Saturday, July 26, 2008

The countdown

Dave is forcing me to go on vacation this summer. He and my girlfriend secretly planned it then told me about it. I resisted. I can't just fly halfway around the world for kicks. I work. I parent. I have responsibilities. Eventually they wore me down so I'm going. And I'm happy about it. But I'm also starting to panic a little. Mostly about the actual travel to said vacation spot. Which is Thailand.

Each summer Neeracha goes back to Thailand for about a month to visit her family; I'm going, too, but just for a week. I'm renting an apartment in the luxury complex she rents in every summer. My apartment is 800 square feet, comes with venerable 5-star-service, and is $136/night.

I leave in six days. I called Japan Airlines this morning because my seat number did not appear on my e-ticket. That's when I learned that because I bought the least expensive airline fare, my seat assignment takes place at SFO right before I depart. Ugh. I'll die if I have to sit in the last row for the entire flight. San Francisco to Narita is 11 hours. I lay over for two hours then fly 6.5 more to Bangkok. Where I arrive at midnight. I leave Thursday and arrive Saturday. I will have no Friday next week but when I return the following week, I will get two.

There's no way about it, the trip is just long. I'm not sure why that's making me crazy, though, since I'll be by myself. It's cake when you're not entertaining little kids. Three summers ago I cashed in frequent flier miles and flew with two of the three pinks to Italy. They were 7 and 3 at the time and we did the Milk Run. San Francisco to Toronto. Toronto to Frankfurt. Frankfurt to Rome. Then a three-hour train ride from Rome to Siena. It would have all been good and fine had we not missed a connection and arrived in Siena in the middle of the night, long after taxi service had stopped. It took 28 hours in all. Dave claims that my recollection of the languages I studied in college becomes greater under duress. This was the case; I was damn near fluent in Italian that night.

Then there's the issue of what to do while sitting on a plane 18+ hours each way. I've loaded my iPhone up with some new games, music, podcasts and Season 4 of Sex and the City. I've checked JAL's web site for the in-flight entertainment options. I'll knit. This weekend I must pick up some reading material. This requires more than just popping into Barnes & Noble and buying whatever jumps off the shelves at me. I can't buy anything that Dave might like to read, too, because I will never bring it home. I have to buy things that I will read then leave in Bangkok for Neeracha to read next. And if you think I'm a voracious reader, let me tell you about her! Bonus points are awarded if I pick something her husband, Sean, will enjoy, too.

Things I must do before I leave:

  • Go through my files for all the articles I've pulled on Thailand since we were there eight years ago.
  • Wrap up my work projects.
  • Call AT&T and see if my iPhone will work there.
  • Wrap the gifts I bought for Neeracha's kids.
  • Figure out then shop for what I will bring to eat on the plane in case I hate what's being served on board.
  • Refresh myself on Thailand fashion do's and don'ts.
  • Figure out how how to bring home a Spirit House, the one thing I did not buy last time that I still want really badly!
  • Create 17 pages of instructions using 10-point type in Excel on the kids' activities for Dave and Rosa.
  • Charge my digital camera and find the cable so I can download pictures to Neeracha's computer while I'm there and blog.
  • Go through all the designs from Project Runway in case I want to have any of them knocked off

    But before I get to these things I've got other, more pressing matters. The Hannah Montana Best of Both Worlds Concert is on TV tonight and the pinks are having friends over to watch it. We've got things to prepare!

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