I thought the penthouse was fancy


We made it here.

Sue’s place is on the 8th floor, so I have a nice view of the city lights through the potted trees that line her dining room patio. (There are three inhabited woven bird nests in those trees!)

The air is warm and damp, but there is a light breeze and with the fan on, the temperature is quite pleasant. It’s mostly quiet, but occasionally I can hear the buzz of motorbike or a car driving down the street. Not much traffic, as Sue and Joss live on a residential street.

It’s definitely worth the 17 hour flight, although I always, always question that during a long flight – especially when my lower back starts to ache and my arms or leg is alseep from holding the sleeping baby in one position too long.

I’m just back from my first Thai massage in years, the baby and Bella are sleeping, Sue’s putting Noi naa to bed, Joss and Songbae are on their way back from swimming and playing tennis at the British club with strict instructions to bring home noodle soups for dinner.

Let me repeat: Aaaaaaaaaaaah.

The flight over was good but long.

I was pretty well finished with my packing well in advance of Wednesday, which is new for me. Historically, I’ve always procrastinated my packing until the night before and ended up pulling all-nighters. It was refreshing to pack leisurely and have time to do things like empty my wallet of unnecessary cards and receipts and make sure that all of my electronic gadgets (ipod, ipod touch, camera, and phone) were all fully charged.

My brother, on the other hand, went to the last hour with his down-sizing and packing – and arrived at our place Wednesday morning around 7 am when we were trying to leave for LAX by 8:30 am.

I’m not giving him a hard time, because he’d actually arrived hours earlier and had slept in the car outside our community gate waiting for a reasonable hour to call us and I know that moving out of an apartment, much less moving to another country and trying to reduce his materials possessions to less than a hundred things, takes a lot of effort. I’m just saying that we were crunched for time.

And to add to the stress, we were bringing lots of heavy things to Thailand, like bottles for red wine and tequila, piles of books, and several pound of Jarlsburg cheese.

Since each suitcase could weigh a maximum of 50 pounds, there in the living room an hour before leaving, we had every suitcase lying open and clothes and things EVERYWHERE. Bella would pick up a pile and say, Should I pack this? My brother would leap through the piles and shout, No, this is the stuff going into storage, you can pack THAT stuff. And he would point to another pile. Or he’d say, We need the golf bag up here in the mix, and run out of the house to get it. And Chad would turn to me and ask, Did he just run down to the car in his underwear?

In any case, we got everything packed and whew – every bag just under 50 pounds.

We didn’t make it out of the house until 9:30 am, but we hit no traffic, so we still made to LAX in plenty of time. The surprise bonus was that since we checked in with Songbae, who is a gold star member with United (which happens automatically when you accumulate a certain number of miles), we were treated to his level of upgraded service for the flight: we bypassed all the wait lines, we got upgraded to ecomony plus, and nobody even weighed our luggage.

The flight itself went great. Christian fell asleep almost as soon as we boarded, and I began watching a marathon string of mediocre, but enjoyable movies. Some I watched without sound, and others I jumped in and out of, but it was still the most movie-watching I’ve done since Christian was born.

(I was grateful for the lack of sound watching The Messenger on Bella’s computer, which is a very mediocre scary movie with the actress from Twilight. 17 Again was cute – Zac Efron was a surprisingly likeable and  decent actor. I missed most of Duplicity and watching He’s Not That Into You for a second time was fun. [I cried a couple times.] and and and, can’t remember what else.)

Although Christian slept a solid two hours, that put a small dent in an eleven-hour leg of a flight to Tokyo. The rest of the time we met lots of people on the plane, went to the bathroom more times that I could count (Christian took a mile-high dump in the airplane potty!), ate snacks, snacks and more snacks, open and closed all the now defunct ashtrays along the bathroom corridor, got little sips of water from the water dispenser, played at our feet with his two new matchbox cars, and otherwise squirmed and wriggled in my lap.

The layover in Tokyo was refreshing. We didn’t even mind having to go through security a second time.

But getting on the plane for another six-hour leg was painful. At least the plane was super-cleaned out and economy plus was half empty, so we had space.

The only real glitch of the day was after we arrived in Bangkok. After getting through immigration (no wait! as soon as they saw I had a baby, they whicksed us through), we sat and waited for Sue and Joss for an hour before calling them at home and discovering that they weren’t expecting us until the following night. Whoops, my fault.

Anyhoo, we caught a SUV taxi there in the end and it was all fine.

Sue and Joss have moved since my last visit (just to the building next door) and their new place is gorgeous! Three spacious bathrooms (plus maid’s quarters), all tiled and solid wood floors, and a full-time maid. The pool here is better too, with a large covered baby pool attached to the main pool.

This is really the life. I just wish my husband were here with us.

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