As I mentioned in my previous post (which was released a long time ago, I know) I had a pretty adventurous journey back from Thailand. So the ferry left at 10:15 am so I left my tiny room like an hour before. I walked to the taxi meeting spot where they told me that for a single person taxi costs 400 baht, which is a ridiculous price for such a short drive. They said for 4 people it would cost 100 baht so I should wait for others. A couple showed up and we were waiting together but no one came – seemed all the tourists had their arranged drive from their accommodation. So we paid the money which was still too much but at least I didn’t have to pay it all by myself. The ferry left in time but the 2 hours long ride was hell – the sea was so angry, I got very seasick. The staff distributed plastic bags and when I took one, the girl sitting next to me started looking for something in her bag. Suddenly she got seasickness pill and offered to me. It was a nice gesture and however I didn’t really get better (during the whole way I kept my eyes closed and I was listening some music to occupy my mind) at least I didn’t throw up.
When we got to the mainland the sky became grey and it was lightly raining. Many people were waiting in front of the counters to get their bus number. I was very lucky when I got on my bus because there were still many free seats. I managed to get the one behind the stairs which means bigger leg room and no seats in front of me.I middle aged woman sat next to me who was (probably) also a solo traveler. It was raining a lot and many of the roads were blocked. It was a huge traffic all way but I was not worried. An idiot guy was smoking in the toilet and the smell filled the whole bus. The so called steward warned him not to smoke but this idiot didn’t care – during the long drive he smoke several times showing no respect towards his fellow passengers. He even looked like a very stupid one, so I was not surprised. We got our break after 4-5 hours so I could have a chocolate and I could stretch my legs outside. We had no more traffic and I was still optimistic. We were supposed to arrive to Bangkok around 8:30 pm but we were still driving at 9:30. I went forward to ask the driver when would we arrive and his answer was like a cold shower: he said 3 more hours! I had a booked ticket for the 01:35 am flight and I knew I would’t make it. I’ve got so worried and scared, as I was in the middle of Thailand by myself without internet connection and I didn’t know what to do next. I went through my old text messages from my service provider to check for roaming offers. That’s how I bought 2 GB internet for 200 dirhams which was valid for two weeks or so. Internet was fast and I got very relived. I managed to log into my crew portal, I cancelled my listing and rebooked my ticket to the flight which was departed at 02:45 am. It means I gained one more hour. The next flight was scheduled 8-9 hours later so I really needed to reach this new one. Since I had internet I could follow our way on Google maps.
We got to Bangkok before 00:30 am and that smoking guy and his annoying minions blocked the way out even before we actually stopped. They were speaking Spanish but as far as I understood from their expressions and body language, they were just about to miss their flight. When we arrived to the square, the new travelers were all waiting there for our buses. I just realized they had been waiting for almost 4 hours outside which sounds much more horrible than being delayed while traveling on the bus. At least we had shelter and comfort (and a dirty toilet). So these Spanish masterminds decided to get off before everyone else – doesn’t matter if you are seated ahead of them – and they blocked all the way down. Suddenly the lady next to me stood up before the last guy and blocked his way. She was insisted to me to get off quickly as she knew I also had a flight to reach (we hard a short conversation before) . The guy was obviously pissed off but he couldn’t do anything. Being polite with a woman instead of being an asshole was obviously not an option for him. So I got down and looked for my luggage but these idiots were in the way again, taking their stuff, holding back everyone else.
“You are not the only ones who need to reach a flight!” – That’s what I told them or maybe I only imagined, I don’t remember but doesn’t really matter. The taxi drivers were around us like sharks, insisting to chose them for the drive. One of them already took my luggage when I stopped him and asked him to turn on the taxi meter. He said no, the price to the airport is 1000 baht which was a total joke. I used the calculation before and the drive to the airport supposed to be less than 300 baht. So I named my price and he laughed into my face and said “not tonight”. He pissed me off so I shouted back “I am not stupid” and left them alone looking for a fair taxi driver which is a rare species in Thailand. I only walked less than 30 meters when I found one in front of a street food vendor.
“Taxi meter”? – I asked but he didn’t speak English at all. I told him I only had 400 baht cash so that’s the maximum price I pay. He kind of misunderstood, he thought (or actually I think he just made up) I said I would give him this price, no matter if the taxi meter shows less. The car was old and noisy, the driver was old as well (and weird) and there was no seat belt in the car – why would it be in Thailand?! To be honest I was quite scared and worried, I didn’t trust in his driving skills. At one point he wanted to stop for fuel but I was keep telling ” no, no, no, I don’t have time” on a very said and worried tone of voice so he understood and thanks to him, he didn’t stop eventually. We arrived safe and sound so I gave him all the 400 baht. I was so happy to be at the airport, a safe area! I went to the counter, got my boarding pass so I made my way through the security. I reached to the passport control where the officers told something to the guy who was standing ahead of me. I don’t know what was all about but suddenly the guy got scared and asked back with a trembling voice: “XY millions? Are you serious?” – I don’t remember how much the amount was but believe me it was very high. Probably his tourist visa got expired and he was supposed to pay a fee, but actually I have no idea. Eventually he got escorted and it made me scared. The officers were not friendly at all. One of them checked my passport and looked at me. He said I had the form attached to my passport so it was needless to fill a new one. Then he laughed at me with his colleague but they let me go. I had an “instant shower” in the duty free which means I used a perfume to refresh myself :D. It had been 17 hours since I had a shower so it was kinda needed.
