Monday, January 21, 2013

The Journey Begins -- or -- The Exclamation Point (Part 3)

If you were looking to this post in search of elegant writing, I hereby warn that no elegance is to be found here or in the next many to come.  Not that elegance is to be found in earlier postings either, but I consider today's post and those that will come in the following days to be more quick postcards or news updates for friends and family.  The reason for this change in style is very simple.

We are in Thailand!

My Last Bike Ride . . . for Now
Yes, we have arrived!  It is Monday morning, and OD still sleeps as I write in the living room area of our accommodations at the Aspasia Resort in Phuket, Thailand.  I slept nine hours, and it is no wonder that OD is still sleeping.  She caught a 7:30am flight on Saturday morning from Chisinau to Bucharest and waited for me in the terminal.  I, meanwhile, was taking one last bike ride on the rollers, taking a shower, and having a leisurely breakfast at home.  (I wonder how long it will be before I ride a bicycle again?)  My taxi arrived at 10:45am, and I was at the airport in less than twenty minutes.  (Try that on a weekday morning in Bucharest!)  I found OD in a coffee shop with our friends Lolo and Alexandra, who had decided to surprise OD and keep her company until I arrived.  After another round of juice, tea, and coffee, we bid them goodbye and headed for the joys of security and passport control.

Our KLM flight to Amsterdam left at 1:55pm, arriving there in a bit less than three hours.  After that it was another hour and a half before our flight to Bangkok.

When we boarded the flight to Thailand, I had a surprise in store for OD:  I had purchased business class.  Knowing what it is like to sit in economy for 3-4 international flights and having read the accounts of others of what the long post-op journey home can be like, I had long ago decided that we needed business class.  Thanks to so many supporters of my appeal to help finance OD's surgery -- and thanks to one supporter in particular -- we could afford it.  I just hadn't told OD.  I took some delight in steering her towards the business class compartment.  It certainly made all the difference in letting us fly the longest leg of our trip in some comfort.

Then it was Bangkok and the long hike from one end of the airport to the other to make our connection to Phuket, where we arrived a little after 2pm local time.  We were met by a van from the Phuket International Aesthetic Center (PIAC), which drove us to the Aspasia.  We were finally opening suitcases and taking showers sometime after 3.

Did we run straight for the beach?  No, business class aside, we were exhausted.  I had been on the road for nearly 24 hours, and OD had been on her way for over 30.  Moreover, neither of us had slept much in the preceding nights due to last minute preparations and excitement.  On Wednesday of last week, I had had to contend with a mild case of food poisoning that did not exactly add to my energy level. 

View from our Balcony
After showers, OD and I sat on the balcony and watched as the sun set.  Our dinner was the complimentary fruit bowl and some crackers and nuts from the mini-bar.  OD still had some cheese from Moldova.  We talked until neither of us could keep our eyes open any longer.  I slept nine hours, waking just after the sun had come up.  As I write, I think I hear OD beginning to stir.

This is our rest day.  Today we will take that walk on the beach and explore the area.  Tomorrow we will be off to Phuket City, where OD will be admitted to the Phuket International Hospital.  Her surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, and I will follow a day later on Thursday.

That, dear friends, is the news up to the moment.  OD and I have arrived in Thailand.  The journey has begun.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Follow these links for more of The Exclamation Point:
Previous entry -- So You Want to Be in Pictures?
Following entry -- Our Day at the Beach

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