Champagne Before Midday

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Asia » Thailand
July 17th 2016
Published: June 23rd 2017
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Geo: 13.7388, 100.558

Peter walked around to my place in the balmy zero degrees. I was pretty much ready to go so only left 5 minutes later than planned at 6.50am.
Peter drove my car, we stopped at Maccas on bypass for breakfast before picking mum up. The temp had risen to 4 degrees by this time. Why are we leaving?!?!
There were no problems getting to the airport - a really good run. Drop-off area was full and we weren't allowed to wait for a car to finish unloading their passengers so we had to keep moving. Peter decided - as lots of others were doing it - to angle park to unload us. Of course that meant the taxi behind couldn't go until we finished unpacking. Oh well!! We quick jump out and I out my handbag and backpack on the ground for mum to look after while I helped Peter. Good plan except Mum had somehow got tangled in seatbelt and her neck strap that had her house key on it and camera strap. Luckily no one took my handbag as I untangled her. Peter got suitcases out quickly and jumped into car to leave quickly - there were about 5 empty spits directly in front of him by this stage. In all the rush I forgot to take off my winter jacket!!!! Just what I want to take to Asia. It takes up so much room!!!! Also forgot the spare suitcase tag. Oh well. At least I'm not over luggage limit - my bag was 15kg and the suitcase full of stuff for Mel was 9.2kg. Mums suitcase was 12.3kg. Being business class we had 40kg each to use!!! I guess I can do a lot of shopping in Thailand 😊
Nice not having to weigh all luggage at home as bigger limit.
Checked in was so fast. No one else in business class queue. We were asked our names before we got to the counter and given the invitations to the Cathay Pacific business class lounge, explained where to go to get to it and where it was located in Brunei for our use. Only a few people in customs so I went straight up to scanner and scanned my passport, had my photo taken (or it was face recognition camera - not sure) then went through. I turned around to see how mum was going. Mum couldn't find passport and was getting so flustered. She is always so careful. I couldn't go back to help her so was stuck in limbo feeling so sorry for mum. Finally someone noticed it on floor behind her so all good. The staff who had come to help her then helped her through the passport scanner etc We realised we hadn't filled out departure cards that are not actually checked just completed and placed into a locked box so we had to do that. It wasn't until we got to Thailand that mum discovered that somehow she had forgotten to put her card in the box!!! I sent mum ahead and I waited in the duty free refund line for ages. I didn't know you could do an online claim then just present to the counter. I downloaded app to see if I could quickly do it and swap lanes but it wasn't easy. The only thing I did find out using the app was that if an item is over $1000 then the receipt needs to have both name and address of the buyer on it. My receipt for Mel's phone only had my name on it and I didn't have the credit card I used but luckily I had also used my debit card which I had brought so they allowed claim to be processed. It was worth the stress as I got $111 back.

Finally made it to the business lounge. It was a bit disappointing food wise but possibly as it was breakfast so cereal and bread. Few mini quiche and sausage rolls. Individually wrapped Tim tams and shortbread biscuits - had to take a few Tim tams for Mel!!! We did have a champagne at about 11.30 to start the holiday on!!
We were called to the plane after everyone else had boarded so no crowds. Nice. 18 seats in business class and 6 empty. We were given a drink as soon as we were seated then orders taken for our next lot of drinks once the flight was underway (all non-alcoholic as flying Brunei!!).
Every time we turned around we seemed to get another meal. We started off with canapés of beef brochette and Goats cheese & onion marmalade tart. Soon after we got starters. I had the Mesclun lettuce, semi dried tomatoes, pitted green olives, baby radish and bresaola beef served with balsamic vinegar. For main meal I ordered the barramundi but was later told they had run out. Wouldn't have been upset except the man in front also ordered it - was served his but didn't eat it!!! At least the Roasted Chicken Breast with Pepperonata Sauce soft polenta and green Berns was really nice, served with a nice garlic bread. I had the double Brie and mum had the Cobram Vintage cheese after dinner followed by Serendipity Ice Cream - death by chocolate. Assorted chocolates were offered with the coffee. I didn't have the coffee but I did have the chocolate 😊 Later on in the flight we were offered Finger Sandwiches (chicken and pesto aioli as well as aubergine, roasted peppers and herb ricotta).

My TV screen was playing up but I did manage to watch The Jungle Book movie. Flying is never comfortable and business class is just a different sort of never comfortable. I had the chair going up and down and all over the place trying to get the best position which I never did find. I did have a lie down sleep for a short while - hopefully I will sleep better on way back to Australia.
We landed in Brunei and headed off the plane. Peter has always commented everyone is like sheep - just following the one in front believing them to know where they are going. Well - that didn't work this time. I was first off the plane!!! There was another business class couple that tried to get in front but then got confused and stopped so I was leader again. We went through another security check point then out into the airport waiting area. It was a big circular open empty space. There were chairs at the gates but in the centre was just a few fake palm trees and a few seats. We sat near the gate for a short time while I rang Peter then went up to business class lounge. We weren't really hungry so just sat in the comfy chairs until the boarding call came over. This time there were 12 seats in business class - and only two travellers - us!! We were given a drink and orders taken for our meal. Mum ordered nuts with our drinks as they are always good to take to eat later. Business class means you get them on a plate not in a bag. Oh well - not to worry. Mum had plastic bag in her pocket !!!!
Dinner choice. Again beef chicken or seafood. Missed out on seafood last flight so chose that this time. I let mum order first so again missed out. Meal this time was average chicken vindaloo was a bit plain - no heat at all. Dessert was a soggy custard pastry. Not nice at all. Got own mini iPad loaded with movies and games - sudoku for mum.
Mum had ordered a wheelchair at Bangkok airport for herself so we were first off the plane and straight into chair for her and off we charged. We were taken the quick way through customs - took about 5 minutes for us both. We headed to the carousel - It was amazing seeing the first suitcase off being one of ours. The man wheeling mum had got a luggage trolley for us then proceeded to grab the bags as I pointed them out. We had out 3 cases before the carousel had done a full circuit. Again off we charged straight through customs and out into the airport. I was frantically looking around for Mel while trying to keep up with mum in the chair. The man took her/us through, down, around, out and straight to taxi rank and got us a taxi. HOLD ON. WE NEED MEL. Took a bit to halt the charge and not get out into a taxi. Found a seat for mum and I finally found the way to get back up to arrivals area. Mel and I must have walked around each other in circles. Thank goodness for Internet!! We finally found each other - luckily recognised each other after 248 days apart!! Big hugs between us then between Mel and Nana. Back to taxi rank. So easy to use - push the button of the taxi you want (normal or minivan) and you are printed a receipt telling you which bay to head to. By the time we got there the minivan was waiting. We checked into the hotel and collected Mel's suitcase and bag that she left here two weeks ago and headed up to room. Mel had changed our room from twin to triple room. I had hoped that meant three beds but no - it means a trundle bed is squeezed into the room somehow. Oh well. Hopefully we won't be in room for too often!!
Mel and I headed to Maccas for food. We shared a large fries and Oreo sundae
Back to a quite hot room. Unfortunately the aircon could not cool the room at all. Very hot overnight. Mel said she was on a lower floor two weeks ago and her room was too cold!!

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