It is Friday afternoon, the hallways are quiet, only the administration and I are at school.2 o’clock can’t come faster. Finally! I get to go home early to take a shower grab my bag and head to the airport. After two weeks of winter camp and desk warming which is just as it sounds, keeping my desk warm during the afternoons. But who cares. I am on the way to Incheon International Airport to catch my flight to Bangkok where my brother and sister and about midway through their 30 plus hours of travel.
We land late. Around 11:30pm and the only thing on our schedule for day 1 of 18 is to find my siblings and head try to get some sleep on an unoccupied bench somewhere in Suvarnabhumi Airport. We find them outside of the Starbucks and we find a place to sleep. Well, kind of. We get ready for the free 5 am shuttle to Don Mueang International Airport to get out 10 am flight to Chiang Mai where the adventure is scheduled to begin. Upon leaving the airport and getting onto the highway the first thing you notice besides the standard tungsten streetlights is the portraits of the king of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej. The Kings portrait is everywhere, random businesses, the middle of the road. Just everywhere. Good for that guy, he is worth something like 30 billion dollars apparently.
After getting to the airport very early for our flight and enjoying an overpriced airport breakfast we ventured across the street and over the highway to check out a temple that is visible from the airport. The pollution, honking, and smells. That is when the adventure started. We ran across the street like Frogger through the traffic and into the temple grounds where we wandered around the buildings. Cities. The stagnant air was making us sweat a lot. Coming from winter in Korea and for my siblings a real Canadian winter of -30C was hot.
After wandering around we moved back to the airport and tried to find a quiet place to spend the next few hours waiting. As we sat there staring out the window onto the runway we noticed that no planes had taken off in quite some time. Generally every 2 minutes you see a plane take off or land at airports. Boom. The glass shook as a fighter jet did a low pass over the terminal. The old building rattled as the jet did multiple passes in all directions. Then another. And another. There were multiple jets doing maneuvers and low passes over the runways. We were confused because we had not heard about any kind of airshow happening that day. No one else seemed concerned but we were starting to get anxious about our flight. We asked some locals sitting beside us what was happening. They told us it was an airshow for Children’s day. My brother and I thought that an international airport is an inappropriate place to preform Oh well.
We went to the ground level of the airport and waited for our plane. It was chaos but no one was angry. Hundreds of people were waiting to board and the rest were just confused about what time their flight was leaving. Because of the airshow dozens of flights had been delayed. After about 24 hours of travel for Sara and I, and triple that for my brother and sister, we boarded our flight to Chiang Mai.
To be continued…