13 August 2006

Bangkok - Home for Real

I got up at 7:15…the first night I’ve slept all the way through to the alarm. I’ve definitely got a cold. I was hoping I’d get home before it got bad but it doesn’t look like I’m going to make it. I’m trying to conserve my decongestants for takeoffs and landings and the few cough drops I have so they’ll last. My head and sinuses are slightly congested, my throat is scratchy and I have a headache. I took Sudafed and ibuprofen at breakfast but it didn’t really help until I got some caffeine at lunch.

We had free breakfast vouchers at the hotel. Mine had “Western style” circled when I got it but when I was seated, I asked if I could get the “Japanese style” instead. “When in Rome” and all that... The guy acted like that was highly irregular or I didn’t know what I was saying but went along with it. It turns out they weren’t so different. Dave (western style) had Texas toast where I had sticky rice and I had miso soup where he had something we later figured out was creamy corn soup. In common we had slightly runny scrambled eggs, 2 chicken sausages, a shredded lettuce salad, fish (herring?), a fruit cocktail sort of thing and tea/coffee. Other than the eggs/sausage, it really wasn’t very breakfast-like…at least by American standards.

The shuttle to the airport left around 11. We got in one United line only to find out we needed to be in the ticketing line because we wanted an American flight. We had spent a lot of time on the phone at the hotel trying to get that nailed down. First, United had us on the Honolulu flight but we finally got someone who told us there were seats available on American, direct from Tokyo to Chicago, so we got our Honolulu flights changed. United took care of that but wouldn’t have offered us the American flight if we hadn’t dug into it ourselves. We’ll get the same flight schedule from Chicago to Des Moines that we should have been on, only a day later.

Once we got all that sorted out, we went to get lunch at a Japanese restaurant. I had sushi and sobe noodle soup. Yum! Then we wandered around shopping. I got my caffeine and a few trinkets; Dave got some stuff for his kids.

When we gave up on all that, we went to the gate to wait the 2 hours remaining before our flight.

I ended up with a bulkhead seat on the aisle, next to a rather large young lady who kept spilling over the armrest into my seat. But I had plenty of leg room! It was a very long, mummifying flight but uneventful…just the way they’re supposed to be. In Chicago we collected our bags and checked them at United for the flight to Des Moines. We had a couple hours to wait then a skinny-hour flight home.We arrived in Des Moines but our bags didn’t. You just had to know that was going to happen…