30 Hours of Travel and First Impressions

After many weeks of anxiety, the traveling part of our trip went off without a hitch. Okay, maybe with one hitch (there’s always one). Here’s a rundown of some of the cool parts: Our long international flight from JFK to Shanghai was great. Although, I imagine I can compare it to childbirth: easy to talk about after the fact, but brutal while it’s happening. We were probably 3 of 10 non-Asian passengers so that was sort of fun. We ended up sitting with empty seats in between us so that let us stretch out a bit.

This flight in particular seemed to have an awful lot of mischievous adults who just blatantly ignored the flight attendants. Before we were done climbing, there had to be about a dozen adults wandering the cabin with the poor flight attendants just chasing them around. It was hilarious.

airplane food
airplane food

After the first flight (15 hours), the second one (4.5 hours) felt like nothing.

When we got into Bangkok, our cab driver had no idea where our hostel was. What should’ve been a 20 minute cab ride turned into about an hour. Ahh, the perils of having no internet to fall back on! But he did play us his CD of American 70’s music and chat (with very limited English) about George Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THAILAND AND BANGKOK:

-Oh that smell. At any given moment, you can be smelling the most wonderful and awful things.

-The city is filled with shops. Shops for everything you can imagine and they all sort of spill out into the streets.

-In parts of this city, everyone is trying to sell you something. They have little shame in this; even after repeated no thank you’s.

-The city sprawls quite a bit. So far I haven’t seen a distinct ‘downtown’ area.

THINGS I LEARNED SO FAR:

-Chinese airlines do not permit cell phones on their flights; not for music or video. Tablets only. (We definitely broke this rule)

-Bring a travel toothbrush when your flight is going to be longer than 12 hours. You will never regret this.

-It’s totally possible and wonderful to travel just with carry-on luggage.

-Cabs are easier to get around and only average about $2-3 American, but you find the real gems while you walk around the city.

-Green curry chicken is totally acceptable as breakfast food.

-Thai massages are brutally rough at first. But for $5/hour, I’ll get used to it.

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Many more pictures to come!