These last few months I’ve been fortunate enough to travel around the world: first to Europe and now Asia. I know it sounds crazy, but I love airplane food, and now that the airlines are cheap as fuck!, you never get food on domestic flights. So I was a pig in a blanket on these past international flights where they served full meals, sometimes more than one.
Singapore airlines is known for their service, and now I can honestly say their food is pretty damn good too. The first lunch they served us shrimp cocktails and penne pasta salads with beef in green peppercorn sauce and mashed potatoes.
Jonathan got the grilled chicken with mushrooms, rice and sautéed vegetables.
For our dinner they served chocolate cake, tuna fish salad and I chose the kimchi fried rice with beef as my entrée.
Jonathan had the barbecue chicken breast with roasted herbed potatoes and vegetables.
Then we switched planes at Incheon Airport in Seoul, Korea. We had a three-hour layover before getting on a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok. Jonathan and were exhausted at that point and wanted to sleep, but the moment I learned they were going to serve us a meal I was determined to stay awake to place my order.
I got the bim bim bop with beef and it was delicious!
And yes, everyone sitting around me thought I was crazy…and, well….they’d be right!
With swollen fingers, a ripe aroma wafting from my every epidermal pore and absolutely no energy, we arrived in Bangkok at 2am. The new airport is so big the plane seemed to be taxing for 30 minutes and I wanted off. Jonathan and I were impatient to say the least. Both Singapore Airlines and Thai Airlines are more comfortable than any domestic US carriers, but no matter how pretty the stewardesses are (and they’re gorgeous women in traditional garb), and how delicious the meals were, nothing, not even an extra inch of leg room, can mask the pain of being trapped on a plane (in coach obviously) for 20 hours.
Eventually we got off the plane and navigated our way through miles of moving walkways and corridors until we arrived at customs only to (yep you guessed it) wait in more lines.
“Why can’t we just be at the hotel already?” I whined to Jonathan as I rubbed the tired crust from the corner of my dry itchy eyes.
“Because,” he said, not having the energy to come up with some witty retort.
The two of us stood there like zombies and just suffered through the pain of not being able to sit down and take a load off. Huge Indian families just wedged their way to the beginning of the scansions cutting in front of hundreds of sleepy travelers to tired to care. I quickly learned that this is just how it is in most countries. Lines are just suggestions. We shuffled through the switchbacks and then made our way to the taxi line. We waited again for 30 minutes while the cab drivers pulled up, parked, walked over to the taxi staff for a little friendly chat, and then took the next impatient group of foreigners to their cab. I’m thinking efficiency isn’t what the Thai are known for, but again, I was too tired to care.
We finally got a hot pink cab, which I thought was totally appropriate for us gays, and we were on our way to the Lebua Hotel in downtown Bangkok. As our cab puttered on the freeway I rolled down my window for some fresh air. Why am I wearing blue jeans and a long sleeve thermal shirt? I wondered to myself? The cab driver swerved left and right and sometimes just straddled the lines of the freeway. I guess lanes are just suggestions too.
The recent news stories of a malaria treatment-resistant virus popping up at the boarder of Burma and Thailand, and the advice we got from all our friends to stay away from the drinking water and ice filled me with the fear of getting dysentery or typhoid. But my phobias were only reinforced once I noticed the cab driver’s face dripping with sweat, his coughs, and the fact that he kept blowing his nose and wiping his face with a washcloth that he placed on top of Jonathan’s suitcase in the front seat. I was glad it wasn’t mine.
When we entered the hotel lobby at 3:30am it was empty except for the occasional fair-skinned and sunburned Eastern European couple stumbling their way back from the nightclubs. The androgynous looking man at the front desk was super nice and asked us if we needed two bed or a single bed. We said “single” and then he smiled, knowing we were a couple, and then upgraded us to a two-bedroom suite. The suite was awesome, but it took a little longer to switch the reservations when all we wanted was to take showers and get to bed.