Day #116 Getting to Bangkok on a rollercoaster
After having spent 3 marvellous days underwater at the magical Komodo National Park, we were well rested and ready to leave Indonesia to our next destination: Thailand. However, before we could enjoy this new country with two friends, we had a mission to accomplish on our first day in Bangkok. It was the most important day of our trip for many reasons and it also turned out to be the most challenging of all.
It all started at Labuan Bajo airport before taking off to Bali where would catch our connecting flight to Bangkok. Arriving at the Lion Air checkin desk, we had the surprising news that our flight had been cancelled. Worse, we were told that our only possibility was to take a flight the next morning, meaning we would lose our connection to Bangkok. Hearing that made us feel completely desperate. All of our plans had just been destroyed and with huge consequences. Just so you understand the damage, this meant the following: We would first loose our expensive flight tickets from Bali to Bangkok and would have to buy last minute tickets. Then, I would miss an important morning appointment at the Portuguese embassy to authenticate some urgent legal documents. An appointment which, Jess had to beg for. Also, Jess would miss a medical consultation for her Canada Working Holiday Visa, which would have made it impossible for her to gather all the required documents in the short 8 days deadline. Last but not least, we would have missed a reservation for a 2 Michelin star restaurant that we would have had to pay the full price regardless of our cancellation. It felt just like a rollercoaster had taken us straight to hell. It is amazing to notice how powerful our thoughts can be and their impact in our body. At that precise moment, we had forgotten all the beauty of Komodo Islands and our reality was sadly destroyed by a cancelled flight.
Although everything seemed lost, it was just impossible for us to accept it. After 3 minutes blaming the Lion Air's manager, we quickly realised we wouldn't find a solution with this useless person. Jess and I started to look for other flights that could take us to Bali. There was another flight departing at the same time to Bali but it was already full. Jess even tried, with no success, to convince the airline to let’s us go in the available seats located in the pilot’s cabin. Another of Jess' crazy questions to the airline attendant was if there was helicopters to Bali! Desperate times call for desperate ideas. That’s when I had the idea we could flight to another destination that could then take us to Bali in time for our 1:35 am flight to Bangkok. Suddenly, hope was revived and a window of opportunity opened to us. The last flight of the day from this tiny airport was going to Jakarta and it was taking-off in 30 minutes. While, I ran outside the airport to withdraw cash to buy the two tickets to Jakarta, Jess stayed at the checkin desk with our bags and arranged our next flight from Jakarta to Bali. We were saved and once again sent to heaven while we stepped in the last airplane of the day. We were 300 euros poorer but happy and grateful for having managed together to save our day. We knew tomorrow wasn’t going be easy either.
Our journey to Bangkok was far from being the most pleasant. While waiting in Jakarta for our flight to Bali, we tried for 3 hours to convince Lion Air to gives back the extra cost caused by their cancelled flight. Annoyingly, we had to content ourselves with an unfair small amount of money. The cherry on the top of the cake was yet to come. Landed at Bangkok, we were asked to fill a medical registration. While I was looking for my vaccination bulletin, my laptop accidentally slipped from my hands to the floor and it meant a broken screen. I was so mad at myself and sad at same time! Knowing that a few weeks ago I also cracked the screen of Jessica's iPad made the situation even more unbearable. "Why am I such a disaster?"I thought. I knew this had to mean something more than a simple mistake. This became clear when at the border I was told that the same health registration that made me break the laptop wasn’t needed at all. "Who told you to do that?" She asked me. “The Universe!” I reply to myself.
We knew we couldn't let this bad fortune dictate our day because it had just started. Jess was very kind and kept telling me: “Don’t worry my Love we will find a solution in Bangkok for your laptop”. It feels great to have someone attentive to my feelings and who knows how to make feel great again. Jess always makes me her priority. Finally, we took our first breath in Bangkok around 6.25 am. All the city was waking up for their routines as we reviewed our day plan on our way to the hostel. We arrived at our hostel around 7 am, which gave us enough time to do our check-in, brush our teeth, leave our heavy backpacks at the reception, try one last time with our insurance to get a compensation for our tickets and apply for our Myanmar online visa. Around 8.45 am, we took a taxi in direction to the embassy. We had to wait for the documents to be authenticated which gave us time to take passport photos and have a local breakfast. Around 11am, we decided it was more efficient to separate. I returned to the embassy for the documents while Jess went for her 3 hour medical consultation. Also, I took this opportunity to adventure myself in Bangkok in search for a new laptop screen. It wasn’t easy to know where to start specially when we just arrived a couple of hours before to a huge city where few people speak your language. Thank God there is Google search :). I did a few calls to numbers I found online and quickly picked 3 addresses that could potentially fix my laptop in less than 2 days. This excursion made me cross the entire city by motorbike and riverboat. First, I decided to go to the all mighty Apple store which was located at Icon Siam, in one of the most impressive and eccentric shopping malls I have ever been. My next stop was Pantip Plaza, a 5 store electronic specialised shopping mall. Only Asia has this crazy love for gadgets and technology! I was loving to explore what I would had never done if hadn’t broke my screen. Moving around Bangkok on a bike was an amazing way to experience the vibe of this huge city. Some motorbike taxi drivers were crazy drivers that overtook the traffic in the most creative way. I loved that adrenaline. Around 3 pm, Jess and I met again at the hostel lobby. She came back from the consultation exhausted as the experience had been more like a police interrogation than something else. We decided to go for a walk to find street food while she told me all about it. It was our first opportunity of the day to rest and enjoy our first delicious pad thai and vegetable stir fried for just 1€. But our day wasn’t finished yet. After lunch, Jess needed to prepare and give a health coaching session to a client before our friends would arrive around 7 pm. I still needed to check one last shop before I could take a proper decision for my laptop, so there I was again on a motorbike. We finally met our friends around 7pm and went for dinner at a 2 Michelin star restaurant called Suhring around 9 pm. It was a delicious 3 hour meal with our great two friends Carolina and Mariana.
It felt so good to see the end of this day after almost 24 hours of non-stop emotion and dedication to make things happen. Looking back, I am proud of ourselves as a team and keep a great memory of the day besides it being the most expensive of all.
Welcome to Thailand.