Thailand

30 Hours to Paradise

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Well I made it to Koh Phangan, Thailand where it’s 15 hours ahead of California, and I’m definitely feeling the weirdness of not having really slept yet after having departed the U.S. on a Monday evening and arriving at my destination on a Wednesday afternoon– my body and mind feel a bit confused, but it is so jaw droppingly, pinch yourself and question if this really exists, kind of gorgeous that I feel pretty energized.

Here’s a recap of my flight journey from leaving LA up to arriving in Ko Samui, Thailand where my luggage has yet to be found (but, due to the combination of being totally out of it and completely stoked on all this beauty, I really can’t preoccupy myself too much with luggage– I know I’ll get it back eventually):

China Southern’s double decker airbus 380 is beautiful and spacious,but what has been the most mesmerizing and equally perplexing so far, are the stewardesses, or maybe I should say stewardess because they mostly look the same– absolutely perfect, not a hair out of place, calm and collected, modest make up, and pleasant smiles– they pretty much look like Chinese angel stepford wives… After we got off the plane 15 hours later at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China I saw a line of them walk by, both the men and woman looked like clones of one another with perfect matching uniforms, hairstyles, and luggage– all the ladies even wore the same black purse with a tan leather strap, which of course matched the luggage the men carried as well.

Man that Chinese currency though! In the airport and I just paid $10 for a cappuccino!  Freaking Nuts! It was good, and it looked cute, but let me tell you, before I opted for just the cappuccino I had intended on buying a croissant and a water as well, and that was $19!! 

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Woweeee, what a rush! I just landed in Bangkok where I was paranoid about whether I’d make the next flight to Ko Samui, if I’d make it through customs without a visa and proof of departure, or if they’d turn me away– and the biggest worry, one that I’m a little uncomfortable disclosing, is the fact that I take Adderall for ADD (I’ll talk more about the ADD issue later, but that’s not the focus of this story)… I’ve been on this medication on and off for about 10 years and it is extremely illegal in Thailand– like schedule 1, life sentence minimum, death sentence if you have over 365 mg, kind of illegal… Anyways I talked to the Thai consulate in Los Angeles before I left and they said I should just get a doctor’s note, but I read a lot of things online, which proved otherwise… so for the past week I was debating whether to bring the prescription or not and at the last minute I decided not, because obviously I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in a Thai prison, sheesh, what a writing experience that would be though, ha, not one that I want to experience personally!

On the way to Bangkok I realized I had a bunch of these Adderall pills strewn about miscellaneous compartments in my purse, I reluctantly threw them away but I was still increasingly paranoid that there could be more (and I did find two later in compartments I thought I had checked)… So as I walk off the plane taking deep breaths and trying to maintain a calm state reminding myself that I’ve done nothing wrong (I’m a bit of a worry wort, can you tell?), I see my name on a sign held up by a young Asian man in a suit, and my first thought is: oh gosh there must’ve been some Adderall in my checked bag. I say “Hey, ah that’s me!” Probably smiling a little bit too big as I prayed that I wasn’t about to be taken to Thai purgatory before I even get to see this beautiful country. “Oh this is you?,” he said pointing to the sign. “Come with me you’re going to be late for your next flight.” And just like that we were off rushing past people on those flat conveyor belts, him leading the way with a walkie-talkie in his back pocket all official like and me following closely behind still a little unsure of what awaited me… “Is this your first time in Thailand?,” he asked. “Yes, I’m so excited, I never been to south east Asia actually. Do you do this for everyone? I mean help them get to the next flight, no one’s ever done this before.” 

“It’s a courtesy of the airline because your earlier flight was delayed” he explained. “We have to hurry though, you don’t have time to get your checked bag, but I’ll send it on the next flight.”

“Okay that’s fine I don’t mind waiting, I’m just happy to be here, thank you so much for helping me!” We power walk down more conveyor belts, weaving in and out of crowds and up and down inclines until we get to the visa passport check where he gives them a priority slip and they stamp me in barely looking at my information and not even caring that I don’t have proof that I’ll be leaving in 30 days… Psssh this is nuts, what is going on…

We continue on rushing up several escalators, both out of breath, towards what looks to me to be the airport exit with lines of people waiting for taxis and signs for the railway and bus station; and I begin to wonder, could this be some kind of trick? Did some Chinese billionaire hire this man to lure me into some kind of sketchy sex trafficking scheme?! Is everyone in on this, is that why so many people go missing in Bangkok, wait do so many people go missing in Bangkok, I’ve gotta look this up… Oh man what do I do if he leads me outside? I tell myself I’m being ridiculous, which of course I am, but you never know, I can’t imagine any soon to be sex slave is aware that they’re about to be abducted into the sad hell that they later find themselves in…

Soon enough we make a beeline towards the security checkpoint where once again he easily plops me in front of the line and ushers me through, and I don’t even have to take off my jewelry to go to the metal detector! And just like that I passed through all the channels that had me panicking for a week in less than 15 minutes, granted I’m incredibly out of breath and my cheeks are shimmering red, but sheesh that was a rush!

I do an awkward -wai- (traditional Thai greeting, way of saying thank you, good bye etc.) pressing my palms together at my chest and bowing my head and say thank you, we part ways and I enter the plane led by Bangkok Airways where the flight attendants on board are made up of the most beautiful Thai women and one very attractive man, all of them wai as I pass by, and all I can think is– FUCK YES, ThAnk You Universe for sending me all of these helpful humans, I made it! (Well not quite, I spent the next three hours at Ko Samui airport trying to track down my luggage, which is still yet to be found, but I’m on the island of Koh Phangan and I’m stoked to be here!)

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