KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
We had a great flight from Bodhgaya to Bangkok on Thai Airways. There was a moment of panic though when the pilot announced just after takeoff that we would be landing in Varanasi in about forty-five minutes. Varanasi is west of Bodhgaya and we were supposed to be flying east to Thailand. It was only then that we realized that the flight we had just boarded was part way through its route Bangkok-Bodhgaya-Varanasi-Bangkok. It seems this route is planned for people who want to visit the holy shrines in both Indian cities without having to pass through any of the usual ports of entry in India. Phew! For a minute we thought we were going to miss our rendezvous with Audrey in Thailand.
It was great to get to Thailand a couple of days earlier than planned because it gave us a chance to get some things done before Audrey arrived on April 6th. We went to the Weekend Market in Bangkok, but were overwhelmed by the heat, humidity and the crowds there. We scurried back to our hotel with its air-conditioning and swimming pool. We met with the travel agent we dealt with before and had all our questions answered about air tickets to the islands in southern Thailand and the visas for China that we would need in order to leave for Guilin once my brother David arrived on April 12th.
We were up early and off to the airport to meet Audrey’s morning flight, happy to avoid the usual heavy traffic on a Sunday. Audrey’s flight from Dubai was on time and we enjoyed watching all the first-class passengers arrive in their traditional white dishdashes (men) and black burqas (women). At last Audrey passed through the arrival gate in her casual western clothing looking tanned and relaxed. It had been five years since we were together in Bangkok and she was looking forward to some great Thai food and even better Thai massages.
For the next couple of days, we indulged ourselves with great eating and great visiting as well as manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. At last we were ready to fly to Krabi, on the Andaman coast of to check out what is considered to be the best beach area of Thailand. I was a little nervous because we were intending to visit Krabi in 2004 when the tsunami struck and then again last year when I fell and broke my arm in Malaysia. We had already purchased our ticket to Phuket and had to carry on to Bangkok without stopping at the beach. Maybe something was trying to tell me that this was a region I should avoid at all costs. I decided not to be so superstitious and assume that I would be lucky on my third try.