Friday, January 3, 2014

Getting Here

1 book (Bill Bryson of course)
6 movies
6 flights/5 countries/3 continents: Osorno-Valdivia-Santiago-Auckland-Sydney-Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok

Total time including stop overs: Approximately 45 hours

I rang in the New Year siting on the tarmac at the Santiago International Airport. The crew donned costumes and decorated the plane with streamers and balloons. After reaching cruising altitude, the crew played festive music over the intercom while serving complimentary champagne and firing off confetti poppers. I just made that word up. It was a long tube filled with confetti that "popped". Even the captain came out to shake hands. (He was also in a costume.) So yeah, they got into it.

Boarding the plane

Blurry champagne

So thirteen hours is a long time to sit on a plane. Or anywhere for that matter. But LAN has the best in flight entertainment on their long flights. For both legs (Santiago to NZ and NZ to Sydney) I had my own little touch screen filled with 100+ movies. And a bit of a variety, too. I watched four. Moneyball, Chicago, Pocahontas and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. They had a few new movies as well, but I like to rewatch the same ones over and over again.

So after 30 or so hours from first setting off,  I had arrived in Sydney. After a bit of a delay I boarded an Air Asia flight to Malaysia. It was my first time flying with them so I was a bit shocked and disheartened (it was an 8 hour flight, after all) to discover that not only was there no in-flight entertainment (I'm seriously content with just the one giant shared screen and ANY movie), but they also didn't have any complimentary meal or drink service. No peanuts, no water, no tiny map showing where you are in relation to where you're going. No nothing. But then, just to make things worse, they also don't allow outside food or drinks. What the what? Who does that. Well, an airline that sells overpriced drinks and smelly food, that's who. To be totally fair, I'm sure this all helps to keep their costs down, as they are the leading low-cost airline in the area. (So said the courtesy magazine in the seat pocket in front of me.)

Thankfully Bill was there to keep me company
So after landing in Kuala Lumpur, being herded like cattle through security and getting my water taken away from me for the umpteenth time, I was finally only one short, two-hour flight away from Bangkok. As this flight was also with Air Asia, by the time I arrived in Thailand I was on the verge of suffering from dehydration. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. But I was really FUCKING tired. After going through customs I found my Dad and Jitt and we drove to Pattaya where they live. About two hours toward the Gulf of Thailand.

So there you go. It wasn't even remotely pleasant to get here. But Thailand more than made up for it as you can see in the following picture.

Coke Zero

I'm sure I sound all bitter, but that's just the jet lag talking. I'm super excited to be here, I swear. (Insert smiling emoticon here.)


  1. Great summary of your incredibly long trip! And Bill Bryson, as you say, is always the best company!

    Loved the New Year's Eve celebration with LAN - and the pictures!

  2. Glad you arrived safe and sound. Fantastic that they have such a primary staple of your existence and that you found it so quickly - coke zero- --smile--
    Can't wait to read and see more.