Spamdemic…#5

Well of course Thursdays flight was cancelled, wasn’t it. Just for a few brief hours I’d allowed myself to entertain getting to Australia ok.

It took a lot of phone calls, luck and pleases to get this sorted, but eventually a super helpful lady at the Thai Airways ticketing counter at Chiang Mai airport ( of all places – noone else was answering across the whole country) saved my ass!!! Yes my flight was cancelled BUT she could get me on one a day earlier!

An anxious hour later she called me back and confirmed that id been rebooked on a Wednesday flight and it was all confirmed!

Wowsers! This must be my lucky day indeed. Safe in the comfort of a confirmed booking and ticket I turned my attention to the looming accommodation issue, which had – of course- turned to a total bucket of shit.

Naturally my family and friends were now spooked – understandably so – and my accomodation options vanished once again. AirBNB was one option that I continually forget so decided to check that out.

It’s Dubbo, FFKS – how expensive can it be!!!

Well as it turns out, bloody expensive! The bill for the cheapest 14 day stay rang in between $800 and $1300, then just got silly from there (there are specific requirements for hotel/apartment stay apparently).

At time of writing I still have to sort that out. Well have to see how it goes over the next 24 hours.

Breathe. Remain flexible. Go with the flow.

My sis put me onto some new apartments that looked nice ($1300 and a “we’ll get back to you – have to check the legals) while I (the eternal tightarse) looked for 2 star hotels ($1050 and fairly dodgy – mmmm im loving it).

Man! Dubbo is punching well above its weight here price wise – you’d think people wouldnt be opportunistic in a crisis like this, but noone wanted to negotiate and the prices were insane.

Grrr… the temptation to remain in Thailand returned, lockdown bedamned. The hostel folks were amazing – gave me a credit for the week and a half I’d already paid for and wished me well. For a moment it felt like I was abandoning them to their fate – but bah! They’re better off here anyway virus-wise : Chiang Mai is hot and sunny and with the dense smoke and terrible air quality keeping most inside anyway, you’d have to work hard to get 🤢.

Downing my last decent coffee for a while, I ducked my usual haunt at The Larder Cafe quickly to say goodbye, then grabbed a red taxi truck to the airport. 100 baht? Awsome 🙂

This ride could take anything up to an hour with traffic (sometimes its actually faster to walk)

The street traffic was building and nary a tourist to be seen. The trip to the Airport took less than 10 minutes as there was virtually no traffic around the Old City Moat. No queues in the car park, hardly any waiting at security, zipping through to checkin to find only myself and another lady waiting there. 😉

So I step up, confidently hand over my passport and project a smile through my facemask as much as I could manage.

Nothing.

Just a mild deadpan glare…tappity tap tap tap…

“Where you going?” she asked.

Chiang Mai, Bangkok and then Sydney” I beamed back. “My flight was changed yesterday and confirmed by phone last night”

Tappity tap tap tap… 🤔

I knew that look and my heart sunk.

“No booking, you go see Ticket Office” and she waved me off.

To cut a long story short ( you’re welcome) the ticket office lady, apart from being gruff and relatively uncaring, was terribly effective and within 15 minutes had sorted out tur issue, rebooked me and given me 1) the magical ticket and 2) my boarding passes!

Woohooo!!!! I almost hugged her but the threat of both Covid19 and her stabbing me in the eye was enough to keep me at bay.

“Thannk youuuuuuuu!!!! “ I twittered bizarrely (trying for a smile, didn’t get one) while bolting for security and potential freedom. 60 minutes later I was boarding my flight ✈️ to Bangkok. 😅 One small victory, a few more battles left to fight.

Bangkok International Airport was basically deserted when i arrived.

Finding a seat near the charging stations for some device juice, I’m sitting in Bangkok International Departure Hall C, watching the flight schedule boards tick over and probably 90 percent are getting cancelled. There are more staff than passengers at the moment and you can hear a pin drop at times and even the floor sweepers are snapping selfies with the empty corridors and departure gates.

Strange days indeed…

2 hours to go! lets see what happens 🙂

made it!!! so far so good!

Woohoo!!! looks like the last plane out is flying after all, packed to the rafters and elbow to elbow. Social distancing be damned apparently 🥵😳😢

** chatting to my cellmates ( i mean row mates) , their travel histories trouble me enormously. One chap is an older gentleman – best described as “a chatty aussie larrikin” type – he has little internal monologue and has basically been to every Covid19 infested destination since Wuhan exploded over the past 7 weeks – escaping just before each country closes its borders. Having no more places to run to, he’s running home.

The other one is the female thai version – a lovely jocular type who in any other situation would be a joy to sit with; laughing and making conversation, trying to help everyone but touching everything with her bare hands including my food tray when it comes. I know shes just trying to be helpful but FFKS.

Oh and shes just got back from a cruise.

DOUBLE FFKS.

Mask up! Disengage!

It’s 6am and an hour or so out of Sydney having survived a nervous night the touchyfeely thai lady, and im starting to feel slightly apprehensive about the shitstorm im about to wade back into with the Covid19 restrictions in Australia.

Ok lets get this show on the road…

*great – sick 🤢 people on the plane are making themselves known…

**wow 10 minutes through Immigration and Customs … no temp checks – just a guy before the barriers asking “are you are feeling ok” and a new form to fill out about self isolation that’s voluntary and noone collects! then its just old school passport counter check and through the Customs “nothing to declare” line straight out into the Arrivals Hall and the wilds of Sydney!

I thought we were in crisis mode here?

Christ, we’re all doomed.

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