We've Got Some Catching Up to Do: Part 1
Hopefully you’ve seen some of my photos so far, as that’s the easiest way to communicate what I’m seeing to you. But, if not, please do. And if you want to stay in touch on the reg, so far it seems like Facebook Messenger is the easiest.
My journey to Thailand began with the Radar ringtone emanating from my iPhone at 4:30am on a Saturday in Nordeast Minneapolis. Luckily, Sam and Jill had just been blessed with the beautiful Yael, so being awake at that hour wasn’t a foreign experience for them. Sam and I lumbered to the Prius I’ve loaned them for the year and, if memory serves, we were escorted to MSP airport by the dulcet tones of The RZA, The GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah and the Method Man.
After a hug and exchange of I Love Yous with Sam, I thought I was on my own. But after checking my luggage and still fighting sleep in the terminal, I pulled to refresh on my phone and found a handful of valedictions from people, quelling last minute jitters that accompany the unique exhaustion of waking at an ungodly hour to board a series of tin can death rockets for 30 hours. Thank you (for the emails and for reading that run-on sentence).
From LAX to NRT to BKK I battled sleep and apprehension with involuntary waves of excitement. Eleven hours across the Pacific and 9 hours across the East and South China Seas were blunted by three Coen Brothers films, Jurassic Park, 15 minutes of 300 (honestly more unbearable than 25 hours of breathing other people’s farts at 35,000 feet) and a handful of cocktails. I can, technically, state that I’ve been to Japan though. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.
My flights were unexpectedly on time, but getting through Thai immigration was more of a Communist bread line than expected. After a skeptical glance and a signature on my 365-day visa I was welcomed to the Baggage Claim of Smiles. I finally saw familiar faces at about 1:30am local time. Amy and Dave, my infinitely gracious hosts for the last five weeks, were waiting for me in the terminal, happily ready to grab my bags from me, translate during an ultimately futile attempt to acquire a SIM card for my phone and finding an ATM that would give me 30,000 baht (don’t show this sentence to an English teacher, sorry Tim and mom).
Hopefully, I’ll have more travel tips to share at some point, but here is one: when arriving in a time zone 12 hours ahead early in the morning, avoid sleep as much as possible and your odds of staving off jet lag will increase tenfold.
So, while this information is over five weeks old, it’s only the beginning of the rest of my life and communiques. Especially the next year. Miss you tons. More to come…