I can't tell you how good it feels to finally be here.
In a post that proves that friendship is forever, and that Facebook can be used for good and for not evil, one of my besties from highschool joined me on a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok to visit another dear friend we have not seen for oh, about, 25 years.
On arrival, there he was, standing head and shoulders above the rest of the people waiting in the arrivals hall. (He's a very tall Aussie so is kind of hard to miss in a roomfull of Thais). There were big hugs all round, and then we were off to enjoy what has so far been a fabulous holiday in the Land of Smiles.
Smiles? I have barely stopped laughing since the moment we arrived.
But first we had to get to Thailand ...
Starting our journey at Brisbane Airport. One coffee in, a little duty free shopping done, and lots of anticipation ...
Our flight on Thai Airways was exceptional. Even stuck down the back in economy, our seats were comfortable, and there was plenty of leg room.
The check-in lady generously made sure we had a seat in-between us so there was plenty of room for handbags, pillows and reading materials; and all passengers had their own mini-media screens with free-to-view movies, tv, games and other entertainment.
Importantly, there were plenty of little girls' and boys' rooms and they were always clean and available. (Miracles do happen).
And the service was impeccable. Water was brought regularly, and the staff were friendly and efficient.
The food was delicious and plentiful.
The first meal, served promptly after take-off, was warm and tasty, and we got real cutlery. (Gasp!)
Everyone got a salad of barley, corn, salery and ham. *
For mains, there were two choices:
Carolyn went for chicken sliced with bamboo shoot in red curry, Thai Hom Mali rice, stir-fried green bean and carrot.
To be different, and to share with you, dear reader, I chose the barramundi with tomato and tapenade crust roasted potatoes and stir-fried vegetables.
Both came with a roll, butter, cheese, ginger syrup cake, and tea or coffee.
There were also red and white wines and a selection of drinks from the bar. Though the wine appeared to be served in glass thimbles, rather than glasses.
I knocked myself out watching movies I hadn't had a chance to see in the theatres, and probably embarassed Carolyn by laughing aloud in several places.
Then it was time for a Nana Nap - I don't think I snored - and another serving of food and drinks prior to landing.
This time, there was no choice of meal, which didn't matter because it was simply delicious. (If this is what they serve in economy, imagine what they get at the pointy end of the plane? Yes. Just imagine.)
Where was I? Oh yes. The meal. It was fresh fruit, chicken fried rice with pineapple and spring onion, wattle seed anzac biscuits, and tea and coffee.
We didn't need it, but ate it anyway, because it was yummy.
Then we landed and were effortlessly processed through customs and baggage claim, to where Ian was waiting for us as if nothing had changed since we all wore daggy blue uniforms and dreamed of our futures after Kingaroy High School.
All fears of: Would we recognise each other? Would we have anything in common after all these years? and the like quickly evaporated as we chatted away like the old friends we are.
Except that Ian now has a rather posh English accent and also can speak Thai fluently. (Though he insists his accent isn't great, but it sounds impressive to us).
He showed us around his house first, which is an amazing, lovingly furnished apartment with fabulous views.
This is my room:
Isn't it fab?
Ian, being a consummate host, had laid out a selection of fresh towels, toiletries and even chocolates on the bed. It was the first hint we were about to be spoiled within an inch of our lives.
Our Bangkok adventures had begun!
To be continued...
*As with any airline, passengers can preorder vegetarian or other special meals