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Published: April 12th 2009
Sadly it was time to say goodbye to Jo and Brett, our kind hosts in Sydney. It was an airport goodbye under the bright flat light and polished floor we hugged and kissed and struggled to find the right words of thanks and farewell. Then they were gone and we walked through to the security check area and a two hour wait for our flight.
As I eluded to in earlier posts we have overspent a little on our travels and Japan, being one on the more expensive and later countries visited on our trip had fallen victim to our earlier extravagance, unforseen expenditures and the falling pound against the dollar. Unfortunately the terms and conditions of our One World around the world ticket dictate that a change of time or date can be made to the ticket but not location. So even though we could no longer afford to go to Japan the best we could do was to fly there and sit in the airport for four hours before flying back South to Thailand. In order to changing our route to miss out Japan and fly straight from Sydney to Bangkok we would be charged $120 dollars per person plus a recalculation of the entire ticket price at today's prices, a cost we could not afford. So we settled in for our pointless ten hour North North West flight, three movies, two meals and a restless night. I must have managed to get some sleep as I woke bent double and dribbling into the aisles.
We land and are welcomed to Japan. A sign awaits us and we are ushered into a queue for connecting flights. Each bag is carefully rechecked through security and we are shown the way to another departure lounge. The sofas are not designed for slumber and my attempts at sleep result in ten minutes shut eye in exchange for red patches, marked skin and a dozen aches and pains. I am too tired to read and the TV is unsurprisingly in Japanese so I listen to a pod cast on my Ipod whilst we wait for boarding.
We are called for boarding on flight JL717 to Bangkok. I wedge my unwilling body back into the seat and prepare for our seven hour South West portion of the journey. The movies are all at set times and not on demand so I attempt to learn how to play some Japanese version of Chess on the entertainment console but my tired brain is really not up to the task. We are fed and watered and I watch a couple of movies catching a few restless and uncomfortable moments sleep in between. The second of the two films is an excellent movie about David Frost interviewing President Nixon. Unfortunately the entertainments are turned off two minutes before the end of the film for landing. After sixteen hours of flight all I wanted was two more minutes in the air, how ironic.
We are met with a very warm reception at Bangkok airport and after doing a few laps of the place we successfully locate a baggage storage facility for our big bags, I manage to convince my bank that my attempts to withdraw cash are not fraudulent and we locate airport information who in turn locate our free hotel transfer. We are taken to our stopover hotel located in some scrubland underneath the motorway for one nights rest before flying on to Trat the next day.
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