I had a decision to make: buy a last-minute ticket to Manila or take my chances on making the cross-city bus ride to the international terminal in time to catch my flight to Kuala Lumpur. With a little under 90 minutes till my flight and an estimated bus ride time of 15 minutes it wasn’t an easy call to make – but I decided to make a mad dash for the international terminal, Don Mueang. Worst-case scenario, I figured, was that I would miss my flight and end up buying a ticket to wherever looked interesting.
50 minutes later (15 was a bit optimistic) I was jumping out of the bus on a race to the ticket counter. As I power-walked through the terminal I followed the “Domestic Departures” signs because I wasn’t seeing any “International Departures” signs and I only had time to check one route. Weaving through confused Germans with too much luggage and identically dressed Korean couples I finally found the Air Asia ticket counter (of course, it was the last one). Thankfully, Air Asia doesn’t seem to follow the 45-minute counter-closing rule that they bolded, italicized, and underlined on the emailed itinerary.
At 12:35 I reached immigration – a mere 5 minutes after the boarding of my flight began. I started mentally patting myself on the back over my superb on-the-fly decision making skills. I wondered where I would have gone if I hadn’t made this flight. Probably Hong Kong or Taipei – both are on my short list for must-see-soon places and they’re close to my next stop, the Philippines. Or maybe Jakarta – I do really miss surfing and Indonesia is a world-renowned destination for it…
A frustrated Englishman bumped against me as he huffed and switched passport control lines again. What the hell was taking so long? I tip-toed over the person in front of me and saw the “In Training” sign on the counter in front me. I sighed.
10 minutes later (and for those keeping time, that’s 5 minutes before the plane’s doors are closed), I was digging through my bag to find the scissors that I was trying to sneak aboard the flight for apparently nefarious deeds. I finally found the weapon (a pair of hair trimmers with ¼ inch blades) and threw them in the trash – much to airport security’s delight. Free to go I grabbed my half-open backpack and started my final trek to the very last gate in the terminal. It was an awkward journey – walking while stuffing things back in my bag. At last, just minutes before my flight was to depart, I reached my gate to find my plane had not yet arrived.
Thanks again, Bangkok!