Not quite a Monday morning update but I have some catching up to do. Hopefully, something entertaining for your weekend.
On New Year’s day I caught up with two visitors from blighty, my friends Andrew and Mihai who had just arrived in Bangkok.
The plan was fairly straightforward:
- 2nd Jan: Fly to Koh Samui, then take a boat to Koh Panang
- 4th Jan: Enjoy the full moon party
- 6th Jan: Get to Koh Samui then part ways…Andrew and I to Mandalay via Bangkok and Mihai to Phuket
- 11th Jan: Mihai returns to the UK
- 18th Jan: Andrew returns home from Mandalay
- Unknown date: Roshan returns home
A straightforward plan and all the flights were booked in advance to make it easy (except my return).
2nd January: Bangkok to Koh Panang
On 2nd January we meet at Bangkok International at 6am. Andrew and I checked in together as we were under one booking. At the counter, we accept Bangkok airway’s offer to take a flight one hour earlier to Koh Samui.
On the next counter, Mihai’s having trouble checking in…Bangkok Airways can’t find his booking or ticket. The entire booking hadn’t gone through and Mihai was completely ticketless. Mihai needed to buy a new ticket from the sales office on what we heard were oversubscribed flights.
Though tough, Andrew and I decided the best thing is to continue on the earlier flight in the hope that it may free up space on the later flight. We wish Mihai luck and part ways. All for one and one for all are things of book and television.
We get to the departure gate – unbeknown to Andrew I completed my boarding gate ritual (see the previous article) and found us acceptable seats. The plane is almost fully boarded and Andrew and I are still part worried part incredulous about Mihai’s situation. Just before the cabin door shuts, a very out of breath and very Cheshire cat grinning Mihai walks onto the plane, looks at me and Andrew at the front before breaking down into laughter and exclaiming the word “POW!“
He had been able to buy a ticket for the next flight after ours (i.e. the flight Andrew and I were meant to be on)…at the same price as he had previously booked for. He rushed through security and ran to the gate when he arrived at the gate the person asked if he wants to join an earlier flight instead of waiting around for a few hours…LUCKY DUCK!.
Upon arrival at Koh Samui, Mihai plans the next leg of his journey that he was now ticketless for. He enquires into the flights to Phuket. All the direct flights for 6th January are fully booked. Given the choice of getting a ticket to Phuket via Bangkok (takes much longer) or arriving at the airport on the day and joining a waiting list for a flight, Mihai opts for the later.
4th January: Full Moon
6th January: Koh Samui to Phuket
Once again we find ourselves at an airport saying good bye to Mihai wishing him luck. Mihai had spoken to the sales office and was on the waiting list with a few people, but fortunately was quite high up on the list. We part ways and I wonder if Mihai will make it to Phuket for his Thai boxing training or whether he’ll be running around Koh Samui that evening trying to find a place to stay.
As soon as Andrew and I land at Bangkok we connect to the WIFI. Nothing yet. We WhatsApp Mihai asking where he had got to. The 2 hour lay over was easy with all Bangkok International had to offer, though for all the selfie sticks Bangkok has here were none on sale in the airport.
We find ourselves at the gate, with my ritual complete we take our seats. The very familiar *PING PING* escapes my phone indicating a new WhatsApp message. It’s Mihai. He made it on the first flight to Phuket, again at a completely reasonable price, he’d already checked into his hotel. LUCKY DUCK!.
11th January: Phuket to Kuala Lumpur to UK
I can’t improve on his words so will just paste the verbatim with addendums:
“With the planes basically 2 things happened on the way back from Thailand:
1) the flight I booked from Phuket to Bangkok in Samui I booked for a wrong date, booked it for the 10th instead of the 11th. For whatever reason throughout the trip I thought I was flying out on the 10th instead of the 11th. I obviously realised that on the way to the airport on the 11th. Luckily they put me on the same flight but on the 11th…for free. [LUCKY DUCK!]
2) when i landed in Bkk I looked for kuala lumpur flights and the one that I found, around the time I knew i am supposed to fly out, i go to its departure gate. I end up staying there for about 1.5 hs until they start boarding people. When they check my ticket, they tell me I am at the wrong gate…my flight departs in 15 mins at the other side of the airport. So legged it like never before and luckily made. [LUCKY DUCK!]
Forgot to mention that the first thing i did when I landed in BKK was to stuff my face with a burger king double whopper meal which made the run all the more interesting. Rest of the trip was fine, in KL ran into Al Hargreaves and newly wed wife returning from their honeymoon. Good people. [LUCKY DUCK!]
See you guys when you’re back”
Dedicated to my good friend Mihai, the luckiest duck I know.