By the end of last year I start to get nervous, I know it is ridiculous… still 51 days to go, so more than time enough to buy the underwatercamera, the travel tripod, check on the insurance and vaccinations, lose weight (haha, asif…), do the last minute bookings and think about how to stay busy on a 11 hour flight. Little did we know that we would be kept busy in a way we wouldn’t appreciate…
The last ray of hope to be able to travel without cool box is gone… I will need to continue with daily injections, our attempt to bring down the doses failed… pfff… goodbye to traveling light… This year I am trying out something new as well… a back pack. Let it be said, it will also the last time I did that… I am too old for that… it just gets too messy and I forget where everything is. And the worst thing? It is as heavy as the “monster” suitcase my friend always carries along and I make fun about (especially when her pink version broke while packing). That monster has wheels, so much easier to move around and most of the time one of the staff or the drivers are helping her with that suitcase while my backpack looks lighter and I got stuck with it. So, post this trip, I have swallowed my pride and bought myself my own yellow monster.
At check in we meet an older gentleman – Note that we are flying Thai Airways through Bangkok to get to Phnom Penh – who would be traveling through Thailand on his motorcycle. O? We wouldn’t have thought thát looking at his appearance, he has those age stains on his hands, almost no hair left, looks like a grandpa and has funny ears standing sideways. He continues his story… “my girl friend will meet me there, we will first hang out at the beach for 4 days and …” O no, it is one of those, the cliché has been confirmed. I cannot help finding it really difficult to accept that young Thai women really fancy older Western men, other than for the money.
But then… OMG… what a horror flight. We were initially thrilled to see that the seat next to me was empty and we would be able to enjoy a great flight with lots of opportunity to stretch our legs and getting us as comfortable as possible. It became very clear very early that sleeping would not be part of the deal on this flight. One row down, there is a mother with three kids, a teenage boy and two smaller kids. Nothing wrong with that, I know – I am a mother, and if the parent has authority over the kids and is prepared for a long flight with kids, ie brought along things to play with and keep them comfortable, everything will be fine. Nope, not the case here. It starts with the teenage boy refusing taking directions from the stewardess to take the designated seat. The mother doesn’t react. ??? The two young kids are screaming… it is not pain, it is not hunger (they both got breastfed regularly), it is not being tired… What is going on here, why are they screaming non-stop?? The teenage boy stirs them up every time one of them gets more quite. The mother doesn’t react… ???? After a few hours the mother takes the smallest one and attempts to get it to sleep by walking up and down the plane. Meanwhile the teenage boy has the time of his life, taking all three seats, irritating everyone and anyone. The mother doesn’t react… After 5 hours non-stop screaming, my friend loses it. “SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTTT!!!! SHUT UP!!!!!” The mother doesn’t react… Five minutes quietness… five minutes… and it starts again. But by now, my friend is getting the stewardess and steward, before someone loses his or her temper. Other passengers are starting to get involved as well… not strange as about half of the plane is getting in a state of absolute hatred by now, being sleep deprived and held hostage by a teenager and a mother not taking control. The stewardess tells the mother that if it were her kids she would have slapped them long time ago. The mother doesn’t react. The teenage boy is not listening to anyone, his father had told him that the boy was in charge while the father was not with him, and therefor the teenager has interpreted that as “I can do whatever I want”.
We really, really deserved this vacation by now….