Sunday 18 June 2023

Leaving Vietnam

I'm awake before my alarm goes. Quickly rising, brushing my teeth and packing away my laptop, I’m ready in a jiffy. Too early for breakfast. I'm in my taxi by 6:02.

It takes a different route to the airport. Along a street of French colonial villas. Very nice. Colonial days must have been so much fun. If you were one of the colonisers. It’s very easy, as a white European, to assume that’s what I would have been.

We pull up outside the airport two hours before my flight departs. With me pushy-inning all the way to airside, I'm left with a good hour in the lounge. Happy days.

There's free-pour booze. Evan Williams bourbon and a couple of other spirits. The former will do for me. I get well stuck in. And, as I missed brekkie, a pork and egg stew thing. Along with some fruit. I have to look after my health, after all.

It's a pretty good lounge. Though one black mark. The cheese offering is way inferior to Air France’s. But so is every other lounge.

The whiskey bottle is looking quite sad by the time I'm done. It's about half empty. Was anyone else drinking it? Probably not at 7 AM. Though airport rules do apply.  It's got me right in the mood for a long flight. Half-pissed and half-awake.

I tip on the plane with my pushy-in boarding. As I've booked a better seat, I've more legroom than on the way up from Danang.

I had worried a bit about changing in Bangkok. Just 75 minutes. But we're on time and there's not too much faffing or walking. I'm at the gate before boarding starts.

Not much drama on the flight. Other than, about two-thirds of the way in, an announcement asking for a medical doctor to go to seat 31A. I worry that it might be like the return flight from Santiago. When a medical emergency over the Atlantic had us divert to the Azores, delaying our arrival in Paris by hours. Thankfully, we continue on our way.

Oh, and the bloke in the window seat by me has a massive argument with the woman in front of him about her reclining her seat onto his knees.

As I’ve seen all the films I’d like to. And several others I didn’t really. I go for the TV series entertainment. Sharp Objects fills in the time pretty much exactly. It ends a bit weird. Not sure why they had that long bit after the loony mum got banged up. I don’t bother watching the credits. I can’t be doing with just boring lists of names.

We’re given a last meal an hour or so before landing. It’s not too awful. But what is really surprising is the drink I order. I eschew the wine and have an orange juice. That’s a first for me. Turning down the offer of a free alcoholic drink.

We land two minutes early. Soon I'm at home clutching a mug of hot tea. Is there a better partner than Dolores?

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