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Published: February 15th 2010
Got up at 5am to get our taxi to the Ho Chi Minh City airport. We weren't sorry to be leaving Vietnam, or the unfriendly people, but were sad it was the first part of our trip now complete and in the past. The lady on the Check-In desk forgot to give us a departure card, and we weren't aware we'd need one from her, so we were irritated when the staff at Passport Security made us go all the way back to the desk (through Baggage Control and everything) to collect one. They should have spares kept at Passport Security in case the Check-In staff forget to do their job properly.
Had Tea and a Banana Muffin (served hot and soggy) at a Lily Coffee shop for breakfast, before boarding the short flight to Bangkok. A woman asked me if I'd swap seats with her so she could sit by the aisle, but I explained I wanted to sit next to my friend Ellie. We hadn't realised we'd be served breakfast and were reasonably appalled when they said it was fish and rice, but feeling adventurous Ellie and I gave it a go and it wasn't half as bad as
we expected “fish for breakfast” to be.
The lady from earlier asked if it would be ok if she kept my unused toothpick; salt & pepper; napkin etc and explained she wanted to give them to her children as a souvenir. It was sobering to realise that some families can’t afford souvenirs commonly bought by tourists, and I was touched that a small gesture like this can bring happiness to not-so-fortunate children. I was then overcome by guilt for not letting her have the seat she’d wanted during this infrequent experience for her.
We landed at 10.30am and were immediately greeted by friendly Thai’s, who we’d missed during the latter part of our journey around Asia. We collected our backpacks but couldn’t check in until 3 hours before our flight, so were stuck with our bags for the next 7 hours. Rather than hike round the humid city with our backpacks, we chose to stay at the Terminal. We have already visited Bangkok twice, so there wasn’t anything we felt we needed to do. It was a shame there wasn’t somewhere to sunbathe outside the Airport, but the time passed quickly and we were grateful for the aircon. Had some
noodles in a snack bar and read our books for the rest of the day.
We checked in at 6pm and wandered round hundreds of gift shops and duty free stores, smothering ourselves top to toe in expensive moisturisers. Sales Assistants left us to it, so by the time we’d finished at the Clinique, La Prairie and Shiseido counters, we must have had 3 or 4 layers on each body part. I had even slipped my flipflops off at some point to test a luxurious footcream. We added the finishing touches by dousing ourselves in Victor Rolf and The Beat by Burberry, and swanned off feeling incredibly pampered.
Got a pastie then boarded the plane to Melbourne. On the flight from Manchester in December we’d flown Quantas (with our own TVs and huge selection of films to watch), so we were a bit disappointed when we had to share a drop down TV hanging from the roof on this JetStar plane. The programmes they’d selected weren’t great, but they played a film called Julie and Julia, a story about a woman cooking her way through a Julia Child Cookbook and blogging about each day. Ten minutes in to the film
Ellie looked at me puzzled wondering why I could understand a 'French' film - I reached over and changed the channel on her headset from 12 to 1. The film was watchable, and especially interesting for me as I could relate to Julie's blogging experience.
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