It was July 2015; my passport was 3 year old yet no stamps. I would leaf through all the 36 pages in my passport and it looked so deserted. I questioned myself if I would ever travel or not. My work life was hectic by then. I would work for prolonged hours, or even on weekends too.
I had forgotten the appetite for food, sleep and every social life. One day my friend texts and says that we should travel somewhere international, and I am like yeah right, are you seriously kidding me?
She sends me a link of a video that showed pictures of Bangkok and Pattaya and tried to persuade me.
So I went back thinking about it. I lay down in my bed and thought to myself, what have I done in my life?
My school and college was just a street away, I was an obedient kid, never bunked my college. Because I knew I could be easily caught.
I had never tried a road trip, or even went to a movie walloping. Everything in the past was in obverse of my eyes. My parents have also been pestering me from sometime to get me married.
Every time I asked my mom that I want to go to a trip, she would holler and say “Get married and go with your husband”.
And when I requested my mom that I want to wear a knee length dress she would say “ask your husband after you are married”
Or when I say that I want to buy a car to commute, she would say “once you marry, your husband will buy it for you”
But where is this husband of mine? why do I wait? Will it all look boundless like my mom says? I couldn’t foresee that or was in a phase to be certain of it.
I could not sleep the whole night.
Next day I went to office early. I was waiting for my friend to get to office so we can talk. I was like… “Hey let’s do it”
She was amazed and asked me “Are you sure?” and I am like, yes. What if I get married this year? There was a long pause and no answer from her. And she reciprocated in a smart way, saying ‘ok’.
Within a week, we checked all the flights and booked the cheapest one so we can save some budget. I just could not believe the fact that the flights were reserved. Later we met over a coffee and googled all the best sightseeing places at Bangkok and pattaya and made an itinerary of our own. We were planning to stay for a week. So we pretty much made a good plan.
But then again, what will I tell my parents? And yes, my manager who is always so finicky to grant me leaves , and it wasn’t his fault. the volume of work was too much.
I had to convince three people. My mom, Dad and my manager.
Somehow at the office I voiced my manager that I need vacation, and swayed him by saying that I have not taken any since a long time he said I will think of it before I approve.
I had decided, no matter whether the leave gets approved or not, I would still go. I had too because my flights are already booked and they were non- refundable.
My mom was watching a TV series at home and I slowly uttered to her saying. I think I may have to go for transition overseas. She was like what? I repeated it again.
She said. Are you dumb? Speak loudly. I shrieked that I have to go overseas for work purpose. She had million questions; I somehow answered it all with a valid lie.
A day before my trip (September 2015) my heart beat was so fast. Too many things were running into my mind. I feared what if my dad comes to drop me at airport, what if he spots my friend? What if he gets to know that this is a lie? What if he shred my passport? It haunted me so much.
Next day, I was all set, spent my day packing my clothes and grooming myself; somehow my dad had not reached home yet from office. And I told mom that I will be late and took a taxi to airport very early from my scheduled flight.
Moment I reached the airport I could not wait to get into immigration. My friend waved at me and we immediately rushed inside so no one known could recognize me. We sat inside the plane and I never stopped annoying her asking weird questions like, what if this plane crashes, and if my parents go to my office blaming my manager for transition. They will not even perform my last rites. She ignored all of my senseless questions and soon was off to sleep with her ear plugged on and eye mask on.
I had too many butterflies in my stomach, the flight was AirAsia and it was taking us to Don muang airport at Bangkok. It was conveniently 4 hours trip and we landed early in morning.
I got my first stamp as a tourist at the immigration office. And slowly my passport looked like it had got its first rain from a deserted land. I rejoiced that moment so much.
The first call was from the driver when we landed. He called and asked “Swadika,Khun Xyu thihn”? I was like. Excuse me? He asked in broken English “where are you?” I told him oh, we just landed and we are exiting the gates.
He came by picked our bags and drove us to pattaya. The roads from Bangkok to pattaya was a smooth one, there was no honking, no trespassing, and all the ironic cars on road, such as Audi, BMW, Honda city. It was so lavish to see all those for first time.
We checked into our hotel in pattaya, and we took enough rest to get over jet lag. We stepped out in evening to the beach and relaxed in spa.
For the next few days we covered best places in the city: