2. The Flight
After more than 13 hours in the air from Chicago to Seoul, South Korea and another 5.5 hours to Bangkok, I am finally arrived at the same port where my motorcycle is expected to be headed in two days from now. I miss it! How will it look like after six weeks on the high seas?
To be precise: The container ship will be making landfall in Laemg Chabang, the huge container terminal some 45 miles south of the capital of Bangkok, from there it will be trucked to a NYK Shipping Line warehouse north of the metropolis. About 8.8 million people live in Bangkok, another 15 million in the wider metropolis.
Which brings me to the two first essential purchases I had to do yesterday: A new SIM card for my SAMSUNG smartphone with unlimited data naturally, and more importantly, a 6 GB storage card with GPS maps for the city and the country. Navigating the confusing city on the motorcycle without it would be challenging, on the wrong side of the road, no less! There is an old joke here: In case the Vietnamese should ever invade Thailand, their tanks would get hopelessly stuck in traffic in Bangkok and that would be the end of it. Traffic is simply unbelievable here!
There is a national holiday tomorrow, Chulalongkorn day, named after the 19th century king who can be praised for the fact that Siam was never colonized in its history (the only country in all of Southeast Asia) and who spend much of his early education in Germany. In good true European spirit the workforce here takes two
so-called "bridge days", turning a mid-week holiday into a five day vacation. In other words, not much goes on in terms of business activities, I need to be at the shipping company's office on Friday, instead of tomorrow.
|ASIANA gate at Chicago O'Hare. The flight was pleasant, despite its duration. Food was acceptable, I like the Korean signature dish BIBIMBAP. (You foodies may look it up.)|
|My seat monitor showing the plane crossing the Chukchi-Beaufort Sea between Alaska and Russia.|
|Greeting Koreans at Seoul Incheon airport.|
Weather is good, no rain, the end of the rainy season is hare, although I see on the local news that waste areas to the east and northeast, mainly in Isaan, are under water.