands behind me (not too close anyway) and looks over my shoulder*
He’s at least 65. This week is friggin weird.
What the hell just happened.
Somebody wipe the smile off my damn face, please.
Max’s Grill, 21:30
Mina: Siew, you better come back.
Me: Ah. That depends. *tilts head*
November 22, Sengpachan Hotel, 04:00
My sis-in-law’s belly is so huge I’m scared she might pop anytime soon. Omigod, I really am going to be an aunt. My brother is going to be a Daddy. Why is everything going so fast!
No, don’t die, batteries. What the hell.
Alright that’s it, where are those things you call a power bank? Hah! Found them. God, I love airports.
November 23, Los Banos, 06:30
Hey, Room. How you doin’? Me? I’m good. Now shut up with the niceties, I need to sleep. I need to know that I’m not dreaming. That this week had been real. That when I wake up, nothing is ever the same again.