Take off: elation! I hate flying, so thats a new one. No white knuckles, just a big grin. Five minutes later we've graduated from grey skies to beauty. Orange, pink, turquoise, midnight blue sunset on a bed of fluffy white cloud.
Over Bucharest. The city looked like a big orange spider with flaming surburban limbs. New Year's Eve rave lights in full force at 6pm local time! Romanians know how to party.
On the second flight I got upgraded to business class and was not cool about it. I think I said to the man checking me in "You're joking right?! BUSINESS CLASS?" Made sure I was first on the plane. Top deck. There was a bar at the back. I spent most of the flight there drinking champagne and chatting to the delightful bar man.
Arrived in Bangkok and made my way to the incredible flat in Sukhumvit the lovely Jen has kindly let me stay in for a few days. And slept zzzzzzzz....
Spent today being touristy. This morning I visited Jim Thompson's house. He's the godfather of the Thai silk trade who mysteriously disappeared in Malaysia in the sixties. A total oasis of teak calm, we wanderd around looking at his amazing collection of Buddhas and antiques, some as old as 6th century. After leaving the house, i noticed all the traffic had been stopped by the police. Hung around and who should turn up but the King of Thailand in a yellow convoy of Mercedes, that sped into the Sra Pathum Palace with all of the royal fanfare you'd expect.
This afternoon was all about the Wats in Chinatown. A $250 million gold Buddha and trying not to get burnt by incense held by the devout in hundreds of praying hands. Bangkok's Chinatown reminded me why this city is often labelled as overwhelming and a bit full on. People sitting on little plastic stools eating noodles blocking the way whilst someone's driving a scooter towrds you down the pavement in amongst ten thousand market stalls selling bags of dried mushrooms, yellow mangos, barbequed tripe and everything else under the burning hot sun.
Welcome to Thailand!