Thursday, February 13, 2014

Passing the Time in Bangkok

The things we do to save money...when buying plane tickets for this trip, I found that getting a flight from Bali to Wuhan, which involves a connection in the middle, usually in Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur or occasionally Guangzhou, would cost more than four hundred dollars if I bought it from cheapoair or kayak, my current go-to sites.  The flights would be at convenient times and have a reasonable layover that would get me home in a day...but I really didn't want to spend that much.  I looked at Air Asia, the local discount airline, but it's primarily a point-to-point airline--there are only a few routes on which you can book connecting flights.  However, I could buy a ticket from Bali to Bangkok, and then a separate ticket from Bangkok on to Wuhan.  Together, they would be well under three hundred.  

Unfortunately, the times didn't line up too well.  The flight from Bali arrived in Bangkok at 3:00 in the afternoon, and the afternoon flight to Wuhan left at 3:50.  As I had to go through customs, and especially once I decided to check a bag that I would have to collect from baggage claim and recheck, the time was just too tight.  There's no way to make that flight.  However, there is also a morning flight, at 7:30...

So here I am.  I've spent the night in an airport before, and this probably won't be the last.   It ends up being about a sixteen hour layover; I've had worse.  And after all, I'm saving money...

I've been to this airport before, last summer for my flight down to Phuket.  I know there's a Subway and Krispy Kreme in here...but they are after security, on the way to the gates.  Sigh.  Why do they put the good stuff in there where you don't have too much time, and out here where I'm spending hours, it's nothing but fried and greasy versions of local food?  Oh well, something to look forward to.  I had dinner at one of the restaurants up on the balcony overlooking the check-in area.  Feeling a bit nostalgic for the Thai food I ate down south on Ko Phi Phi last summer, I ordered Shrimp with fried rice, and some spring rolls.  Now usually Thai food is good, but as I said this was the greasy version.  The shrimp weren't bad, really, but still one of those things that you know as you're eating it that you'll probably regret it.  

After eating (and before the dodgy shrimp took effect) I followed signs to an "observation deck."  It turned out to be an leftover hallway with some scattered seats, but it did have windows that overlooked one of the runways, and it was quieter up there than down in the main seating area. It was also a bit cold up there, with the air conditioning working a bit too well for once, but I figured that was probably good for me to start adjusting back to winter.  I sat and played games on my kindle and watched the planes take off until the sky turned pink and then black and the moon rose. 

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