Tuesday, 5 December 2006

an interesting week in Thailand, the start

Last week was a very interesting week.

I knew I had to fly to Bangkok on Sunday afternoon. Purpose of the trip was to run a PMP project management training. However, I booked 2 flights. One for Sunday and one for Wednesday a week later, in that sequence. When checking my departure time I looked the email for the Wednesday flight. Finding it a little strange to see 16:00hrs I kind of said, hmm then maybe I did book it at 16:00.

Now, Cathay Pacific does have this flight reminder service which means 2 hours in advance you receive an sms whether the flights is on time or not. I always found this a little strange, as by that time people are normally at the airport anyway. And I was about to cancel the service anyway.

Whilst packing my suitcase I noticed an SMS on my phone..... so I checked it. And indeed... 2 hrs to go. Hmm crap that means I had to be at least at HK station to check in. In short, I was running seriously late. Rushing to get to the airport in time......... the last bit by cab as well. And of course the cab driver keeps on driving till nearly end of the departure hall. THe CX counters are pretty much in the beginning.

I checked in online already, which normally means I can drop op my suitcase. However, murphy was waiting and even for drop off was a queue. So i decided to go to business class counter which I can do with Marco Polo Frequent flyer card. The guy looked a little weird at me....which generally means bad news. He calls his supervisor, start calling like crazy. THe result was, sorry sir the flight is closed. I just missed it. I do sincerely appreciate the effort he put in there without me even asking. One of my main drivers to fly CX as their service is just good. Anyway, step 2 lets look at alternatives. The next flight was pretty fully booked, however the strategy was to change ticket to 2 flights later and then go on standby. Thank Goodness, people that think with you! How nice is that.

As we do.........so showing up at the counter after a nice coffee.....didn't get me anywhere. The flight was overbooked, even on business class. Never mind I still could check in for the updated flight. Of course it costed my 500HKD to get my ticket changed, but that was my own fault.


Finally on the plane I have a decent flight to Bangkok. Quite excited as I was flying into the new airport. And yes, pleasantly surprised it looks quite good!

Less pleasant surprises came soon. After cruising around for a taxi stand....i found one. Hmmm that didn't look very good. A queue, people but no cabs. When coming closer......the was a sign put up: CABS ON STRIKE!

Yea, whatever..... hmm it looks serious. Luckily when I arrived at the queue, the cabs just drove up.........pffffffff at least not hours of waiting or getting an expensive limousine service.The ride was ok, always funny with non English speaking cab drivers. I had not printed out the hotel name and adress in Thai...so it took me a little to explain the street of my hotel. Once there I could point out the location as I had been there before.

A good habit is that you need to pay tollfees directly, so at least no fights over it at a later stage.

After nearly an hour we arrived at my hotel. A small place, but convieniently located opposite the work location. It is a little place called La Residence A very fancy name.
The entrance is quite nice, but as soon as you leave it, you end up in a pretty basic place. A good thing is free wifi for guests :)

Since I had been offline for a while....i needed my dosis of bits. Ouch, that didnt work well. After a bit forward backward with the stadd i found out that one connection didn't work (altough according to them it does) and the next one needed a security code.

WOW THat did they job, however the connection strength was so poor that it didn;t work anyway. After 2 hours messing around I gave up, went for a shower and crashed.

Now the next one... the aircon had 2 positions: hurricane or off. After some scientific studies on airflow, temperature etc I decided to swithc it off to prevent being blown away.

Hmmm it got a little hot as Bangkok is still in the end 20;s temp. range....

After a while i fell into a good sleep!