Well, today was the day.
I had made a crazy and profound decision earlier in the week and today was the day it all came to fruition.
I woke up at 4am this morning after only a handful of hours sleep. I was sleepy. I was groggy. And I was excited.
My flight was leaving at 7:30am for Phuket so I hopped in a cab at just after 5am to take me to the airport.
Amazingly the airport was packed at this ungodly hour. I checked in, went through security and threw away yet another bottle of water. This one I hadn’t even opened yet. Seriously, they need to amend this ridiculous rule.
The time seemed to move really slow but before long it was boarding time.
Considering there are probably a dozen different flights that go into Phuket every day from Bangkok I was surprised to board a huge plane. Like seriously – huge.
I was in row 36 and that was right near the front of the economy class. There were also 10 seats per row and individual tv screens. And a breakfast of 3 mini sandwiches, pudding and orange juice.
Not bad for an hour long flight.
I chatted with a Danish man sitting next to me who was just starting a 3 week vacation in Phuket. When he asked me how long I was spending in Phuket I gave him a wry smile, answered about 4 hours and then shared my story.
The flight touched down just after 9am and I bolted out of the plane. I didn’t have any checked baggage for the first time so I was able to just jut outside to sign up for a mini van transfer to Patong Beach.
It wasn’t long before they had collected 9 of us to fill the van and we were off.
I spent most of the hour long ride into town talking with a man from Edmonton. He picked my brain about Phuket and also Southeast Asia and I was happy to lend him my knowledge. It’s funny how much of an “expert” you become after travelling for awhile.
The van dropped me off near the beach just before 11am and I walked towards it. Before hitting the McDonalds I quickly arranged a van pickup for the afternoon back to the airport.
The 3pm pickup was fully booked so it only left me with a 2pm option for a 6:30pm flight.
So I had 3 hours to make this happen.
I walked to the McDonalds and parked my butt on one of the outside tables looking out to the sandy beach across the street.
This was my home for the next few hours.
Today is the day before Songkran (the Thai new years) and it was also a big day here for water gun fights. There were several stands setup on the sidewalks selling big super soaker water guns including one right in front of where I was sitting.
I passed my time waiting watching the seller’s kids have fun spraying different people as they passed them on the sidewalk.
If someone tried to attack them they were quickly swarmed by 3 or 4 of the kids in a barrage of water gun fire.
It brought a smile to my face every time.
So, the big question is… did the little girl show up? Did I give her my apology note and 1000 baht for her flowers?
I waited as long as I could but she never came by.
At 2pm I boarded a minivan destined for the airport and, as I suspected would happen, I arrived 3 hours before my scheduled flight time.
I landed back in Bangkok around 8pm but I still had an hour in transit to get back to my hostel.
I actually stopped 2 stops past my station just to get pad thai. One thing I noticed was lacking in my particular area was a pad thai stand. Crazy, I know!
So I just went to the place I went to last night.
Mmmmm…. pad thai!
Always a good way to end the day!
Overall, I’m left with some sadness as my plan fell through. The thing is though, for me, the lack of an end result doesn’t necessarily change what this crazy, impromptu trip meant for me.
It was a life changer.
I shifted over just a little to a better side and I think now I have a better outlook on things.
I feel bad that I wasn’t able to maybe change her life a little too though.
I don’t mean by giving her money. I mean by making her maybe feel better about herself. I hate to think of what the constant rudeness from people rejecting her is doing to her. Will she grow up cold and distant because of it?
If you were a little kid, how would you develop if you were constantly being rejected and shooed away?
So, while I’m happy that I changed my life today, I feel equally sad that I wasn’t able to do the same for her.
I will, however, always remember this series of events and promise the next time I find myself in a similar situation I will shift my thinking to kindness and respect from disdain and rudeness.
Be profound. Be crazy. Shift your focus.