4 August 2015
I left behind some of the ghosts of the past. Some willingly, some involuntarily. I feel I belong here, with the alive feeling of the present.
Off back to Bangkok to gather some more unique moments, memories and stories.
I always knew what I wanted. I was always an adult even when I was a kid and I knew exactly how and what I’m going to do. I said I’m moving to Bucharest and never going to my hometown and nobody believed me. I said I would become a stewardess when I was a lawyer and nobody believed me. I was always honest. I only lied to my men every now and then, but not even to them. They knew the truth and loved my lies. That’s the thing, I never bothered to hide the truth and did not care for the consequences. I said they’re going to love me over years, long after they didn’t share days and nights with me and were going to be happily married. And they did. They still do. I told them indirectly or straight to their face – I will mark your life, you can’t be any different than the others.
5 August, 9 AM, Bangkok
I just arrived in Bangkok and wondering how old I am. It’s amazing how fast you get used to a lifestyle and place. I’m only second time here and I don’t care that much for the place. When I came here first time, I was joking at each flower and each tree. The purple tails of Thai Airways are on the left and there is a Thai flag every now and then. The truth is that I tried all possible means to change this flight (with any destination I haven’t been to before, but especially with Tokyo).
Now, when I’m not stunned like first time, I see the details better, the canals with the greenish water and the greener waterlilies leaves.
I’ve calmed down lately, realizing this is my life now – I don’t need to rush anymore, I’ve accepted my path and follow it with enjoyment.
However, Bangkok in August was probably the best flight I had so far and the best stay. So what did I do?
We left for 10 minutes from the hotel and it started raining. Obviously I left all the jackets/ coats/ scarfs I packed in the hotel, but who cares? I’m in Bangkok second time, it already stopped raining and I’m a globetrotter. I’m here today, but I just came from Tanzania and heading to Jakarta and then Nairobi and if I’m lucky I can fetch another departure between these two. Then I go back to school for training on a new type of aircraft, Airbus 330, opening my destinations to Ho Chi Min (Vietnam), Hong Kong, Manchester, Lagos, Barcelona, Hangzhou, Milano, Myanmar, Venice, Dhaka, Berlin. Let’s study, let’s pass, let’s travel on and let’s start the party!
In the meetings we have before each flight we introduce ourselves and say for how long we have been flying. I said two and a half months, but later during flight the math was not adding up. Apparently it’s three and a half – time flies sooo fast.
After almost two hour drive in the busy traffic of Bangkok I arrive close to the temples I want to visit (Wat Pha Kaew “Keau” and Wat Arun).
I had asked the taxi driver to stop at an ATM but he said there is plenty by the temples. I try to withdraw – once, twice, three times. Fail, fail, fail. I know what’s wrong. I forgot to activate my card. S**T! I’m stuck in Bangkok, 2 hours away from the hotel, with no money, no functional card, no credit on my phone. I try to call, but as I expected, not sufficient credit. I ask the driver to take me to a store to buy an international card to call the bank. Here, they don’t accept my euros, obviously and I really don’t know what to do. I semi-panic and start thinking. The temples close in 2 hours, if I go back, I lose this day in Bangkok. I’m so mad at myself and at the bank. But it’s all my fault, I absolutely forgot! But what do I do now? No money, no credit, far, alone. Typical situation for me. Impossible one. I have no other choice but to…go outside and ask for money from the driver. He gives me 100 baht and I give him my ID (he didn’t ask for it). I go and buy a card. Apparently it is a SIM card and to avoid fraud I need to present an ID which I don’t have – I take out my driving’s license, my passport copy, my Allianz international insurance card. Everything! Ok, they accept my copy of passport. Then I receive messages in Thai. Oh my God! A nice girl from the cashier helps me and does everything for me. Then I cannot call internationally and the girl finds the code to get a call outside the country. Finally I call the bank and say it’s an emergency bla bla and right before my last question the phone breaks up. In less than 2 minutes. Jesus! Ok, I go and ask what’s wrong. Put money! I know, of course, but I was upset this only worked for so little. Which money! I don’t have, right, cause if I had I wouldn’t be here doing this. Ok, I go back to the driver and ask for 200 more baht this time. He gives me! Such a nice man, amazing! Thai people are just amazing. I call the bank and when I desperately say all my details without anyone asking me, like a fast poem the lady tells me I’m breaking up. I can’t take this anymore! I go towards the exit of the store and connection is restored. I continue my passport no is …, my phone no is …, I don’t have …, I have …since I know by heart all their security questions. Then she asks my last transaction. Shit! This was ages ago for me (actually 2 days ago). Yes! I remember. “Your card is unblocked, you can use it!”. Thank you 10 times! I go outside at the ATM and try 3 more times with no success. The finally I give it 1 more minute and it works. Such an adventure. I go and change the money in smaller bills and give 100 baht to the girl who helped me. She looks at me and I look at her. I say thank you she does not say anything and I leave. Such a nice, helpful girl! I leave the taxi driver a good tip, the fare and his money back. He had given me my ID much before I had paid. These people are amazing, so kind and helpful. I’m thinking if this happened somewhere else what would I do. Or if it happened in my own country, with my people. Nobody would do what that taxi driver and that girl from the counter did for me.
