It’s a miracle! For the first time in as long as I can remember I and my bags DIDN’T get searched at the airport.
In fact, so swift was my transit through to departures that I’d completed it before mum et al had worked out how to pay for their car parking! No mean feat for a woman carrying every electrical item known to man with a motorbike helmet thrown in just for randomness value.
Flight 1 was Manchester to Doha – on a 777-300 for any plane geeks reading this – Lots of room to spread out thanks to it not being full but I somehow managed to be seated within screech range of 9 of the 14 children on the flight. BTW, in case you’re wondering, this fact was ascertained in the galley whilst the cabin crew were free pouring one of my many my g&ts 🙂 As well as drinking too much, I watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (very funny) and The Lady & The Van (Not as good as I would have liked) and generally muttered obscenities about children to myself to help pass the time.
Quick dash through Doha Airport – bloody huge when you’ve only got 40 minutes grace – and on to flight number 2. This time it was a 787 Dreamliner #notimpressed!
Flight was packed to Saigon (yes I know it’s officially Ho Chi Min City now but they referred to it as Saigon and so I’m going to too). Again surrounded by kids but this time they were mainly docile – that is until the girl in the row behind started puking as we came in to land. No alcohol on this flight, and a bit of broken sleep interspersed with watching The Intern with Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway (lovely easy to watch film).
Most passengers disembarked in Saigon and after a short delay thanks to bad weather in Phnom Penh we took off for the 25 minute hop to my final destination. Great views of Cambodia on the approach – a bit like the Eastenders opening titles, only difference being my aerial view was of the muddy Mekong, ramshackle shacks and flooded fields as opposed to the grey green Thames and row after neat order row of uniform buildings.
Again the transit through the airport was swift and uncomplicated, handed over $35 for my visa, no questions at immigration and Customs appeared not to be concerned by the huge quantities of medicines I was carrying in my various bags.
Nonchalant nod to the guy with the ‘VSO’ banner in arrivals and we’re off to the car. Soon became apparent said banner guy didn’t speak a word of English but he did give me a note from one of the team saying hi so that was ok. The journey was entertaining – had I not been here before I think I’d have been totally freaked by what I saw but instead I just enjoyed the bonkersness of it all as we slowly wended our way through the horrendous traffic.
After a while we turned a corner and every time a road appeared on our right the driver would slow down and peer before pulling off at break neck speed before doing the same slow down & peer at the next one. Guessing we must be near and he was looking for some kind of marker to indicate the right street for the guest house I pondered what the marker might be. It soon became apparent that his instructions had been to look for the ridiculous bright pink building as that’s what greeted us when we finally turned. My home for the next week or so – the Good Luck Guesthouse no less.
Going to sign off there and turn in for the night but if you fancy checking out where I am right now and how pink it really is, here’s a link for you: Sara’s home for now