The final days before my annual leave were approaching, and time had basically come to a standstill as it always does in the lead up to vacation. Fortunately, this time around I'd lucked out with a pretty awesome trip to pass the time. I was off to Bangkok, which just so happens to be one of my favourite layovers! I'd made up my mind that aside from the flights which I obviously had to work, I was going to pretend that I was on vacation for the duration of the trip.
With a little help from caffeine and some a really great crew, I managed to make it through the 3 am flight and land happily in Bangkok on a sunny day. Taking advantage of the long bus ride to the city, I napped so that I'd feel a bit more energized once we'd reached the hotel. I was still feeling a bit drowsy, so I made the most of the beautiful weather and ventured down to the pool. Lying in the warm sun, I began to enjoy my early vacation. As the sun started to hide behind the tall buildings surrounding the pool, it was off to the spa for me! I'd read in various wedding magazines that it's great to have a facial every month prior to the wedding. While many don't have the means to do so, I'm fortunate enough to travel to places where it's perfectly affordable and my skin could use the TLC, so I figured, why not? I dozed off into relaxation until it was all over and it was time for me to leave!
Back in my hotel room I changed and got ready for dinner. I was absolutely starving, but I hadn't agreed to meet the others until 7 pm. I knew that staying in my room would only lead to a "short nap" that would result in me missing dinner, so I went for a walk to keep myself awake. I crossed the busy street to the supermarket, where I stocked up on some fresh fruit and bottled water. It was finally time to meet for dinner!! I was joined by Ilaitia and Alex (the same crew from both my Beijing and Toronto flights this month!) along with another crew member, Vissan from Mauritius.
We walked down the road to a restaurant recommended by one of the Thai crew members. Despite the French decor, it was an authentic Thai restaurant with amazing food. My mouth was on fire as I devoured my spicy papaya salad, followed by perfect Pad Thai. Mmm, Thailand. When it comes to food this is definitely one of my favourite destinations. Once we'd finished eating and were too full to move, it was onwards to the Patpong Night Markets. We decided to catch a tuk-tuk for the sake of being in Bangkok, and rode through the traffic holding on for dear life. Upon arrival at the market, we were immediately bombarded with the usual pushy sales people trying to sell us watches and bags and everything fake. We declined the numerous people holding signs inviting us to see "Naughty shows" and questioned whether some of the high heel sporting women were actually male or female. The boys shopped. I don't know where the stereotype about girls shopping more came from, but having traveled the world and been shopping with both genders I can assure you, it is not true. Ilaitia had more bags than he could carry as he stocked up on gifts for his family back home. I found and fell in love with a cotton bag that would be perfect for the beach, and I had to have it. Unfortunately, I was feeling far too lazy to bargain. I accepted that I would not own it until the boys came along and helped me out, scoring me my bag for approximately 4 Canadian dollars. Once we'd finally finished shopping we were dragging our feet in a semi-conscious state. I hadn't slept all afternoon and my bed was calling my name! We walked back to our hotel and I slept for the next 10 hours until it was time to get ready for my next flight.
We were off to Hong Kong for the day!! It's a short flight, but we spend about 4 hours in the airport waiting for the flight back to Bangkok. During this time we are provided with food and free wireless internet, so I'm usually quite content! We piled food high on our plates and then got comfy in the chairs of the airport lounge as we enjoyed our meals and watched the heartbreaking coverage of the chaos going on in Japan. Feeling sleepy, I decided to take a walk to keep myself awake. I wandered through the duty free shops, picking up several items in the Muji store and then putting them back on the shelves after realizing that I had no use for them. But who doesn't want a cute little wooden airport set?! Before I knew it, it was time to return to Bangkok. It was a busy but quick flight, and we were back in lovely Thailand!! It was straight to bed for me!
I woke up the next morning to a phone call. It was Ilaitia, wanting to go shopping again! We met up after we had showered and were ready to go. Along with Vissan, we caught a taxi and headed to MBK, shopping paradise! For some reason, I had anticipated making many purchases, so I exchanged some of my other currencies into Thai bahts and set out to conquer the mall. I wandered aimlessly, picking up a few items at Beauty Buffet, a cute little cosmetics shop with all sorts of fun makeup products. Aside from that, I was empty handed when I returned to meet up with the boys 2 hours later. They were both toting massive hauls that would definitely take a great deal of effort to cram into their suitcases. We went to the food court for lunch, where I dined on Tom Yum soup and more papaya salad, and a coconut-banana milkshake to wash it down. Delicious! I was a bit disappointed with my lack of purchases, but I really didn't need to buy anything.
Back at the hotel, the boys went straight to bed but I wasn't quite ready to sleep. I walked down the street, stopping in at the spa for a pedicure. I was feeling rather self indulgent and spoiled, but I was nearly on vacation and therefore felt that it was justified. I got sleepy as my toes were painted a beautiful shade of purple. After an hour of relaxation I was ready for a nap!! I slept for 4 hours, until it was time to get ready for my flight back to Dubai. I couldn't wait! I was almost on holidays!
It was the longest 6 hour flight of my life, but having such an awesome crew made it a whole lot better. Ilaitia, Alex, and Athira from Thailand joined me in the back galley, and I can honestly say they are one of the best groups of people I've flown with. We played silly games to keep entertained, and took self timer photos of ourselves in the galley. We finally landed at 5 am, and despite my fatigue I was dancing at the baggage carousel celebrating the fact that I was done working for the rest of the month!
It had been a great layover, which will prove helpful in a few weeks when I'm reflecting on it and convincing myself to get back on the plane after my vacation.
My lovely blog readers, I'm catching a flight home tomorrow morning! Only 24 hours later (gross) I'll be home sweet home, surrounded by my family and cuddling Ryan and my puppies. Bear with me, I probably won't have many updates for the next couple of weeks!