Saturday, December 1, 2007

Journey To Thailand (Part One: The Big Rush).

In the middle of this month, I took a trip up north to Thailand, on a mission to see Dr Suporn Watanyusakul, a famed Sex Reassignment Surgeon in Chonburi. Chonburi is a cute little town around 50 kilometers from Bangkok. I did not pack up anything and just carried my handbag with my important documents as I was planning to come back in the evening. So I boarded an early afternoon flight on check in at 1.30pm on Air Asia.

When I arrived at the LCC Terminal near KLIA, my knees went into constant shiver as I realize the prospect of getting into my first flight for ages. I have a fear of being on an air plane, and am unsure of what started this phobia of being subjected to the risk of a plane crashing into furious flames or the window of the and sucking me out to a fall of 30 over thousand feet into my certain death. Worse come to worse, at least I will be dead fast.

Nevertheless, I decided to sum up all the courage I had to get on the plane and claim all the convulsions in my stomach as the plane takes off. I tried to relax my mind thinking of that old song ‘One Night In Bangkok’, and appease myself with the meal I bought on the air plane. Air Asia is not as cheap as I thought, after adding the airport tax and everything it comes out to a near RM 900 bill, so I might as well enjoy my flight as much as I can.

I reached the Suvarnabhumi Airport around 3.30pm Bangkok time. With my legs still in jello style and my heart still pumping over the horrendous experience, I managed to get out to the immigration and arrival hall with no problems. I caught a taxi which ended up being an illegal tonto taxi, so as I am running short of time, I decided to take it anyway even though they charged me an awesome and ridiculous 2000 baht for it.

The travel was alarming. All the signboards have tiny little English words in comparison to the large Thai words. I do not even know whether I am going the right way, especially when the taxi driver, a nice lady anyway, does not utter any English and only a weeny bit of Mandarin. But the lady understood where is Chonburi, and as the clinic was located right in the main road of the town we managed to find it. And a classy clinic it is indeed.

The nice lady taxi driver offered to wait around for me, so I decided to stick to this driver and head through the clinic doors. There I was greeted by the usual calls of ‘Sawadeeka’ and was brought to the doctor’s clinic. I have to speak very slowly to get him and his wife (presumably) to understand what I wanted and needed. But I was pleased when he told me I have enough tissues to create the best results possible for my upcoming SRS.

I saw the samples and it was amazing. I got all the information I need and bade farewell to the Dr Suporn and his staff. After a quick dinner, I quickly attempted to rush back to the airport with the help of the nice lady, who eventually charged me only 1500 baht for the way back. Unfortunately, we run into some road works that caused an incredible jam on the Bangkok Chonburi highway. I ran into the risk of missing my flight.

I reached the airport but it was too late. The Air Asia counter refused to check me in even though I arrived five minutes before the check in closes, claiming their gate is too far and would close before me getting there. I burst into tears and anger as I am looking at the notice board and discovered my flight was still on check in and then boarding. That was it. I am never taking an Air Asia flight again. In gloom, I look at the prospects I have, as I am stranded in Bangkok.

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