The smiles and welcome from the three beautiful guest lounge receptionists at Abu Dhabi was very refreshing after a six hour Etihad flight from Bangkok. What came next for me was even better. I was pleased to see the lounge area was near empty and before I had even reached the bar the barman called out to me ‘ a large Jack Daniel and coke sir.‘ A quality moment at a top of the range airport terminal.
My journey had started at Udon Thani bus station some 19 hours before and one hour previous to my departure Wonderful Wi bought a one month old Shitzu and Poodle cross bred puppy dog from the night market for 1500 baht. A Shit-poo or Poo-zu call it whatever you like but I opted for the former because the young pup really stank like crazy. In an adorable sought of way.
As the bus pulled away I waved Wilai and the newly named pup Pepsi goodbye until Christmas and settled back for the eight hour one stop ride to Suvarnabhumi. I slept on and off for most of the way. A couple of cans of Beer Chang, a packet of biscuits and two smokes at the stop off saw me nicely to Suvarnabhumi and its warm moist air. The bus and its air con always makes me cough. I checked in and headed for the Thai Royal Silk guest lounge and after a couple of large JD’s and a little internet I was ready to leave the Land of Smiles behind.
Next month Abu Dhabi hosts the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which is the finale to the current racing season and the airline was promoting the race in the duty free area with a couple of models and a sleek looking Formula One racing car. One of the models kindly posed for a photo and I couldn’t make up my mind which had the sleeker bodywork. With thoughts of Wilai reading my mind I plumped for the automobile having the sexier curves and more mileage, I was either running scared or getting old. Perhaps both.
The Etihad guest lounge is the best of the three that my 12,000 mile round trip takes me through and is a quality asset to a quality airline. The camaraderie, laughter and warmth that you feel from your co travellers on your outward journey seems to be replaced with suspicion, mistrust and a solemn acceptance of what the coming months hold on the returning path home. The guest lounge and it’s facilities help to erase many of those negative thoughts. Three large JD’s, plenty of cigarettes and some excellent hot food from a well stocked and wide variety of choice self service food display and I was ready for the final leg back to London.
I don’t normally enjoy on flight meals but the one served on the Etihad leg to Heathrow promised Beef and mushroom casserole with oven baked potatoes and vegetables. It was delicious and helped make the final part of my journey much more enjoyable.
My holiday in Kanchanaburi and Udon Thani was fantastic and on a blogging front I have brought back with me some wonderful photos and posts to write. On a personal level the trip furthered my desire to one day live in Thailand amongst its colourful and carnival like citizens, great culture and laid back lifestyle and to achieve that I must put my work first and save hard. Work begins again tonight.
Over the next few days I having some catching up to do with the Thai blogs in my sidebar and then I will be posting a later than usual monthly blog review. I hope you will come back for a read of that and wherever you are in the world best wishes from myself and Beyond The Mango Juice.
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