There is no direct flight from Toowoomba to Bangkok at the moment so, it’s off to Brisbane again. The trip goes well, we offload the car and reach the check in counter before it opens. Great! Now for the plan to look tall and try to smooch exit aisle seats. Damn! The one guy in the line before us is taller than Magic Johnson and I look positively shrimpish. Max charm needed here. Our turn comes and the lady just can’t resist the winning smile, though she did look pointedly at the passport date of birth when I declared I could assist in the event of an emergency.
We gather our bits and pieces and “head downstairs”. Not bad, only 11:30, time for a bite. We cruise the offerings and spot something tasty. “Breakfast finished at 11:00” is the unsmiling response from the serving lady I’ll call Norma to protect, well, Norma. Time for that winning smile again. No luck. Norma is made of stern stuff and does Not serve food outside the allotted time. We play the ultimate card. “OK, we’ll just go somewhere else…” We gather up our dignity and head to the counter around the corner. Nobody serving? The door at the back opens. Yep – Norma!
Boarding time arrives and we join the long cue of people waiting for economy boarding. Passports and boarding passes in hand we finally reach the front when Nanette gets a text message. “Stop! – we can’t board yet!” Oh no, something terrible must have happened. “Sharon wants us to bring a copy of a gardening magazine.” I explain the emergency to the airline staff and they suspend boarding and radio ahead to the newsagency. Mission achieved we are waved through the gates and it’s down the corridor to the plane.
The nine hour flight flies by (did you like that?) and suddenly we are on the descent into Bangkok. We have one last small glitch when we emerge and can’t find anyone waiting for us. OK, so we waited for half an hour thinking the worst only to find we hadn’t actually left the secure arrivals area and Russell was faithfully waiting the whole time at the spot signposted as Meeting Point. Duh!
At last we are driving through the exciting chaos of Bangkok traffic. Thailand is such a four dimensional experience, and we are a bit sorry we are only here for two days. We always have such a great time with these guys, and, not only do we have suitcases full of chocolate, we can all take turns reading the gardening magazine.
(Disclaimer – Some elements of this story may vary slightly from actual events)