So late last week James had A Work Thing that he had to attend in
Which, just in case it's not fresh in your mind, is a city located in the country of Thailand.
A few months ago, when James first realized that he would be traveling to Said Work Thing in Thailand, he immediately began trying to convince me to go with him.
Just the two of us.
Without the children.
Now, this is our first overseas post, you guys. We have never (EVER EVER) left the children alone in one country while we visited another. Heck, we've never even left the children alone in one STATE while we visited another. Double Heck: We've never even left the children alone overnight before, let alone for THREE nights. ALONE. Let alone with us traveling to another country during that time. So I was extremely apprehensive.
But Matthew is 18 and a half, and they're good boys, and they're very safe in our apartment, and they're surrounded by people who adore them and would help if need be, and so... I consented to go. My huge hangup was the method by which we were going.
The following is a real conversation that James and I had right before he booked our plane tickets:
~ ~ ~
Me (nervous, wailing): WHAT?!?! You're booking us together on the same plane?! What if the plane carrying both of us crashes and we both die and then the boys are orphans in China?!?!
James (calmly): Okay, no problem. I'll book us on separate flights. But if I do that, then you'll have to be all by yourself in the Guangzhou airport, trying to find your gate and maybe even having to collect your checked bag on your layover in Guangzhou while we're traveling from Chengdu to Bangkok, while dealing with the Chinese entry/exit folks and while re-checking your bag on an international flight. BY YOURSELF.
~ ~ ~
So then I decided that I didn't love my children enough to be on a separate flight from James.
But I *did* love them enough to spend the entire day before we left for Bangkok intermittently sobbing whilst writing them literally a four-page document, detailing all of our bank account numbers and online bank login passwords and such. I wrote about how Daddy and I love them and are sorry that they're orphans in China and please forgive us for being hedonists and please grow up and find good wives and try to live their lives as good people. I then sealed the envelope, told 18-year-old Matthew where to find it if and when WE DIED, and then left for Bangkok. (I am not making a single word of this up.)
(And if anyone needs any more proof of my utter and complete emotional imbalance, then you just aren't reading my blog closely enough.)
Our flight out of China took us, naturally, first to the Chengdu Airport. We were delighted to find that a whole huge brand-new airport had just been opened! WooHoo!
The new airport sports a super snazzy Pizza Hut
Which, as all Pizza Huts do, serves omelets
As all flights are in China, our flight leaving Chengdu (to connect to a flight in Guangzhou) was delayed by about a zillion hours, and James was worried that we would miss our connecting flight to Thailand, but we made it just by the skin of our teeth.
And then - we were there! In Thailand!
This photo does it no favors, but that's because it's just a picture off of my iTouch. Bangkok was actually really pretty - blue skies, lots and lots AND LOTS of plants and trees and flowers, etc.
And ohmygosh, it's huge. HUGE. I'm telling you guys, Asian cities make American cities look so tiny.
Bangkok is extremely modern.
Streets and walkways and malls and life flowing in every single direction. So, SO much different than Chengdu. In Chengdu, it's pretty much all Chinese people and then the sporadic non-Chinese person. In Thailand? Holy cow. Every nationality of person on every street corner. The human variety is staggering.
The Thai people are really into, like, bowing. Or something. I don't know what to call it, but I've never been bowed to before, so it took me by surprise. The Thai people sort of put their hands together - like they're praying? - and then bring their hands sort of up to their faces and then, like, bow to you. Multiple times.
Here, I'll let Ronald McDonald demonstrate:
Smiling, praying hands, happy, and about to bow. Multiple times.
Meanwhile, he's also busy selling "Spicy Chicken Teriyaki Rice," like all McDonalds everywhere, for the super low price of roughly USD $2.00.
Speaking of money in Thailand, they use a currency denomination called the baht. Which is pronounced "bot" as in robot. Which means that, while we were there, James was:
(Idea shamelessly stolen from a hilarious coworker of James'. I would give him credit publicly but I'm thinking he would rather be anonymous. Just a hunch.)
Thai folks are deeply religious, it seems. Everywhere (EVERYWHERE) there were, like, these shrine things. And there were a gazillion vendors selling flowers for people to put in/on/at/upon/around the shrine things. And if I really wanted to, I could use The Googles and figure out what religion this is:
But, actually, this blog post is already super duper long (TOO LONG) and you, dear Reader, are smarter than I am and you probably already know what religion this shrine is for and so I'd just be telling you stuff you already know and who goes and reads blogs about things you already know everything about? NO ONE, THAT'S WHO.
And I have a gazillion more things to tell you about Thailand and so... stay tuned. Because, my friend, soon I will be grabbing you again from your desk or armchair or wherever you sit when you read blogs and whisking you away so you can see some Mo Chit:
...and you will BE AMAZED.