Tuesday – February 22, 2011 –
I was a little bit sad today that my time in Thailand had come to an end. This is such an amazingly beautiful country with such hospitable and friendly people.
I woke up at 3:15 a.m. and left immediately for checkout. I grabbed a pastry to go and caught the 3:30 a.m. shuttle to the airport. After clearing the huge Delta line and checking my bag, I waited in the monstrous customs and security lines before exchanging my Thai baht for USD and getting frisked again at the gate. There was not much room for error as I made my 5:45 departure. This was the longest it ever took me to board a flight anywhere in the world, gate to gate!
I slept about six of the eight hours on the flight to Narita. Upon arrival I grabbed a sweet-lemon chicken sandwich at McDonalds and bought some Japanese sweets for my office colleagues. After my layover, I boarded my non-stop Delta flight back to Atlanta. I slept about six hours on the 14-hour flight and watched Doctor Zhivago as we flew over Siberia back towards North America. It was only appropriate given the locale, right?
Upon arrival in Atlanta on Tuesday morning, I was surprised to see the customs lines were very short. That’s pretty unusual for Atlanta. I killed two hours by checking my email and surfing the news before I caught the Atlanta airport shuttle to the Birmingham airport. The driver kept me up with some of his stories, before I took a taxi home from the Birmingham airport. What an incredible day journeying back from the other side of the world. I was wiped out and due for a good night’s sleep!