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Thailand travel 2. Spin-the-bottle and true confessions

Submitted by on July 30, 2016 – 7:48 am
Temple Chaingmai with bells

He can’t resist the bells at this temple in Chiangmai.

There’s an element of spin-the-bottle to this Thailand trip. Get email in inbox with a list of “cheap” flights. Am in Durban, South Africa. Usually fly Emirates when in Durbs as they go directly from the city (with no Joburg plane change). Happy with Emirates. But now Qatar Air say they’re doing the same. The woo of the new…

Scratch head. Where to? Been to Thailand long ago. Plenty of other places on my radar. But I see Thailand. Bangkok and Phuket as options.

Aha! I think of Richard and Barbara. Old friends from the UK who have been living in Thailand for years. Koh Samui. Settled there from England. Otherwise, I might never see them again, is my reasoning. I send Barb a Facebook message. “What are you doing? I thought I would come visit.” As simple as that.

“Do come,” she replies. “But not now. We’re off to Spain. In July.”

Follow a whim

Having learned in life that there really is no time like the present; that I only regret things I have not done (like not attended my favorite cousin from Squaw Valley’s wedding on the beach in Thailand many years ago) and never what I have (done); that “she who hesitates loses out” is a truism; that no time is in fact the right time, and never will be; that there will always be obstacles and reasons to postpone.

Monk sighting Chiangmai

One of many monk sightings in Chiangmai.

That it is best to follow a whim and buy a non-refundable ticket and no insurance. That way, you gotta go. And this is invariably a good thing. Breathe. Trust. In this case, purchase ticket for July.

Oops. Close to July and on thinking of what I might do in Thailand because one does not want to inflict oneself on friends interminably (a week max), have concluded Phuket was the wrong choice as I get to looking at maps and making vague plans. But it is what it is. And whatever is, always works out. And in the big picture, it’s a good choice as I get to see Phuket, and Phuket City, and to have an unexpected Phuket adventure. That, then, is way off into the future.

On the plane between Durban and Joburg because it’s not really a direct flight in that we stop in Joburg to do a pick-up, I am served something they call a chicken “sandwich,” which not only bears no resemblance to a sandwich but when I turn it over, I see two bluish circles that bear a great resemblance to mold. They are mold. Good grief. Penicillin thrown in with the bargain for good measure? (The flight attendant saves the moment by apologizing and bringing a salad with prawns from the front of the plane.)

On the plane I speak to a woman in the seat behind me. She tells me she’s a dentist, non-practicing, who moved with her husband and two sons from Durban to near Miami because her two sons have autism and there are good schools for them there.

The autistic son with her, who looks about 18, asks me if I don’t get lonely traveling without company. I tell him I am lonelier with someone, if it’s the wrong person. Although if it’s the right person, the ideal person, then with someone might be preferable.

I am traveling with myself for company

But I also tell him that I don’t truly consider I am traveling alone. I am traveling with myself for company and I find this to be very good company.

The young woman next to me tells me she is heading for Amsterdam and Tomorrowland, which I commit to Googling, and then on to Greece.

I decide I am going to talk to as many people as I can on this trip and ask them questions. Go with the spirit of oneness and relationship. Different from the old me (of many moons ago) when I used to withdraw and, after a while, become mute. True confessions 🙂

© Wanda Hennig 2016

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