one night in bangkok! (sorry)

By amy ~ July 27th, 2012 @ 7:51 am

And I’m back, completely according to schedule and the catching up is well underway! And a busy week it’s turning out to be, which is making my now-pinkish and peeling (just a bit) arms even more of an embarrassment, but fortunately the punters of the north are a forgiving bunch and to be fair, thanks to the lovely weather here since I got home on Sunday evening I wasn’t the only one to be looking a little frazzled round the edges. Long may it continue, if for no reason other than that my washing is drying in well under an hour…

The journey home was singularly uneventful, as it happened since it was Friday rush hour and having wanted to avoid any likelihood of repeating my near miss on the way out, I decided to cut my day 0ut in Bangkok short-ish (nine hours of staggering around in the blistering heat and unholy humidity turned out to be plenty, and even the Grand Palace couldn’t hold my attention for more than forty five minutes or so) in favour of exercising caution and heading back to Suvarnabhumi airport in very good time. It’s far from a bad place to kill a couple of hours (and extremely agreeable as airports go) and more importantly, whilst missing a connecting train to Edinburgh or even a flight home from Belfast (for readers with good memories) is annoying and inconvenient, missing a long haul flight to the other side of the world is – as my silver haired old grandmother might have said – a real pisser. Although coincidentally, the two situations cost roughly the same amount to put right.

Airports are also places where aimless loitering is par for the course and to make a single Starbucks last an hour and a half is not only acceptable but de rigueur, but the real test came later in the nine hour wait for my connection at Muscat, where a new level of time-killing ingenuity was necessary after having exhausted the shops, and which mostly involved curling up on the carpet in my little corner of the departure lounge floor with a tube of Pringles and my lovely teal-coloured Oman Air freebie socks being ever thankful for my Kindle’s superior battery life. Muscat is far and away the hottest place in which I have ever set foot, it being 34 degrees even when we landed at five am and God alone knows what when boarding the Heathrow plane shortly before 2pm for the final leg (the overall effect when stepping outside was like being gently placed in a very warm airing cupboard, and far more manageable than Bangkok where the aforementioned 90% or so humidity rendered even lesser temperatures uncomfortable in the extreme, and made me feel a bit like the inside of a newly baked sausage roll). As luck would have it, the final connecting flight back to Heathrow was virtually empty, so free seats and extra food reigned supreme before touchdown, another super-fast whisk through security thanks to the shiny new(ish) ‘e’passport and a brief shuffle off to the particularly nondescript Doubletree down the road via the new Simply Food at T3 arrivals. Yay!

Thailand, being one of the few countries I have visited more than once, is an ideal holiday destination for just about anybody provided they do not have a: a preference for brusquely efficient and aloof service (try Paris instead) or b: a peanut allergy, the innocent legumes being so ubiquitous that anyone thus affected would be turning black with anaphylaxis and swelling up like a tractor inner tube before the hold luggage was even unloaded. Fortunately I am not, although my going home (the lengthy-ish Muscat pitstop notwithstanding) suitcase contained not these but a few bags of salted cashews roasted with coconut milk – a cardiac challenge if ever there was one – plus a couple of packs of exciting looking blueberry Jammie Dodgers discovered amongst the powdered fish in a Seven Eleven. A distant memory now, sadly, but well worth the 15p or whatever they cost (and if anybody knows where I can buy similar in the UK, links would be appreciated). I also have the requisite sequinned-elephant cushion covers, just in case there weren’t enough in the house already, and some little strings of multicoloured wooden camels bought in a sleep-deprived daze at Muscat Duty Free, once I realised that drawing 10 rials out of the cash machine was going to be a lot more than enough for breakfast at Costa Coffee, more bottled water and, fabulously, some cola-and-lemon flavoured Fruitellas at the airside WH Smiths.

Normal service, as you may have gathered, has been resumed with a vengeance and with a week to go before hurtling off to Derry (August already, I know!) I will be around all weekend, although the busy last couple of days has rendered me officially lazy and availability will be limited hereafter whilst I catch up on everything else. Belfast, Dublin and Cork to follow, then further ahead still it’s back to the Isle of Man for some GP lunacy before straight back to London for Frightfest – woohoo!

More soon. And for those who didn’t believe I’d do it, see below (that’s me on the right!)

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