Hitting our stride in Bangkok
We arrived in Bangkok around 11:45pm, and after a half hour or so of scrambling around to find misplaced-but-thankfully-not-lost-luggage, we got onto the shuttle bus to our transit hotel, a non-descript little joint about five minutes from the airport. Xiu Dan turned 8 years old on the bus ride, and we sang "Happy Birthday" to her amid the tolerant, but barely amused, half-smiles of the other weary travelers.
Despite a brief argument with the hotel manager about our reservations, we got settled into our two rooms (boys in one, Kori, Xiu Dan and in the other), and attempted to sleep off a little of the 33 hour journey. I slept pretty well, aided by pharmaceuticals. Kori and Xiu Dan tossed and turned, but caught a few winks. I think the boys stayed up most of the night watching TV. Jet lag's a bit challenging.
We woke up and showered, and I walked around the neighborhood to check out the dining options. I returned to the rooms, gathered the family and headed out to a place that I correctly assumed would have decent, standard-fare Thai food. As Anthony Bourdain has observed, some of the best food in the world is eaten outside on plastic stools.
We had fried flat noodles with pork in soy, mixed seafood curry, fried rice with pork and a fiery crispy pork and vegetable stir fry. It was all delicious. Cheap and delicious. Beats to heck a coffee shop muffin or breakfast burrito from McD's.
We're all still a little buzzy from the travel, and I feel like I've got a migraine brewing. But we're glad to be back. This just feels right. The weather is unbearably hot, no one can understand a word we say, and within a few hours, we'll be mobbed by a couple hundred sweaty Asia's Hope kids in Chiang Mai. We leave Bangkok at 3pm and we should be "home" by dinner time.