Valentine’s Day was the longest day of my life. Literally. I’m having hard time doing the math with all of the time changes, but I think it lasted almost 2 days.
We left the hotel in Pattaya at 7 AM to arrive in Bangkok with enough time for our noon flight. The airport was chaotic. There were people in the bathroom brushing their teeth and washing up. We waited in several long lines.
My eye was killing me. Both my eyes burned. My right eye felt like someone was sticking a pin in it. They felt dry yet watered spontaneously. The pollution that was hanging in a smoggy haze over the city was finally getting to me. I wore my sunglasses. The light sliced in my eyes like banging rock music during a migraine. The pain lasted several hours and it worried me.
Other than that, I didn’t spend a lot of time worrying. I don’t know why. I think it was because we were so busy on the tour that I didn’t have a lot of time to overthink. Keeping busy fends off worry. I didn’t even have time to write. I know it sounds lame, but I only wrote on the coach bus on the way to the airport. That is why it was so important to write this story before I forgot all of the winding intricate details of our journey.
Also, I felt less worried because our family at home was sleeping while we were awake. It almost gave a peaceful feeling that I was somehow watching over them. Then they lived their lives during the day while I slept at night. If I didn’t hear anything when I woke up, then everything was fine.
What control would I have if something happened while we were home or while we were away anyway? Although it would be a lot easier to deal with at home. Something did happen less than 24 hours after we got back though. My son and his girlfriend got into a car accident. Although they exited the accident unscathed, her car was totaled. I don’t have control and that is what bothers me. I want to play God. But is that what I really want??
Paul and I had the row of seats to ourselves on all of our flights home. I slept. I watched a movie and fell asleep during it. I was barely roused from sleep to eat and then slept again. I tried to stay awake and fell asleep. I awoke when the dog came to sit by Paul. Who would take a dog on a 16 hour flight? What if she has to go to the bathroom? These were my foggy thoughts as my mind slipped back into sleep.
We were going to be early, but ended up being late. There was a lot of air traffic in Chicago. We sat on the plane at least a half an hour before we were able to pull up to the terminal. We were in jeopardy of missing our last flight home. We raced as fast as we could through immigration only to wait another half an hour for our luggage to arrive. We had to find a bus from the international to the domestic flights. Since it was later in the day, we were able to breeze through security pretty fast.
We ran as fast as we could in full sprint across the airport. We got to our last flight as it was boarding. We made it! But our luggage didn’t.
We finally made it home at 11:30 PM. I was wide awake and ready to go on a tour. But I had to be up in another 6 1/2 hours for work. Going to work the next day was awful. I felt like I was hungover and drunk. I was tired. I couldn’t concentrate. My words didn’t make sense coming out of my mouth. I felt like I had a mouthful of cotton balls. Paul fell asleep at his desk. I came home for lunch and ended up falling asleep for 2 1/2 hours.
The jet lag was a lot worse on the way home than it was on the way there. It took a week to get back to our normal routine. I found myself falling asleep by 8 PM, having a restless night, then waking up at 4:30 AM. I seemed to fall into a schedule, but it was the wrong one.
We had a wonderful time in Thailand. I seemed to calm my fear of flying after spending 20 hours one way on a plane. Anything less than 10 hours seems like a short flight now. I was able to check off traveling to my first continent outside of my own off of my bucket list. I have a lot of wonderful memories, photos, and stories to tell. If anything, my time in Thailand is making me more anxious to see the rest of the world.