June 13th 2010
Friday I began the long journey back home from half way around the world. The last day in the Thailand was filled with running around getting a list of things friends and family asked for. We visited a market next to a river. I would expect the river to be totally lifeless considering how poor most of the people are here it would be fished out. On the contrary however. The fish was abundant and came up to eat out of your hands. The locals tells that it was because the market is next to temple so it is forbidden to harm wild life there. The fish apparently knows this because they were all over the place.
After dinner we were packed and ready to head to the airport. We were to fly out via Korean Airlines at about 11pm. Not knowing how the traffic was going to be we left early and got there at 9pm. We had an hour flight delay so flight out of Bangkok to South Korea was now midnight. We pass the time buying some wi-fi time, and cruise the internet which I have not done for for a bit. Apparently the US is the only airports providing free wi-fi for your laptop.
Five hours in the air we landed in South Korea for another 3 hour layover. I took this opportunity to get some much needed sleep. My brother law tells me I was snoring but I didn’t care. The 30minute nap I got was well worth it. This was to be the epic flight back to New York and for whatever reason I just can not sleep well while flying. I say epic because the flight leaves 11am S. Korea time, with the time zone changes and half way around the world we were not to land on US soil until 11am (yes 24 hours later) the next day! I think it came out to like 14 hours in the hair but that is a loooooooooong time to be anywhere much less a single economy class chair in a crowded airplane.
The flight was an eternity. If it wasn’t for the built in entertainment system I do not know what I would have done to keep myself busy. I must have watched 10 movies during the flight. My favorite was “How to train a dragon”. Next time I do this I will have to bring my ipad, ipod as they do have a usb charger as well. There were music, new releases, classic as well as foreign movies, board games, arcade games.
After landing in NY we had to go through customs. By the way, US customs does not like you to use you cameras in that area. I was told immediately to stop and delete what I had recorded. I complied quickly. I do not think it had anything to do with my video taking but I was sent to be interview more and not just walked through after checking papers like my brother and law. They asked me all kinds of questions but at the end all was good minus a small delay. I call tell looking around that room though, that some was being sent back or interrogated more and did not look very happy.
We are now on US grounds. No sleep and looking at a Wendy’s we at our lunch. I have been eating Thai or Korean food for the past 11 days and was ready to get some good American food in my stomach. It was the best hamburger I’ve had in a long time. We will need the energy for yet another 5 hours of layover before heading to Orlando as our final destination.
The New York airport was crowded old and dirty compare to the new Thai and Korean airport. I wasn’t very comfortable but was I was glad to be one step closer to home. I killed time charging all my gear(out of the country 220v was the power) and making phone calls and following up on emails and voice mails. I did not utilize my Verizon phone in “roaming mode” while I was away. It would’ve cost some crazy amount plus I really did not want to be attached to a phone the entire time I was in Thailand.
After almost another 1 hour delay we were off finally. 9pm we landed in Orlando and was greeted by my brother in law’s family. I’m not home just just yet. We drove to Lake Whales to drop him off then I had to make the 1.5 hour drive back to Tampa. This is cake to what I normally drive but if you count how long I have been up, I have been with out sleep for almost 48 hours now. I had to fill up on gas and down some energy drink.
The drive home(alone finally) gave me time to reflect on the trip and the long journey half way around the world. Though it was not meant to be, this trip will definitely be a life changer for me. I am fortunate enough to see the other side many never get a chance to. If you care to listen, I will share my perspective as this blog goes on. We are fortunate here, we are compare to most of the world.
I arrive in my driveway right before midnight. I should be dead tired and falling over from lack of sleep but I was not. Now to get over the jet lag…….
While I was there I avoided most of the tourist hot spots. I leaned towards more of the local flavors. I didn’t want to eat at fancy restaurants I wanted street foods. I wanted eat things I could not eat back in the states. The exotic fresh fruits and strange types of meets and insects that they eat there.
I must have sampled 10 different type of insects while I was there. From Dung Beatles, silk worms, flying ants, rice roaches, crickets, inch worms, I even tried the eggs horse shoe crabs. Most of the bugs didn’t have much taste at all after it got fried. My favorites were the flying ants. The local names is “mang mun” this translates to “oil insect”. The bug has oil bladder, which has an excellent taste as the gland explodes in your mouth.