I'm in Thailand now. And getting here was a bit of an ordeal. I think I took every means of transportation possible (aside from camel) to finally land in paradise--Koh Phangan.
I woke up at 4:30am on Tuesday to take the subway from Azabu-juban to the Tokyo station to catch the Shikansen train (bullet train) to Osaka, which is where I was flying out of. So I got my speedy-train ticket without a problem, turned on my iPod and zoned out most of the way to the Osaka station. From the train station I had to take a bus to the airport. Lucky for me there were signs everywhere saying "bus to airport" so I follow the signs, paid 4 dollars and felt good that I was going to make it to the airport with plenty of time to spare.
When I go to the airport, the bus driver gave us two options--Japan Airways, or All Nippon Airways. I was flying Thai Airways...so, before panicking, I thought to myself, maybe its a co-operated flight or something, just go in and ask...
No one had mentioned to me that there were TWO airports in Osaka. The woman that was helping me out told me that I was at the wrong airport and it would take an hour and 10 minutes by bus to get to the other airport. By this time it was 9:55, and my flight left at 11:45. My only hope of making it was a cab. A very, very, very expensive cab. So the taxi driver flew to the other airport, I ran to the check-in line, made it with a few minutes to spare and sank into my seat, all the while telling myself that these things happen, and that in the big scheme of things an $100 cab ride isn't that big of a deal (we can always get more money, right Jeremy?) I was just happy that I would make my connecting flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui.
Riiiiight...After about an hour and a half in the air, the pilot comes on and said we were having mechanical problems and need to make an emergency landing in Taipei, Taiwan. He said it would be a short stop and we'd be back in the air in 20 minutes. 2 hours later, (sat on the runway the entire time) we were back on our way to Bangkok, and I knew that there was a good chance that I would miss my connecting flight. But in a situation like that, what can you do? There was no point in getting worked up or frustrated, because there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
As I'm landing in Bangkok, I see my connecting flight taking off...
So I take my time through customs, go to the Bangkok Airways counter and they put me on the next flight (only an hour later). I made it to Koh Samui right as Tiffany was getting to the airport. So after the subway, bullet train, bus, taxi, and 2 airplanes and Tiff's motorbike, I am finally in Thailand--in PARADISE. I am so happy to be back here. Its such a drastic change from the fast-paced, material world of Tokyo. And seeing Tiffany made everything I am doing feel so right. We have been friends for 20 years, and being able to share the next 3 months with her is going to be magical.
We took a ferry (one final mode of transportation) over to Koh Phangan yesterday, and most of today I've spent on the beach, playing fetch in the ocean with a new 4-legged friend, and spending time catching up on the last 5 months with Tiffany. She has been here studying tantric yoga--so obvoiusly there was much to discuss.
I am still missing a book for one class, and Drew is going to ship it to me in India (it made it to Japan the day after I left). I just finished my homework, chatted with Jeremy online for a minute, and wrote this blog--so its back to the beach now!!! I would be envious of me right now :)