The First Leg – Tel Aviv to Bangkok

I have no idea what happened to the seating. We were all over the place. I was next to two elderly Israeli ladies, Evanna and Juliana, who were going on some sort of RSL group holiday to Thailand. Evanna told me it was the fifth time she’d done it!

I tried hard to stay awake for dinner this time, and I mostly managed it, although I dozed in between.

01 - Dinner

I’ve been signed up for vegan meals again, which is great for breakfast (no dairy), but not so great for dinner. But Israeli vegetarian food isn’t bad. I’m not looking forward to the Thai version.

But I did discover something interesting: When I pronounce my name the Israeli way, and someone subsequently sees my surname, it is pronounced “Chay”, which is sort of cool, because that’s Hebrew for “life”.

I slept solidly for a good five hours (although I can’t say how well), before waking up in time for breakfast.

02 - Breakfast

After that, it wasn’t long until we landed, and then parted ways. Some are staying in Bangkok for a few days, others wanted to go into the city just for fun, others went to find coffee. I went to find a bottle of water, some dried rockmelon and a comfortable seat.

The water and dried rockmelon, by the way, cost 375 baht. I have no idea what that is in dollars. We’re about twenty-five baht to the Australian dollar, so a quick calculation tells me about $15. I wish I hadn’t worked that out. I hope I can get the rockmelon into Australia, because I’m not going to eat it all.

Bangkok Airport is really humid. Walking around it makes me sweat something awful. Also there were mosquitoes in the first lounge I tried, so I’m a bit worried about that, because an Australian couple there (travelling to Israel) mentioned as they were leaving that they had malaria in this country. And malaria is carried by silent mosquitoes, I know, which these were.

Ah, anyway. I needed to find somewhere to charge up, since I was almost out of computer battery. Since the big screens were still three hours away from showing my flight at this point, I headed to my best bet: the wing with the Thai Airways lounge. I don’t think I can get into the lounge, but a Thai Airways flight is likely to leave from there, right?

It’s a little weird to be back somewhere where the majority of white people speak with Australian accents, but here’s one thing I need to learn, since it’s not the first time I’ve been caught out: if you see someone wearing an Australia-themed top, the chances are he or she is not Australian.

I approached a couple, the man wearing an Australian flag on his chest, to ask if they knew of any powerpoints.

“Excuse me, do you know if there are any powerpoints around here?”

“Ah… you want to sit here?”

“… Do you speak English?”

“Little bit.”

“What language?”

“Français.”

“Ah. Um… as-t-il des… points du… power… pour charger mon ordinateur?”

“Pour charger? Je ne sais pas. I think… ask at the magasin.”

Yeah, they were laughing at my attempt at French. It turns out, after asking at the nearest shop, that there was a large, blue, light-up wall over the other side with the words “free charge” and the power sign.

I’m having trouble with the wi-fi here again (although this time I can’t manage to get it to work, which I could last time), so although I’m typing this in Bangkok, I probably won’t post it until I get to Melbourne.

I had quite the headache, although sitting still and drinking water was helping with that, so once my computer had charged, I went and lay down for a bit.

I was sitting near a young German couple who were remarkably uncommunicative despite my attempts to talk to them and feed them dried rockmelon. I gave a “tschüβ” as they left and the young woman looked at me in surprise: “Ah, so!”

Loving Language’s airport challenge is a bit trickier when the other party involved refuses to communicate.

After dozing for about an hour (Bangkok airport as a few areas with really comfortable lounges), I heard familiar voices in my subconscious, so I got up and made my way across to the others. I then filled the remaining three hours by going over the trip with a couple of other group members. Apparently, I’m the only one who can remember the last two weeks.

I also, fearing another less-than-palatable tofu-based vegan meal, went and bought some rice and chicken for 231 baht (I think that’s about $9).

03 - Take-Away

 

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6 thoughts on “The First Leg – Tel Aviv to Bangkok

  1. Ruth Hay says:

    See you soon – hope you aren’t too tired when you get here.

  2. The Germans wouldn’t talk to you? That’s too bad. I usually have more fun with airport and restaurant employees. They are less in a rush, and probably less tired. They’re also used to being overlooked, so a conversation seems to be nice for them.

    At least you got to practice French! 🙂

    • Rachel says:

      I think I’d probably try that in Europe. It’s trickier in Bangkok because most (if not all) of the employees are Thai, and I can’t read Thai, let alone speak it (aside from “sawasdee!”) Then again, in Europe, the average person can speak better English than the average Thai person. I had fun listening to the airport announcements, though – in Thai, then English, and Mandarin. I’m not sure why Mandarin, except that there were a lot of flights going to China (if I’d heard a flight going to Hong Kong with the announcement in Mandarin, I’d have really questioned it).

  3. astraya says:

    About the only thing I remember about Bangkok airport is the PA announcement: ‘If you are having small children, please go to the boarding gate now’.

    • Rachel says:

      I heard a couple, “Flight is leaving from Gate D3. Go to Gate D3 for flight now.” There was one guy on an English translation who seemed a little over-enthusiastic and ended everything with, “ImMEEDiately!”

  4. astraya says:

    And I rarely start speaking even to people I know, or who are obviously English speakers.

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