Waiting at the Airport

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  , Udon Thani,
Friday, November 5, 2010


Day : 175
Temperature : 31 degrees
Weather : Hazy

I was woken up by Kevin getting up for the loo. I checked my watch, 6.48am. Time to get up. I put my glasses on, sat up in bed and put the computer on to check emails (we had free wifi). Five minutes later Kevin comes back muttering…"what you doing up?” What was he talking about….”Kev, we need to get an early start if we are going to get across the border quickly”. "Dom, it's ten to five!” Eh?? For some unknown reason my watch had reverted to Seoul time in the middle of the night. Brilliant! Now I was wide awake! I took my glasses off, turned the computer off, lay back down and closed my eyes….but sleep was not going to come, for either of us.

Eventually we turned on the telly (our room had a telly!!) and watched the news. An engine blew up on a Qantas A380 and all planes are grounded.  What plane are we flying on when we go to New Zealand?…please god don’t let it be one of those planes…I check on the Emirates sight. I’m still not sure.  Click, we turn the channel over. The worst flooding in 50 years hit southern Thailand and northern Malaysia….what???????!!!! Flippin' Norah!! Check the weather forecast for Phuket…..today – rain, tomorrow – thunderstorms, the day after – rain. Well that’s just marvellous isn’t it?! Click, we turn the channel again. Mount Merapi erupts again in Indonesia, ash is falling over Yogyakarta and a 15km evacuation ring around the mountain is in place as it looks like this is the volcanoes worst eruption in decades. We were literally about a mile away, more than half way up Mount Merapi a matter of weeks ago, and it was smouldering away then. Why couldn’t it spectacularly blow its top when we were there?? That would have made a REALLY good blog entry!

We pack our bags and head out for breakfast at the Scandinavian Bakery. Croissants and jam again…we are getting really spoilt. We bargain with a tuk-tuk driver to take us to Friendship Bridge. Half an hour later we are there. We fly through Laos immigration. We buy a bus ticket and pile onto the bus….there is no queueing here….you literally have to jostle and push your way, it really feels like you are being quite rude. You’d get a punch in the face back home if you behaved like this, but over here it is the norm. We ride across Friendship Bridge, the Mekong flowing underneath, and we arrive at the Thai side. After filling out immigration forms we are processed through in a matter of minutes. That was so easy compared to other land crossings we’ve had. We hire what we think is a tuk-tuk to take us to the bus station but it turns out to be a random man in his pick-up truck. Fifteen minutes later we arrive at the bus station and the bus is just about to leave. We buy our tickets and board the bus, which is a local bus by the way, and is sooo much more comfy than those “VIP” buses in Laos. We smile with mixed feelings as we pass a Tesco sign, then a Starbucks sign, and then an Esso petrol station. We are not in Laos any more. An hour or so later we arrive in Udon Thani. We head straight for the shopping mall where we go directly to Boots the Chemist and buy some toiletries. Next stop is The Pizza Company for a pizza. After whiling away a couple of hours we grab our bags and make our way out. We hail down a passing tuk-tuk….”to the airport please”…..

So here we are in this tiny little airport, which funnily enough has free WiFi, sitting on the internet waiting for our flight to board. Only a couple of hours away until the Sun and the Sea and the Sand....ok, correction, from the Rain and the Sea.....
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Antony Down on

Boots,Pizza Hut ...!!! I thought you guys were seeing exotic locations and sights. Anyway,emjoy the beach for the week. We just went to the bonfire and fireworks last night at your old vilaged. Drizzled a bit but was well worth it for the kids.


ykeynell3 on

You are seeing the real world - all in a short space of time. Make the most of it. We thought of you first when we heard the Qantas news...gladly you are with Emirates. Take care. Love from us, Dad n Melo

Tony on

Hi Team, sounds like you really enjoyed Laos, It is a fab place and brings back lots of fond memories! We lived at Crystal for about 9 months on Montri rd. If you are in same place that is bazaar! If you get chance go to Mae Boonwa Cafe on Phuket Rd (Opposite The Books) That is our friend Mr new. Real name Jamreon. If he is still there? He was 12 months ago. If you meet him give him a big hug from us!!! And send him our love. Keep enjoying. Tony

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