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Monday, October 23, 2017

FABULOUS FALL FANTASY: Day 10: Tokyo to Bangkok

Let me start by giving you the good news.  I'm alive and well and in Thailand.  I boarded ANA 807 , a Dreamliner, one hour late, and spent another hour on the tarmac awaiting approval to depart.  After a few scares, we finally took off.  The first 15 minutes in the air were rocky, like being on a bumpy road.  Then, I was able to appreciate ANA business class.  First there were amenities in the bathroom:

Plus, the toilet had that Japanese washlet, where you could shower yourself, below:

The food was theoretically excellent.  The problem was that I had a huge breakfast, followed by an equally large airport lounge meal:

You can't see the olives too well in that cup, but there were two giant green ones.  Here is one to the left.  

The appetizer was a trio of cold masterpieces.  Unfortunately, I could only pick at them.

The steak looked tempting.  However, I took two bites and just could not eat any more.

However, I noticed that you could at anytime also order a ramen or curry and rice dish.  I think because my stomach can best handle certain kinds of foods better in the air, I ordered a bowl:

I enjoyed this.  I did turn down the dessert tray:

At this point it occurred to me that I should be so thankful that I was even on this plane heading for Bangkok.  I would rate this ANA Business Class above the United First Polaris Class from Honolulu to Tokyo.  The United flight had no music.  Something to do with a lawsuit.  The ANA had a system where you could swiftly and efficiently select individual pieces from around a hundred albums and create a song list of 50.  I accomplished this task just waiting on the tarmac.  I also watched a film, The Circle, which was pretty good, although Rotten Tomatoes gave it a horrible 17/22 rating.  I thought the intensity of a Silicon Valley employee work environment was well presented, with good performances by Emma Watson, Tom Hanks and John Boyega.  The ending, where Hanks, playing a Steve Jobs type leader, being trapped into a transparent future was priceless.

We arrived into Bangkok after midnight, and to my surprise, I saw as many people as you normally would during the day.  The check-in through customs/immigration was quick, and I was on an AOT limousine to the Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit within half an hour of  arrival.  They will always try to sell you their expensive car options (like the BMW to the left--2300 baht = $70), but keep asking for the cheapest one.  When you succeed, you will still pay $36 when a taxi could well cost you half that amount, but I splurge a bit from the airport into town, especially after midnight.  From the hotel I always catch any available cab hailed by the staff.

The Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit gave me a great room.  This hotel has now been around for 22 years, and is undergoing some renovation.  As in Japan, there is no tipping in Thailand. It was after 2AM when I went to bed.

Typhoon Lan made landfall near Tokyo on Monday as a Category 2, but Japan is well planned and organized, so the effect was minimal.  

Not sure how I would have been affected had I retained my Monday departure for Bangkok, but, no matter, I made it, and can't be any happier.

Oh no!   There is a new disturbance with a path predicted to virtually mimic Lan:

Incredibly enough, this new future typhoon will arrive at Narita next Monday, just about when I land from Incheon, as a stop for me to transfer to a United Airlines flight to Honolulu.  I can't leave earlier from South Korea, so I guess I might need to depart Seoul a bit later to totally miss this new complication.  I wonder what this will cost.  Stay tuned.


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