Thursday, September 22, 2005

thaa4 aa1 kaat3 yaan1 Don Muang

arriving here gives e cat a sense of homecoming that it does't get when touching down at Changi. arriving at Changi feels like arriving at a workplace. & now even more so for luuk4 muu2 (piglet), with e 'eat don't burp' showcase of 'Made in Singapore' products in e transit area & Global Entrepolis banners hanging in e immigration hall *lol*


Don Muang holds plenty of memories =)

announcements over e airport PA system in a languid rather than business-like tone beginning with กรุณา karunaa or a long drawn-out โปรดทราบ prod3 saab4 (attention please....)

transit area & inclined walkway connecting it to e aerobridge, where e 6 of us kids once dashed through when we were super late for our TG flight....doors were shut & e plane started to move off once we tumbled in, & we were still hunting for our seats & stowing our hand luggage as e plane began take-off =P


escalators leading from e immigration down to e baggage carousels, that e cat used to be scared of stepping onto alone when it was just about a metre tall & had problems holding onto e handrails with small paws full of its share of carry-on hand luggage (usually Cadbury & Hawaiian Host macadamia nut chocolate for Phii4 Jim's mum)

red & green customs channels with fat customs officers hanging around, where having a B100 note between e pages of your passport used to be e surefire way of clearing customs without any hassle in e 80s & early 90s, & where e cat's mum once raised plenty of eyebrows bringing a giant TV set (for Phii4 Jim's family) from e oversized cargo entrance through e red channel with e help of 6 kids pushing e special giant trolley

arrival hall with one single bottleneck exit for all (at least 14) baggage claim belts, where relatives would be waving & yelling at us trying to catch our attention in e chaos

Bangkok's Stonehenge outside e terminal building - pairs of concrete pillars that have been standing along e main N-S highway since e mid-90s, that have given up all hope of ever supporting e BTS skytrain tracks that were supposed to connect Bangkok to Don Muang =P

everyone heading for e loo before entering Bangkok's longest carpark - e standstill traffic on e Viphavadi-Rangsit highway leading from e airport into central Bangkok - for e 2h, 20+km journey into central Bangkok (up to 3h to Phii4 Jim's house & factory in Phra Khanong), in e days before e Don Muang Tollway was built

e highway signboards with familiar names - Asoke, Din Daeng, Chaeng Wattana, Dao Khanong, Lat Phrao, On Nut, Port, Klong Toey, etc

in daytime, glittering temple roofs punctuating e concrete sprawl flanking e highway

& e 88-storey Baiyoke Sky Hotel coming into view as we neared central Bangkok


e last time e cat was here was early afternoon on e day of e tsunami that 3rd kor escaped, in transit on e way to Singapore from Chieng Rai. at that time there had been no indication of e disaster save for plenty of grounded Bangkok Airways & Phuket Air planes & buses parked at e domestic terminal & a long list of cancelled flights to Phuket on e departure information screens.


this time, there were plenty of soldiers hanging around (eye candy for luuk4 muu2 =P), e one waving to us in e arrival hall was one of e 6 kids, now grown-up (eldest kor), & we sped along e Don Muang Tollway at 130kph through a darkened Bangkok with building & billboard lights all turned off - e result of Thaksin's energy-saving campaign in e face of escalating oil prices. suddenly Bangkok seemed to have plenty of hospitals around - e only buildings that still had their signboards (& green crosses) lit up.

e cat wonders how many times more it will pass through Don Muang before e airport shifts to Suvarnabhumi, which will be a damn long way out of central Bangkok. & how long AFTER e opening of e new airport will e rail link to central Bangkok be ready? ;)


Mercedes Benz shop @ Changi T2 transit area: reminds me of 2nd kor, even looks like him (esp e eyes) - big friendly giant, a little clumsy & good at breaking things =P

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