Rolling out of 'Nam

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
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Trip End Jan 04, 2012


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What I did
Moved on

Flag of Thailand  ,
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We have come to the end of this part of the trip. A short but happy two weeks in Vietnam. We are moving on out of Nam in desperate need of some R&R, Thailand being the destination of choice. This part of the trip we haven't put too much thought into and are hoping for it to be a bit of a chance to chill before hitting the road in Oz at the start of October. We firstly fly out to Bangkok and shall be moving south through Thailand via a beach, into Malaysia for a few days and then onto Singapore hopefully to catch our flight on the 11th October.

Our last day in Vietnam has been a bit of a layabout. We've gone and eaten at our local favourite restaurant which is on the corner of the street looking out over the busy intersection and then tried to get our details together for getting from the Airport in Bangkok to where we are staying. Checking out of the hotel was nice and easy and we arranged a taxi to the airport. The hotel lady wanted us to stay longer but we insisted we had to move on. A calm and altogether pleasant morning and easy transfer. Checking in for the flight - easy. Through immigration - easy. This is becoming second nature. My friend Steve told me when he travelled he got bored of airports, I can see why. They are never really any different. I used to get excited at being at an airport, followed by the inevitable doom feeling, but I always found the airport exciting. It's not anymore. It's sterile and dull. Ho Chi Minh airport is much the same. It's amusing as the international terminal is beautiful compared to the domestic side but it's still the same system.

I have figured out a solution to turbulence but it doesn't look pretty. I spent pretty much the entire flight from Saigon to Bangkok working on this solution as the plane didn't stop jerking about, even for the few minutes it took me to wolf down my pitiful 'Pizza Combo' meal I booked weeks ago for the flight. I knew it would be the case as soon as I looked outside at the gate. The skies were dark and rain was beating down pretty heavy. Saigon and Vietnam had been kind to us with the weather really - Why couldn't it just hold on a few more hours?! As the plane rose through the clouds I tested solution 1. This was learnt reading a book on Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP for short). I'm only half way through but I picked up something called anchoring which will be familiar to the psychologists out there. Essentially it's a case of assimilating a feeling of relaxation or happiness with a pressure point or gesture, that you can recall in times of hardship and stress. At the time of reading the book when it suggested to try an example of anchoring I was sitting in my garden on a hot summers afternoon chilled out and slightly under the influence of beer. I anchored that feeling for some strange reason to rubbing my earlobe - I just couldn't think of anything else specific. And so I recalled the feeling on the plane during take off by frantically rubbing my earlobes. It didn't seem to matter which one. It kinda worked until the plane dropped about 20 feet suddenly and the noise outside got much louder. Solution 2 was pulled into action. Putting my fingers in my ears seemed to work much better than the earlobe rubbing thing. I know I looked stupid, but logically it made sense. If you cancel out a sense you limit the sensations you feel. I cancelled being able to hear anything. When food came round I had to take my fingers out my ears (it had been 45 minutes).
After dinner descent started and the turbulence picked up again. The ear rubbing began again in earnest and I put some music on to prevent having to put my fingers in my ears. This nearly did the trick. I then had a genius idea (or so I thought but it kinda looks more stupid than having my fingers in my ears). I realised that most of my worry comes from the swooping feeling when the plane drops. That comes from your body moving differently to the plane, and so if I could move exactly the same as the plane I would not feel it as much. How you might ask? Simple. Push your head firmly to the cabin wall of the plane and it moves everywhere the plane does. The turbulence got worse and worse and the sensations I felt seemed to be as Calm as a Calm person on 'Calms'. Eureka.
 The best way to solve turbulence is to jam your head against the side of the plane while listening to some Easy Listening (I was listening to Take That's 'Circus' album), while rubbing your earlobes frantically. Nothing stupid about that.

I smiled as the plane drew into Bangkok. The worst flight so far and I was alive. Kate was still there next to me although I hadn't looked in her direction for an hour and a half as my head had been stuck staring at a point slightly to the right of the seat in front.

A taxi took us the few miles to our new home for a few days. The roads less bumpy, many less mopeds, and a smiling singing female taxi driver (she had quite a good voice) and we were dropped off outside Somerset Lake Point Serviced Apartments. I had booked this place on Asiarooms on a special deal for about 38 pound a night for a studio apartment. The concierge showed us up to our room in Tower B. On the 12th floor, our room overlooks the swimming pool on tower A and has more square footage than the last 3 places we have stayed in stuck together. A washing machine, microwave, TV, DVD player, bed with flowers in the shape of a heart, a fruit bowl and a sofa. Free Internet wifi in the room. We have no computer - damnit. The place however is a godsend. Never have I wanted to stay in one place so much without even having spent 2 minutes in the room.

We went for a little stroll and found ourselves in some dark alleys a little lost and so turned back to eat some dinner in the Serviced Apartments restaurant/bar. A lovely little meal with smiling staff forever looking apologetic and we went to bed very happy with the day. I had some bangers and mash because I could and Kate had some nondescript salad.

We've got no plans for Bangkok and staying in the hotel for 3 days is somewhat tempting.
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