While I was walking to my gate I saw that the l flight I originally booked had the final call so maybe I could have made it. Whatever, it was still better to go by a later flight as I was already stressed enough. I got sear in the very first row again and there was a young couple next to me with a baby who simply decided to shout during the whole boarding. It made me quite uncomfortable. I was starving so I went to find a crew member to ask for some food. There was a guy next to the first door of economy and he looked like a “typical Hungarian” at least for me. So I asked him to bring me something – a small piece of bread, a chocolate bar, anything. He said they would serve the food soon so I had to confess I was a traveling crew which changed his behavior. I asked his origin and actually he was from Slovakia. When I said I was from Hungary he changed the language to Hungarian! So somehow I was correct, he was half Hungarian with perfect mother tongue. He called the back and asked food “for a lady who is also crew”. There was another crew on the flight I knew before – a cute Thai girl, we did the Singapore-Brisbane multi sector and also a short turnaround together. I got a bag with two sandwiches (from the crew cart which means they gave me their own food) and two cans of coke. They were very nice, I didn’t expect it. I was already seated, waiting for take off like everyone else when suddenly the cabin supervisor appeared next to me.
“Hi are you miss Papp?” – She was literally shouting, grabbing all the attention in the cabin. “Do you work with us?” – I said yes as I had no choice. I knew she had the passenger information list which contains my name and the abbreviation “STF”.
She asked me to change seat with a man who had been travelling from Christchurch on the same seat which always reclined. She was still very loud, making sure everyone could hear us, giving me no option but agreeing. If you travel as a staff you can’t say no to such a questions because the crew could write about you. The man was sitting only few rows behind and when he heard I swap seat with him he was quite surprised and said then I would be the one with the faulty seat. “Yes, she knows and she is okay with it” – that’s what the cabin supervisor said and the whole situation was very weird, I felt myself like a kid being punished in front of everyone in the classroom or something like this. It was a bit humiliating. The flight was okay, the cabin supervisor took me water and socks without asking for it, which was a nice touch after her “classroom drama”.
The flight was okay, I was watching a documentary about great white sharks. We landed around 5:45 am and my flight to Budapest departed at 08:50 am. I had more than enough time but the thing is that I wanted to go home first to take same other stuff with myself. Unfortunately we parked at a remote area so buses took us to the terminal. I lost some precious minutes but as I have e-gate card, I didn’t have to wait for passport control. I got to the carousel and there were only few bags but not mine. I was waiting and waiting then I walked to the luggage service center or whatever the name is, and asked them to check my luggage. I also mentioned I am staff as well, it always helps. They ensured me that my bag is already on the way. I was waiting again and I started to get a little bit worried as it was almost 7 am already. The status on the board changed to “last bag arrived” but mine was still missing. I went back and asked them again about my bag. They asked me if I took my crew luggage with myself. I did and that was the problem. Even tough you can buy the exact same model anywhere (which means and average passenger can travel with the same luggage) they still managed to put it together with operating crew luggage and I didn’t even have the crew tag! They filled a form with me and ensured me they would find the luggage within a day or two. I was very disappointed I couldn’t believe it was happening to me after the Thai nightmare travelling. I went back to the carousel and I was about to cancel my ticket on my phone when I noticed my bag, moving slowly on the tape. I didn’t bother to go back and tell them I had my bag, I grabbed it and run all way out to the taxi station. I am very lucky as I live quite close to the airport, the drive took less than 15 minutes. I gave myself not more than 15 minutes before I headed back to the airport. I already had an imaginary to do list in my head so I didn’t have to think twice about what to do. I removed my dirty clothes and put tidy ones, and I did the same with other stuff as well. Obviously I didn’t have time to shower, so I only had a quick “standing bath” in my sink and I put on some clean clothes as well. I reached to the airport 1 hour and five minutes before the departure and my staff ticket was already confirmed so I didn’t have to go to the staff counter.
So after the longest day of my life, after more than 24 hours of traveling I finally made it back to Hungary :). The weather was very lovely and I was so so happy to be back home. It’s been only for two weeks, but I already miss my country. I hope I can go home for few days in November again.
IMPORTANT NOTE: MY POSTS ARE MY PERSONAL VIEWS. THEY DO NOT REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF MY COMPANY.