So this will be a long one. The Dublin flight was quite surreal and probably my least favorite leg of the journey (although all moments so far have been beautiful in their own right you know?) I took a nap on the bus from the Europa which I didn't want to do (also I didn't sleep at ALL the night before I left) and the delirium set in.
I was jolted from my nap by the bright sunshine and the massive building that is Dublin international and I groggily gathered my things and stumbled onwards. I kept thinking, 'this must be what a baby feels like being born to bright hospital lights and loud noises for the first time'. It was quite a sensory overload. And as I found my way to the Germanwings counter in an obscure part of the airport I realized...I am alone. The settling of that realization knocked the wind out of my lungs. I stood staring at all those people in front of me with their family, friends and lovers awaiting to embark together and a pang of jealousy maybe? Hit me.
As I inched closer to the counter my throat began to tighten and my eyes stung from the tears begging to be released. I kept seeing the faces of familiar people and I thought friends had come to surprise me and see me off, I kept seeing my dad coming to the rescue like he has in the past, old loves running towards me for one last "grand gesture"...but then I'd blink and realize I was looking at complete strangers. The lump in my throat began to throb. Out of nowhere I got an urge to check my email and right at that moment, my anam cara Corneilus sent not one, but TWO lovely hilarious long emails that had my mind and body transfixed in a place of, 'you're okay Dalyce and you're not alone'. I kept telling myself that with every thought I was having about my friends and family; the ones I left behind....meant that maybe they were thinking of me too and that in some lovely beautiful link of energy particles, they were carrying me along, and I them.
After cramming my stuff away in the oversized luggage area, I bolted off to find security and my gate. A woman on a mission. I had been dragging my feet earlier because of the melancholy and I realized if I missed my flight to cologne, I'd be Shit Outta Luckl!!
So I board the flight to cologne and all goes well. Cologne was bright and warm and sunny and everyone seemed relatively nice...until I went to buy food before my Bangkok flight in one of the airport terminals. I remembered they probably wouldn't have a vegan meal for me on the flight so I tried finding something decent; nabbed a hummus and pepper sandwich, fruit cup, water and salt n' vinegar chips. I used my spare euros left over from all my trips to Dublin...so I dumped the change and said,
'Sorry can you use this change first and I'll pay the remainder in cash?'
This woman...let's call her 'Gerta'...because that's a solid name...was SoOOo sassy and literally made me want to crawl into a cave. I guess some people REALLY don't like change. Anyways so I Waited to be one of the last people to board my flight to Bangkok and whose in front of me?? This guy wearing an eye patch who I had seen in front of me in Dublin while I was at the Eurowings counter waiting to check in!! His name was actually Aiden Fitzpatrick I believe (god fb would come in handy wouldn't it??) but we chatted loads and I kept staring into his one good eye that was a lovely amber brown hue. He is also traveling on a one way ticket and going to look for work. There was something resilient about him and he seemed to have traveled loads. He had some reassuring energy which I appreciated and soaked up. We swapped life stories and it was good craic...oh if you're wondering what the deal with the eye patch was...it was at his leaving do party on Thursday...he was combing his hair back and accidentally full-on poked himself in the eye. I had to laugh at that one. He could have told me anything cooler! More harrowing! We laughed about that as well.
So as he and I were getting ready to board; our passports set off the beepers along with a handful of others and we were corralled into a space near the door. We literally waited there for 30 or so minutes while they tried to manually insert us on their system. I think because it was a group of us that this snafu was affecting, I was really zen. Eventually I got the go ahead to pass and board the flight to Bangkok and I said goodbye to Aido (as he introduced himself to me) hoping I'd catch him on the other side.
The flight was 11 hours long...I only got up to pee once because I was rammed in the middle of the aisle, perfect position for snuggling haha (The Dublin girl to my left and I kept touching legs and arms through out our sleep phases which was nice for body contact, but the two Thai women to my right were having none of that Dalyce snuggle lovein' lol) also I didn't eat for that flight at all! They didn't even ask if I wanted to buy anything. I was very disappointed from that standpoint :/
Fast forward to more delirious sleeps and being jolted awake by sun peering through plane windows, time ticked on and I knew I was getting closer and closer to the road to awe. Well I don't know if anyone has told you, but the journey to the road to awe can be stressful and make your butt hurt and make you want a smoke...so I kept hiding under my scarf and puffing on my e-cigs and exhaling slowly. I can only imagine what it would've looked like if someone saw me just smoking from the nostrils like a flustered bull. Anyways that illegal activity went unnoticed and I was able to ease back into my seat for the next four...three...two...one...hours.
Bam. Arrival to Bangkok. Hot. Sunny. Bright. My lungs inhaled a sweet, damp air that must have snuck its way into the terminal tunnel from the plane to the airport. Beads of sweat decorated my upper lip and forehead. I loved it. 'Yes' to heat and open doors to the great infinite! I took my camera out and began snapping. I wanted so badly to run into Aido, but I never saw him again after the flight :/ I went to baggage claim and saw my backpacking backpack...but without the sleeping bag on the front of it!! I was annoyed. It fell off en route and so I had to fill out a form and they will call me soon so that I'll have to retrieve it o.o I know it may not seem worth it, but i had rammed some stuff in with the sleeping bag and so I'll most likely try to get it back. The flower pin that my anam cara Hannah got me in Romania completely got ripped off my bag by the clip as well >.< I wanted to cry and curse myself for not just carrying it IN the bag...so I did.
