11.26.2009

Bangkok or Bust

It was almost the latter. Though this wouldn't be a Perlman family vacation without a little drama, right? Hey, don't I always say that whenever we leave town?

It all started on our late night drive to the airport when our newly repaired car stalled out in the middle of the road ... no less than five separate times. Clearly exasperated, our driver was once again quick with the excuse that the stalling was due to a "cold" engine. He did have a point. The mercury did plummet to a crisp 87 that night ... with humidity. I stopped counting after about the fifth time stalling, and as far as I knew we glided in neutral into the airport, with sheer momentum and frustration pushing us forward.

Following a few choice words and ultimatums, we entered the airport and negotiated our way through the masses and chaos to the Thai Airways check-in counter. What should have been a matter of mere routine, turned into a debacle of mass proportions when the agent couldn't facilitate nor issue Grady's lap-child ticket. Apparently Thai Airways had to deal with Air India's reservation agents to process the 10% fare balance for his ticket. Ten minutes ... twenty minutes ... thirty minutes went by and we were still waiting for the ticket. In the meantime, we also had to fill out a waiver for Sheridan as they took issue with her passport expiring in less than six months.

It was in the midst of this animosity and ire where we experienced another of those rare introspective Foreign Service moments. Matt muttered through clenched teeth, "The next time we leave this G*D* airport it will be to go home." When Riley turned to him and sincerely inquired, "Exactly where is home?"

Crickets .... Crickets ....

Matt was so dumbfounded he shook his head and for once didn't have any response. It kind of put this whole lifestyle in perspective. There really are no roots, and the fact is these kids really don't know where they're from. Sure, we always tell them that home is where you hang your backpack... but when you're almost seven and you have perspective, you want to have that connection to your home.

Of course, the self-pity was clearly a fleeting moment, as we were snapped back into reality when the bill for Grady's ticket finally came through, and it was double what it should have been. With little time to argue, and nobody who cared, I thrust my rupees at the ticket agent, snatched the ticket out of her hand, and stormed up to the gate. Getting through security no was easy feat either as Matt went through the male screening line, and I was stuck with the kids, stroller, four carry-on bags in the females line, and five security agents staring at me not offering a lick of help.

We finally boarded the plane, and it departed almost an hour late due to the failure of the ground radar system. Typical. By the time we were airborne and the seat belt signs were turned off, the flight attendants were coming around to serve a full dinner. Can anyone tell me why they need to serve dinner at 1:30 am? What are we at, a Manhattan wedding? The lights were finally turned off around 3 am, for the hour or so of sleep we could grab before descending into Bangkok.

When we arrived in the terminal, Riley remarked that she remembered the airport, and mumbled a few, "Wow, this is so clean" comments under her breath. I agreed. We quickly made it through immigration, grabbed our bags, and hailed a taxi to take us to our hotel. Upon pulling up to the entrance, Riley (who is clearly on a roll today) started saying, "This hotel is so fancy shmancy." Of course it was, compared to the hotels in Chennai where people are outside begging and sleeping on the ground. Again... that perspective thing...

For the most part, we enjoyed a relaxing day napping, hanging by the pool, and inspecting all the bathrooms (which the girls are proud to announce are "Awesome!"). However, I had to deal with car issues and the bevy of text messages my driver sent throughout the day while at the Toyota mechanics. I gave him strict instructions to have my car working by the time we get home Sunday night ... which it should .... unless there's another cold snap.

Despite our mishaps getting here, we're thrilled that we made it safe and sound and are relatively no worse for wear! For the next three days we'll be experiencing utter bliss as we go sight seeing, head to the zoo and aquarium, take the kids on a water taxi, and eat delicious food. We are going to enjoy this vacation to its fullest!

Wherever you are in the world, here's wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving... filled with love, laughter, and Starbucks Caramel Macchiattos.


11 comments:

Betsy said...

Sounds like quite the adventure! I hope you enjoy lots of Starbucks while you are there. Happy Thanksgiving!

Robin said...

You guys do have a knack for dramatic vacations...

Have a wonderful time. Happy Thanksgiving!

Jen said...

Your travel drama is something else. I hope that you have a great time!

Ramit said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Have a great holiday!

And try to move to Delhi, the airport here is clean hehe...

Loukia said...

What an adventure! And mmm... I have a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato every single day before beginning my work day!

Emma said...

Happy Thankgiving! Have a wonderful restful holiday...no more shennanigans OK?

Mom24 said...

So glad you got there. Sorry it was such a taxing trip. It sounds awesome there. Have a wonderful time, relax, enjoy. Hope your car is ready and waiting when you get back.
xoxo

Kirsten said...

I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving. Enjoy your vacation. I hope your travels home are drama-free!!

Naomi said...

Because this post has me crying tears of laughter ::

1. When Riley turned to him and sincerely inquired, "Exactly where is home?"

Crickets .... Crickets .... (LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS)

2. What are we at, a Manhattan wedding? (NO, SILLY GIRL .. AN INDIAN WEDDING!)

3. Starbucks Caramel Macchiattos (I AM NOW DROOLING. WHAT I WOULDN'T GIVE .....)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING ... HAPPY TRIP!!

-MissC* said...

I love your sense of humor through everything that you went through. Although I am sure it wasn't funny at the time.
I know what it's like to grow up without roots. But as long as you know you're family loves you and will back you up no matter what, it's ok.
Have a wonderful rest of your vacation!

Christy said...

What a fun post that was to read. So glad you made it to bangkok safe and sound! Can't wait to hear about the vacation. Here's hoping your car was ready for you upon your return!!!

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