Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Holiday blog

Its damn good to be on holidays. I'm on 3 weeks leave and it's felt like a month already which is good. I've spent 10 days abroad visiting my brother in Singapore and made a short trip over to Bangkok. I thought I'd post a few observations on the trip.

Planes/Airports
This post by Thursday's Child is quite apt. My main hates in planes are those that are in such a rush to get out the door in the plane when there's no chance of moving and the armrest hogs. I'd suggest the middle seat have both due to having the most uncomfortable ride. One additional hate I encountered on the way home was a person with smelly feet. It was a night flight so I'm assuming this person hadn't showered and, taking off her socks, curling up into the chair only made the stench more potent. What do you do in that scenario? Both adjacent passengers were talkative and relatively friendly, but do you risk offending the person you need to sit next to for the next 8 hours?

I like the idea of being able to check in just an hour before flights in Asia and getting to the boarding gates at latest 15 minutes before the flight. It reduces any idle time at the airport which I experienced on the flight out of Australia. I must admit that the security in Australia is very thorough, although arriving back at 5:45am my patience was tested as I was randomly drilled by 2 separate customs officers about my trip. (I seriously don't look that dodgy do I?)

Taxis/Traffic
I now have a greater tolerance for bad drivers. I'm not sure why Singapore or Bangkok have indicators or lanes. Everyone weaves in and out without indicating, drive in the middle of the road and at high speed. You can't hesitate in a lane change and oddly enough it seems most drivers are used to the events that occur on the roads, and despite all the infractions I only experienced a couple of toots.

One little addition to some traffic lights I liked was a countdown on pedestrian (Singapore) and some road lights (Bangkok). It was quite satisfying sprinting across the road as it counted down from 3. At one intersection in Bangkok we were waiting for 10 minutes to cross the road. (no joke) There was a steady stream of cars bumper to bumper and traffic perpendicular eventually got impatient and began to drive through anyway! We suspect that the lights were controlled manually by a small hut at the intersection, but it did lead to some frustration, particularly as we were on the way to get a massage and I was lugging around a new suitcase I bought.

The best story from the trip was the airport cab ride in Bangkok. Strangely enough, entry into the hotel is guarded and cars undergo a under-the-car mirror inspection prior to pulling up to the entrance. Ordering a cab from the hotel we managed to get the nuttiest guy in Thailand. Mentioning to us that he was told to "Go, Go, Go" by his last passengers (obviously contestants from the Amazing Race) he informed us that he was only going by the speed limit (which was fine by us). Mosquitoes appeared in the cab, and being the hospitable driver, he took both hands off the wheel clapping in an attempt to kill ones close to him. This while thundering down the freeway at 130kph. So much for sticking to speed limits. Finally he turned up his custom mix tapes full bore and began singing along which I tried to secretly capture from the back seat, but only got a video of the music. In any case the traffic is horrendous in parts of Bangkok, but cabs are cheap (~$10aud for 50kms)

Next Food/Shopping

6 Comments:

At Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:32:00 pm, Blogger thanh7580 said...

Jonno, you wrote almost the exact same thing that I wrote about in regards to plane rides.

Those people that start to pull out their overhead luggage even though the announcement is to stay seated are so funny. Where do they think they will be going when the plane is still moving and the doors are closed.

I also sat next to a gentleman who took his shoes off on my trip back from Hong Kong and his feet stunk so much. I have a very good sense of smell so it was killing me. I had to turn my head the other direction just to avoid dry vomitting.

 
At Wednesday, July 25, 2007 12:21:00 pm, Blogger Jonno said...

Some very good pointers in that post thanh7580... Being stuck in the middle 2 would've been horrendous! Not sure how people don't know that their feet stink. It got slightly better as the food came out though... The lady in the window seat asked if she could swap with me (aisle). No chance of that happening!

 
At Thursday, July 26, 2007 11:59:00 am, Blogger M's nemesis said...

Hey Jonno! Great to hear about your adventures/misadventures!!! Very entertaining post and will keep it in mind your very sound airplane etiquette on my trip to Peru next month.

btw> Any interesting food experiences? If you got pix add them to FFF!!! Hehehe... sorry had to do a bit of a plug! ;)

Hope you're well!

 
At Friday, July 27, 2007 12:18:00 am, Blogger Jonno said...

Thanks m's. I'm well. Hope you are also! Peru, that sounds exciting. Be sure to blog the trip! A few of my family recently went over and Machu Picchu has to be on your list of things to do... If you want any info I can ask them for it.

In terms of food experiences I'm planning on posting some here but no pix I'm afraid! A lot of the places we went to seemed to frown on cameras and I'm still in the old ages of a camera-less phone...

 
At Friday, July 27, 2007 1:18:00 am, Blogger yossarian said...

jonno, i whole-heartedly agree with your sentiments regarding airport security...i got vacuumed before leaving melbourne, and my laptop bag set off an alarm at LA. if you want to experience a total loss of dignity, go to LA airport and get yourself taken aside into a little room with two random customs officers! fun!

and the roads/driving in bangkok sounds very similar to vietnam traffic. lots of weaving, speeding and total disregard for lanes (or pedestrians!). hats off to your considerate driver for getting rid of those mozzies for you though ;p

looking forward to hearing about the food!

 
At Saturday, July 28, 2007 1:06:00 pm, Blogger Jonno said...

Thanks yossarian. It's good to hear you've made it safely to the states, although it can't be good experience being held up with the customs officers...Especially after such a long flight :( Likewise look forward to the experiences in the states!

 

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