As predicted, I had a very long day on Monday. At 5pm, we had a company activity at the Mandarin Hotel which ended past 8pm. Then I headed back to the office to finish off some work that needed to be done before I leave for Thailand. By the time I got home, it was almost 11pm. We’ve arranged for our suking masahistas to come at 11 for a bit of Swedish massage. I almost cancelled it because I wasn’t sure if I can make it home by 11, and besides, I had to finish packing. Good thing I decided to push through with it because my body was aching all over and I badly needed that massage. An hour of blissful kneading later, I was up and putting the last few items into my luggage – good thing I actually started packing Sunday night.

I was up at 5:45 this morning to prepare for my flight. The car rental (a Toyota Fortuner) came to pick me up at 6:45 and I was at the airport by 7:30am with 3 hours to kill. Business Class check in was a breeze and in a few minutes time, I was enjoying a warm bowl of congee at the Mabuhay lounge. I ate too much – 2 helpings of congee, a pandesal, a slice of white bread, a cup of coffee and 3 glasses of orange juice. That’s what 3 hours of doing nothing does to me. I cannot just sit there and stare at nothing. I had to do something, and that something is food! By the time I boarded the plane, I knew I would spend most of the flight going to and from the rest room. I just had too much liquid in my body too early in the morning. True enough, I must have made at least 6 bathroom breaks throughout the 3.5 hour flight. In fact, as soon as I entered the plane, I had ot use the lavatory. Same thing happened just before deplaning.

It has been a while since my last visit to Thailand, and it’s my first time in the new airport. From the outside, it looked fantastic. Inside though, it looked very industrial, maybe even like a warehouse. I thought the lighting can be improved to make it brighter. It was very crowded, too! We had to wait behind a long line at immigration.

I was picked up by the Shangrila car – a very nice BMW. A guy would probably know the make and model, but not me. It was very comfy! That’s all I can say about it.

A lady welcomed me and a colleague into the hotel. I was surprised when I was led straight to my room. I didn’t have to check in at the front desk. A small bag with 4 cans of Coke and a welcome letter from the training organizing team were waiting on the desk. I love the room, it has a beautiful view of the pool below and the Chao Phraya river. It is even better at night (I’m facing the window now!).

Anyway, within 30 minutes of checking in, I was already out with a colleague to go to the shopping mall. We grabbed a quick …err…lunch(?) at around 4pm, and then went to a shop called Harnn to buy a few items for a colleague. I first encountered this brand in Phuket a few years back. I purchased a few aromatic oils back then in a small stall at the Phuket airport. I had no idea it is a big brand in Thailand, and the store we went to today is huge, and has a spa in it. Anyway, I ended up buying lots of bath products (I love bath products!) – like bath salts, body scrubs, massage oils, etc. Love, love it. Well, our shopping spree started and ended there, because our bags are too heavy to lug around. We decided ot head back to the hotel and just rest a bit before we go out for dinner with the rest of the training participants.

At 7:30pm, we boarded a van that took us to the home of the MS & I director for Southeast and West Asia, where a feast of Thailand and Indian vegetarian dishes was prepared for us. It was a great dinner – but I was exhausted and sleepy from lack of sleep the previous night.

Funny that the page in my December Dailies album dated today is a simple envelop with some stickers and die cuts on it. I figured since I’d be travelling, I won’t be able to say much, or even take photos, and that i’ll just insert my borading pass and other ephemera from today. But I had lots of nice photos today including a shot of the magnificent view from my window. I guess i’ll just have to find a way to put them in. Can’t wait!

Long day tomorrow!

Written by Alby Laran

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