As it was a holiday, the trip to JFK was quick and effortless….. then there were the security checks! It took us almost as long to get from the entrance to JFK to Terminal 4 as it did to get ot JFK itself! Once inside it was quick and pleasant all the way to the gate. They only had two check stations at first, but fortunately opened two more so the long line disappeared quickly…… Made it to the plane and remarkably we took off exactly at 12 noon! The flight was again right over the North Pole—– and again I was questioning whether or not I was appropriately dressed should we have to make an unscheduled landing at Santa’s place! But those thoughts quickly went from my mind as I watched “Happy Feet’ on my movie monitor…… Those monitors are something else….. by the time you are in the 14th hour of the trip you find yourself blankly starring at the flight update screen as the little plane makes it’s way down to or destination. My neighbor was no help for conversation as she told me upon landing… she slept most of the way because she took “medication.” As by that time my own mind was so blank and incapable of retaining any information whatsoever, I forgot to get the name of that “blessed pill.” But really, the time literally flew and the service was wonderful.
The new airport is really a step above the old one. It is fairly large and you move along pretty quickly……. When your mind is only able to concentrate on or handle the “here and now,” it is pretty interesting to be traveling along the moving walkways that take you from place to place! Qith the Musak playing in the background one feels “other-worldly.”
This year I did not go to the Thai mission in NYC to apply for a visa (and spend $25 for the privilege). It was free and quick here.
I avoided the overpriced “limovans” and “executive buses” made my way to the taxi stand where I was greeted by a smiling face of Sompop, my taxi driver. When I found out I spoke Thai, he spent the trip in alternating between the two languages. With his northeastern Thai accent, I had all I could do to understand him, one minute Thai, the other heavily accented broken English! What a cruelty to do to a person after a 17-hour flight!
Got to the hotel at 5:30 and checked in without any problems. I was determined to stay awake until 10:00 so that I wouldn’t get off schedule with the sleep pattern. Despite that fact that I had slept rather well on the plane, I was drifting into an unfightable jet-lag stupor as I wandered throught the evening market near the hotel.
I returned to the hotel at 9:00 and soon found myself unstoppably drifting off to sleep when the phone rang…… Well, if ANYONE can stop you from “unstoppably drifting off to anywhere” it is Maliam, my former student, life coordinator when I am here and general “info” line for nearly everyone I know in Thailand. I really have very little idea what I said to her other than I would call her in the morning with my cell number when I got it set up.
Enjoying the wonderful international breakfast included with the hotel, I feel almost right with the world… Let’s see what adventures await me today…………..