Discovering the world on $20 per day ......................




Post 201: Just When You Thought It Was Over ....


I'd eventually found a humble dwelling in which to rest my weary bones and retrieved my single suitcase of possessions, it was now time to concentrate on the Tiger. A plan of sorts was beginning to form, ... 'A Plan' in the true nature of Poor Circulation; half-baked, half-arsed and under-funded, .... but apart form that, it was all looking good.

I'd drop the Tiger off at Jack Lilley Triumph for a jolly good service and a long soak in a bath of snake-oil that would hopefully put an end to it's now insatiable appetite for the fully-synthetic variety. In the meantime, I'd be off on a little fact-finding adventure of my own. Perfect timing really, ..... Heathrow was only five miles down the road and the Tiger would have free B&B for the week that I'd be away.

The snow of Sunday had cleared, the Tiger behaved impeccably all of the way down to Ashford Common and Jack Lilley were expecting me. I dropped the bike off, provisionally agreed to attend their Christmas Party on Thursday 11th December and then made the five miles to Heathrow in plenty of time for my flight. I was using my expertly, yet indirectly blagged 'Economy Class Ticket' with a not so famous Airline, but there was sadly no 'upgrade' to Business Class, ....... beggars can't really be choosers all of the time. The flight departed on-time, I had a row of four seats all to myself, two decent meals and absolutely no turbulence.
The plane touched down on time in the Middle East and I had ninety minutes to wait in 'Transit' for my onwards flight. To this point in time, ... everything had gone perfectly smoothly, in fact it was all going far too smoothly for anything even remotely related to Poor Circulation, ..... my world was about to go horribly pear-shaped. Speaking a little Arabic is sometimes a blessing, sometimes a curse. Amongst my European neighbours in the Transit Lounge, I was possibly the first to hear the news. 'Mushcular' is the Arabic word for 'Problem', and when heard in close proximity with the name of your destination and flight number, you just know it's not going to be good news. We waited for a full five minutes before the English announcement confirmed my initial fears; Due to unforeseen problems, Flight EY402 to Bangkok had been cancelled, ....... there was no additional information.
Five hours after that announcement was made, I now know the reason for the cancellation of Flight EY402. As I type this, my fellow transit passengers are making alternate arrangements for their onwards travel, ... but I'm not. I'm sitting alone in a dimly lit but crowded corridor of far-flung strangers and using the only electrical connection that I can find in this entire airport. I've decided to sit it out, to take my chances, ..... to wait for the next available flight. If the cancellation had been due to 'Weather' or even 'Technical Failure' then it would be quite easy to put a 'time' on the potential length of wait, ...... but it's not. I'm sitting in Abu Dhabi International Airport, It's 1:32am and I'm travelling to Bangkok. Unfortunately, twenty-three minutes before my connecting flight was due to depart, ..... both of Bangkok's Airports were officially closed.

Recent unrest in Bangkok has esculated and with an increase in the levels of violence and gunfire around the airports, ..... both have now been closed for security reasons. The latest news is that the airports will re-open in about three days time, .... Inshallah. Bangkok is not my final destination, .... but I need to use both airports in that fine city, ... the re-opening of just one will not be enough. I've explored the alternative routes, ... but they cost money, lots of money ... but sleeping in airport corridors costs me nothing, which is exactly what I've got, ...... so I'll keep you posted.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic, Your on the move again, lunch times have gained a new lease of life.......... Do you have a seat / bench number where we can send the food parcels LOL. Did you see the film 'Terminal' (Tom Hanks)? Start collecting trollies!!
Take Care out there, once again we are hanging on every word...
Mike (London biker).

Caraweb said...

Nice one Geoff. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess where you might be going....but then I'm not a rocket scientist so might get it wrong!!
Dennis (Motocirca)

Jason Simonds said...

As I had suspected... good move Geoff.

FYI.. situation on the ground in BK is tense but it is a small group from what the news says and indications are that the situation will break by the end of the day. And perhaps another day to clear up the mess and backlog form the shutdowns.

However hard that floor is, it only makes your destinations that much softer.

When I read along with you, i realized where you are going and it brought a welling of joy up within me... so much power from such a small word.....

Anonymous said...

I turned on my laptop and saw there was unrest in the area you are heading. I was worried, but am now relieved to see you are safe!

Keep safe and keep us posted! ;)

Spider

Jason Simonds said...

Geoff!!

How are you faring?? Can I by you a meal or two in the Airport??

News says the army is clearing out the airports, so maybe you can move on soon!

Jason

P&BK said...

Hi there, Geoff

If you're still out there and not returned to retrieve your bike, that's what you'd better do.

News is that thousands of them are still keeping both airports remain closed.

Guess you may already know this news.

P&BK

'Blue 88' said...

Thanks for all of the advice and info, ... but things on the ground never look as bad as they do in the press ;-)

Hell, .. I've been stranded in worse places. I've moved North to Khon Kaen which gives me access to Laos and Cambodia by road.

Airports here are still closed and there's an upsurge in the counter PAD organisation, .... but it's the Kings Birthday on Friday 5th, ......so things will probably return to normal by then. At least now I can get on with some work.

Bye for now, .. Geoff