Leaving On A Jet Plane! I recently returned to Bangkok from a brief trip to England and I am still in a spin! I had to make a whistle-stop visit to see my mother, who has been poorly. The journey to the UK coincided with a passport renewal and the whole trip (including travelling) took less than a week. I do not fly long distance very often and such a short trip really messes up the body clock. My head is still fuzzy and my body feels worn out, despite getting a few decent nights sleep upon returning to Bangkok. I guess I am just not used to flying long distance, but in my defense it was an extremely short and sharp trip.
Some Like It Hot! March usually marks the beginning of the hot season in Thailand and this month is no exception. It has been hot and sunny in the day and the nights are very sticky, due to the humid tropical temperature. I literally flew out of the furnace and into the ice box! I certainly forgot what a cold, uninspiring place London is in the winter. Fortunately, I do not live there.
Jet Lag! The plane landed at Heathrow Airport in London at 6:30am and it was very cold and frosty. OK, it was not freezing point, but it seemed like it to me, as I am so used to the constant heat of Bangkok. All these factors play a major role in affecting the body and wearing you down. And remember, I only only had a few days to adjust, which is asking way too much of my poor body! I was only in England for a few days and therefore, there is no time for the body to adjust, because the turn around time is too fast. I pity these guys who constantly fly long distance due to work, it must be a killer on the body.
All Aboard! The journey to my hometown from London to the Midlands is over 100 miles. I took the underground to King’s Cross Train Station and the whole journey ‘home’ took several hours. I only managed to doze off momentarily on the plane, so I was shattered. Although travelling via train in the UK takes time, it is a more economical mode of transportation. If you are unaware, petrol prices in the UK are sky high.
London VS Bangkok – London remains the most expensive capital city in the world, especially when you compare living costs. A cheeseburger meal at Garfunkel’s Restaurant in Heathrow Airport costs a staggering 500 baht. And that’s for a funking cheeseburger! I had a bottle of Fuller’s London Pride Beer, which set me back a hefty 250 baht. I have to laugh at the Cheap Charlie’s who say that Bangkok is expensive. They should stay in London for a prolonged period as their punishment, and they will soon be begging to return to Thailand. When the foreigners arrive in London for the Olympic Games, they will be in for a BIG shock. Hey, yet another reason why I do not want to live in England.
UK Passport Renewals – In their ultimate wisdom, the UK government no longer issues passports from the British Embassy in Bangkok. Currently, the nearest alternative option is Hong Kong, but eventually it will all return to the UK. Also, you cannot add extra pages, such as our American friends can. In addition, the UK passport is probably the most expensive to obtain. Basically, the UK regulations suck! Due to my passport being full, I applied for a new 10 year passport, using the 4 hour service. A 48 page passport, with the NEW government regulation photos cost a bit under 7,000 baht. Although it is an important document, it was definitely not a bargain to say the very least. Oh well, I am now OK for another 10 years.
New Thai Visa Laws – The Thai government has introduced some stricter laws regarding obtaining visas. Prior to your trip, you should visit the appropriate Thai Embassy, or Thai Consulate websites for the relevant information. To obtain certain types of non-immigrant B visas, you need to provide the correct documents, or you will be refused a one year visa.
Blast From The Past! During the flight I watched the timeless classic ‘Some Like It Hot’ starring the beautiful Marilyn Monroe. And, hence how I got this blog title!