Next I grabbed everything and eased outside to the muggier abyss. I got a ticket stub to wait for a taxi and then went straight over to him. He was a small man who didn't talk much except when it came to saying I owed him money for tolls. I didn't like this. I wanted to speak. Real conversations. Seems like I've been sitting in silence for days. As he drove, I shot the landscape and took some video to preoccupy my mind. Then when another toll came up and he demanded more money I forked it over and shook from financial anxiety. It's hard not knowing if people are ripping you off or not out here...and I hated thinking that. I am usually trusting of complete strangers. This paranoia stressed me out a bit so I asked if I could smoke my e cig in his car as he drove and he said, 'yes'. Again with self medicating :/
We arrived across the street from my hostel (which is way on back in an alley!) and before I even had a chance to put my giant backpack on he said,
"money? You pay now."
I was getting aggravated by his paranoia of me and my paranoia of him. I paid the 400 baht And gingerly crossed the busy street to get to the hostel. I had already seen someone fly off their motorcycle (to comically bounce right back up, dust himself off and walk away..so I assume he was fine) but it made me nervous to step foot in the street. I tried checking into the hostel but first the woman needed cash and I didn't have enough after the taxi, so I left my things, took my camera and found the nearest ATM.
Wow the smells in that alley and the pace of the people is so different! I People just seem cool and so at home here. Where I feel like a giant bison in a china shop! But I got my money and braved crossing the street again back to the hostel. The woman has a wee 5 or younger year-old son who sits in the lobby entertaining himself. He is beautiful. His skin is so copper brown and his gorgeous almond eyes are like little chocolate drops. I love being surrounded by people of color! I'm still a minority here, but there's something not daunting at all about it. I had to wait until 2 pm to check in and I arrived maybe at around 11am, so I had some time to kill. I left my bags, lifted my camera and water and went to find some food since I knew it was at least 14 hours since I last ate.
I passed by a cat on the street licking it's little kitty bum and I wanted to play, but instead took a picture and kept moving. I saw street markets and what seemed to be a "men's button-down-shirt" auction. I spotted a 7/11 which we have in the states and so I went in to get food for the hostel. Clearly no one warned me that ingredients wouldn't be labeled in English (this is sarcasm) so I spent the majority of what should have been a 5 minute shop trip but turned into a 40 minute trip, deciphering if things were vegan. Got a carton of OJ, some small boxes of soy milk, a large box of coconut milk, some sesame cereal, seaweed, rice noodles, veg oil, sweet chilli, a loaf of bread, and some bean filled pastries that I used to eat in California (these thank god were vegan) ohhh and I got jackfruit!!! It's like the mangos' less cooler second cousin removed ya know?
So after splurging on nibbles, I walked back out into the busy street and saw that a huge throng of people had gathered and were just eating at these tables and there were tons of vendors out. I kept walking until I saw what I could only assume was a hole-in-the-wall food joint and I asked to see a menu. I was sooo hungry so I kind of came off as a gremlin as I ordered a coconut rice noodle curry dish, poppaya salad, and jasmine rice. The servings were gloriously large and my first authentic Thai meal went down without a hitch! Although it was nauseatingly hot so my appetite had disappeared mid slurpage of rice noodles. I had iced tea with four ice cubes in it and I wanted to dump it over my face because it was so refreshing. But I refrained. Then a friendly trans woman with a great purple and black corsage gave me more ice water and winked. Right back at ya ;p
I paid and said thank you so much for delicious food and then rolled my full belly and those bags of groceries back up the street to see if I could settle in the hostel. I was still too early, but a rather tan and weathered looking Italian man was sitting on the couch in the main room playing with the hostel owners son. So I joined in and took photos of the beautiful baby boy and laughed as he gave the Italian guy a hard time. I spoke to the Italian guy, but he didn't seem like he wanted to join forces or explore together or anything...he lived here for a year before and is just doing 4 months of travel after quitting his job...seems to be the way things go. So he must be somewhere at this hostel now...he helped me bring my bag up to my room and then he disappeared. I'm currently in my 6 bed mixed dorm alone after showering and waking up to a glorious rainstorm. The rain here is unlike anywhere I've been. I wanted to run outside in it, but I chose to eat some more jackfruit and check my emails instead. I'm hoping to wake up tomorrow with more energy and more bravery to just walk around and explore. Maybe the night will bring in more friendly wanderers that I can bond with. Only time will tell.
sounds silly but I keep trying to self-regulate by hugging myself, thinking of what a yoga teacher in Belfast I know named Emma actually says, she would always tell us to find comfort and softness and touch in times of discomfort. It soothes me loads to just wrap my arms around myself and say...'You can do this. You ARE doing this'.
I hear crickets outside!!! You know how long it's been since I've heard a nightime symphony like this outside??
Pure bliss and jackfruit pits,
-DW Sunflower xxx