A Vegan on Tour

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December 27th 2019
Published: December 29th 2019
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And there I was, hugging my mother goodbye at the airport before departing on an adventure for a month by myself with no knowledge of where I was going or even why I was doing it.

It wasn't until I got to the other side of security that it dawned on me "Oh fuck, I'm competely alone for the next month about to fly to the other side of the world." Boarded the plan and sat next to an islander chap called Corey and his wife embarking on their honeymoon. We chatted for a bit before doing what humans have become good at and competely ignoring each other with flashing images that completely disconnect us from the fundamental trait of communication - thus isolating ourselves and causing significant personal and social issues. But hey, it's sure a great way to stop thinking for 2hrs. Our plane proceeded to sit on the tarmac for an hour, which unbeknownst to me, would go on to cause a whole raft of subsequent 'challenges.' Corey and his partner hadn't traveled much, so I showed them the ropes by proceeding to get drunk and asking for snacks, extra bread rolls etc like you do. I even took Corey up to 'the snack haven' (where they hide them) and we raided them. 2 bananas, 2 packs of chips, 2 muesli bars. I mean hey, $2k for flights, gotta get my money's worth. With circa 2hrs left on the longest leg of my flight, it dawned on me that it was going to be a fairly close call getting my next plane (30mins). Now, Hong Kong airport has over 500 gates, so even if we landed with time to spare, getting to my gate 30mins before departure wasn't going to happen. Strangely, I was ok with it. Thank fuck I intended to arrive 3 nights before my tour started. I notified the Cathay staff, who in all their great wisdom, said they couldn't do anything and to talk to the ground staff when I got off the plane. We landed, later than we should, took forever to park the plane and then by the time we went to disembark, I had 15mins to get to my gate. Well fuck. Got off the plane, started my sprint to find 'ground staff' - asked some people who were staff and on the ground - Turns out it wasn't them. Ran around some more, more non-ground staff. Eventually before I'm about to get on the train to the terminal, I hear someone say "Bangkok" and find the ever illusive Ground Staff.If it doesn't wasn't for ye olde Taringas, I would have been fucked. Cathay showing its class. I get handed a ticket for another flight leaving 4 hrs after my intended. To apologise,I get a $75 HKD voucher for a meal. This is all very nice, but it's rare you can find a Vegan meal in ANY airport, let alone Hong Kong who didn't know what the word meant. I wondered the airport looking for food, after 3hrs of wondering I found some rice and Beyond meat which did the job. I might mention, that $75HKD, barely even covered the cost of any of the food options I'd seen, so inevitably, I used my own money. Chur again Cathay. By this stage I'm pretty exhausted and just wanting to get to Bangkok to start my adventure. I didn't sleep at all on the plane as I was trying to sort my body clock for Thailand - plus sleeping sitting up sucks. My newly aquired flight is then delayed an hour. I board, try to fall asleep, except I'm sitting next to some obnoxious Asian fella who doesn't seem to know how to keep his arms between his seat. The pilot tells us the flights going to be about 10mins late. 10mins my fucking dickhole. 1hr later we depart. Oh yeah, my meal, Cathay in all their wisdom didn't arrange a vegan meal when they changed my flights. Land, go through customs like a zombie then go looking for my taxi to my hotel.Find a taxi, he can't speak English (probably coz he's in Thailand and that's not his native language, but us privlaged English speakers all demand everyone talks the same as us), but he points to a machine. I gather my stuff and go over there like a zombie - waiting in a large line. As I'm nearly to the front, I realise I don't have my suitcase.FUCK FUCK FUCK. WHERE IS IT. Panic sets in, I sprint over to non-english taxi guy was parked and there it is. Just sitting there in the middle of the carpark.Thank that fictional character that people use to fill the void in their life. Finally get in my taxi, who is another native Thai speaker (who would've thought). I show him the name of my hotel, he blurts out a few basic English words hes picked up "WHERE?" and proceeds to make a bunch of 'I don't know where the fuck that is' noises, but then starts the car and off we go. My driver has a mobile phone on his speedometer - coz, who needs to know what speed they're traveling - so I'm remotely encouraged by the prospect he'll use this to get me to my hotel. He doesn't though and uses it to watch AAAYouTube while driving the whole way there. Literally. I was so tired by that point, I wasn't even that phased by the highly likely scenario of us crashing. Eventually we get close to my hotel with my driver insisting he's going to drop me off in a totally different location as he can't find it (It's about 2am local time (8am NZ). All this life risking experience for the price of 400 bhat ($20). That's enough for today - stay tuned for less whinging and a sleep deprived day tomorrow!


30th December 2019

Big brother is watching
The aim of the airlines is just to give you enough frustration that you are late, annoyed and on airport cameras so they can sell locally, pictures of your frustration and have a good laugh at foreigners -at least you got your case back and won't make that mistake again -I think your phone can have language apps and maps to help you communicate- it's all a growth experience learning to face and take new challenges in your stride without over reacting to things are beyond your control- at least being a vegan, you won't have challenges like eating scorpion, crickets or dogs -keep smiling and the world may smile with you -enjoy your adventure

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