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19 January, 2013

Thailand: From Khao Lak to Bangkok (Saturday)

Our flight back to Bangkok was not until late in the day, but it would take a certain amount of time, I believe 90 minutes, to get back to the airport, and there was a need to be very certain that one leaves enough time to get there and check-in (we were warned, and it's a good thing, because the Phuket airport was pandemonium).

The morning, as well as the afternoon, of our last day in Khao Lak was marked by aimless ambling. We didn't really have much motivation to do anything too exploratory or touristy because of being so tired from the previous day. We knew we only had until about 2pm before we'd begin the ride back to the airport. We asked our German hosts if we could leave our bags in a safe place while we wandered around. Of course, the said yes, but made us feel uncomfortable about it at the same time, which was exactly par for the course, given our experiences with them during the days prior. So be it.

We wandered into the small sub-village of Khao Lak. I had that sort of sinking feeling one has when one knows they are passing by certain things for the last time. We didn't know what to do with ourselves. Even writing about it now, seven months later, brings up the feelings I had then. We ended up settling on going into a small shop that had beverages, and I think we ordered french fries, believe it or not, just so we could get out of the sun and sit somewhere cool. It was sweltering hot. They had wireless, if I remember correctly, so maybe we were checking some of our communications. We were passing time. Not really connected, not really enjoying ourselves, and mostly waiting for it to be time to move on to the next step in the itinerary. That's sad, looking back. This moment being all that we ever have, and we were squandering the moment, not enjoying it, not even tasting it, only waiting for the next moment, in the hopes that it would somehow be better than the present. More than any other time in the past 2 years, that week was the time that I most significantly lost my connection to my yoga practice. This isn't my yoga blog (you can find that at "The Feeble Yogi"), so I won't elaborate.

It was finally time to go to the airport, so we arranged a taxi and collected our belongings from the hotel. We said our final awkward goodbyes to our hosts. Then the long ride began. Our driver knew a fair amount of English. He was young, and drove a little bit less like a lunatic than most of our other drivers had. It's a pretty drive, and we were largely zoned out. It's been so long now, I cannot remember if we really talked much on the way. When we arrived at the airport, it was a madhouse. There was no apparent order. In order to get a boarding pass, one had to go through a long line, but it was not immediately clear where the line began. We thought we had arrived ridiculously early. But, upon seeing this line, we immediately realized that we might actually be late, rather than early. After standing in line for about 5-10 minutes, we realized we were not at the end of the line. We were at some sort of secondary spur of the line that was accidentally formed by a bunch of people who didn't understand where the line actually ended. So then we had to relocate to the real end of the line, which was now 30-50 people further back than it would have been had we discovered it immediately. It was long, and it was slow-moving. But sure enough, we eventually made it through, and made our way through security, and made it to the gate, where there was yet more waiting. I don't remember much about it, other than there was a delay, and nobody knew what they were doing, and the system they used for a queue was confusing with different rules than anyone could have figured out.

We made it back to Bangkok without much more excitement, other than that our taxi driver attempted to screw us over on the way back to the hotel by refusing to turn on his meter. This was getting really tiresome, but that's Bangkok for you. It was probably around 8pm or so when we finally reached the hotel. I believe we did venture out locally for food, but I don't really recall. Maybe we didn't. Maybe we were too tired. I can't possibly be expected to recall things from seven months ago.

I do recall that when we arrived at the hotel, we discovered that the room we had when we first stayed in Bangkok was actually the more modest room. This room was an amazing suite, incredibly luxurious. I knew that I had booked one room that was nicer than the other. But the first room had been so nice, I had assumed it was that one. Nope. Things got better. It's only too bad we weren't in happier spirits.

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