Day 1 – Where it all begins, the journey to Thailand
So this was it. Finally having quit my job and putting no planning at all behind what I’d actually do on this little trip, the first day was upon me.
It meant a nice early start of 3:20am for me to go and have a bath, having slept on the sofa the previous night for a few hours. Soon enough I’d washed, dressed and was en route courtesy of my mum to pick Patrick up, arriving at Heathrow Terminal 4 at around 630 to check in to our flight.
We were travelling on Etihad so we had a stopover in Abu Dhabi for about 3 hours before we changed planes on our onward journey to Bangkok. We’d bought the cheapest flights we could (mine cost £400 total) in an effort to save the pennies for Thailand.
The first flight was fairly uneventful. We checked in and I showed the check in agent my frequent flier card for Alitalia which is a partner of Etihad. The agent didn’t seem to think I could use the lounge with my card even though I knew I could and said I could ask the lounge but little did he know I’d get the last laugh mwhaha.
Anyway I wasn’t in the mood to get into a fight so me and Patrick had breakfast at a little cafe style place after passing security.
Our flight from Heathrow to Abu Dhabi was meant to leave at 915 and actually left around 1000ish due to some kind of made up delay.
I made a cunning plan to secure me and Patrick a row of 3 without having an unwanted seat neighbour which was just to allocate him the window seat and me the aisle. No-one likes the middle seat after all and no one took it in the end so we did have a little more space for our things.
The plane was a massive double decker A380 and we were sat near the back of the plane in row 60. It was a fairly busy flight for a Tuesday.
It was nice and modern. The inflight entertainment was stacked with films and I ended up watching half of the latest hunger games film before deciding I was bored and retreating to an avicii album.
I messed around and messaged Patrick using the entertainment system despite him being sat 1 seat away. Needless to say he blocked me after only 4 short lines of text being exchanged between us.
As revenge I started watching the sports channel that was showing Arsenal losing to Man Utd and then Arsenal drawing 4-4 with Newcastle. Oh how he didn’t like that.
The food was okay for an economy meal and I ended up having two lamb pastry things at the end of the flight as Patrick didn’t want his. He was actually then offered a 3rd one but thankfully declined it rather than forcing me to eat another.
The flight soon enough landed and there was the usual scrum to be the first one off the plane. I sat and waited and we were soon off to the next scrum which was to go through security again and change terminals in Abu Dhabi.
I connected to the wifi in Abu Dhabi but unfortunately it didn’t allow any calls to be made via whatsapp so I messaged a few people and then soon headed for the onward flight to Bangkok.
The boarding area for this flight looked like something from Calais and me and Patrick soon wrestled our way to the front to board.
We were both meant to sit together in economy but when the boarding agent scanned my boarding pass, the machine went off and upgraded me to business class. So much for my frequent flier card not working.
Of course instead of printing me a new boarding pass, the agent scribbled out the previous row and wrote ’12A’ in a way that made me wonder if I should just do it myself the next flight and see.
Much to the disgust of Patrick, I informed him that I would be abandoning him for the luxury of business class. I took my new seat and was handed some champagne. Menus were by the side along with water and an amenity kit, newspapers and magazines were then distributed and a nice gentleman came and took my food order.
Much like when I went on business with Qatar Airways, the service is a la carte and you are free to specify when you want your food to be served, in whatever order, from whatever is on the menu. It almost seemed tempting to see if they’d allow me to order an ice cream sundae followed by asparagus soup.
Still fairly full from my previous flight, I decided to have the Arabic Mezze and the Fish Sayadiya. The Mezze was nice but the fish was pretty average and I soon made my chair into a lie flat bed and slept all the way until the announcement that we were descending into Bangkok.
We quickly headed past immigration control, got my passport stamp and picked up our bags, before the moment I always dread… Getting a taxi from the airport.
One thing I have learnt from my travels is to reject any taxi that is offered to you and to always make them use the meter.
Case in point here. Some guy from the tourist services says ‘taxi’ to Patrick, so we say where we’re headed and the guy quotes us 1400baht which is about 2-3x the price we should be paying.
Having swiftly rejected this, we got in a taxi and insisted on using the meter. Traffic was bad but we got to our hostel for under half the price. Ready for Bangkok.