Then I remembered I had put my unlimited international calling card in my wallet after my traumatizing quarantine in Korea experience especially for this kind of situations. But, for a while I had lost it. However, now I can add to my stories, besides that once I called from an airport temporary hospital and said: “Helo, my name is Sevim, my code is … and I am in quarantine in Korea” that “Helo, this is an emergency, I am in Thailand i no money, I need my card unblocked, lt’s make this fast, I have not enough credit, my card no is …”. I’m wondering what’s next.
I walk through a dirty street where they sell food and freshly squeezed fruit juices and some souvenirs. From here I take the boat to the other bank of the Chao Phraya River which costs 3 baht (10 cents US dollars).
I’m alone, with my hair in a bun (work style, I did not put it down), in a colorful skirt on my waist and a deep blue tight T-shirt, with my camera, phone and selfie stick and red lipstick with purple makeup and black eyeliner.
Not the common tourist, I know, and people look at me. I got used to it already, but I still notice it. I take pictures and enjoy the view, then when the boat is full we start the very short trip. I am on the back of the boat and when the boat starts, my side gets sank in the water. I get wet on my brand new adorable intense green shoes and my long flowery skirt and unlike any other chick, I don’t make faces or look disgusted (the water is green-black), I just start laughing alone. People look at me and laugh back.
The Wat Arun Temple (opened until 6 PM) is one of the most beautiful temples I’ve ever seen.
The mosaics, the decorations, the style, the good vibe surrounding them is just thrilling.
I spent here my whole afternoon and drank a fresh coconut when I was out, by dusk. I took the boat back and ate in the dirtiest street a great plate with calamari, shrimp, fish, egg food all served with chili and sweet sauces
and then I bought fresh dragon fruit and momordica juice (which made me happy because of the intense pink and orange colors and were also absolutely delicious),
which I enjoyed in the park by the banks of the river, looking at the sunset.
The last daylight moments I spent in the reclining Buddha temple (opened until 6.30 PM), which is also a wonderful place, where I need to return, because I did not see the statue itself.
Then I took a tuk-tuk to Baiyoke tower, the one I said last time when I was in Bangkok that I wanted to visit, the tallest building in Thailand.
For sure, I am obsessed with heights, I fly most of my times and when I don’t I just look for rooftop bars, high towers, bridges. Here, I drank one cocktail on the 83rd floor, visited the opened observation deck on the 84th floor,
When in Bangkok, book a room with a view and explore the city. The city lights will be waiting for you when you’re back.
Another full, exciting day in Bangkok. Life is truly amazing! And it teaches me so much. When I’m thinking that I wanted to take guided tours. Haha!
Every visit for me is a thorough research, followed by the exploration and then by further study to make each destination a story, not just a place I visited. Now I started to know Bangkok much better, to recognize places and know the direction I need to be heading, even though the city is huge. This time I found out one more useful piece of information: 1155 – tourist police number.
Back at the hotel I find one of my friends telling me he did not unlock his account and I burst into laughter.
For next time in Bangkok I hope to go to Asiatique, down South of the city, the Reclining Buddha Temple and Lebua at State Tower Rooftop Bar.
6 August 2015, 6:35 AM, Bangkok
All I want is to evolve. Madly, furiously, graciously evolve. I am so happy in my (imaginary, self called, current) lack of ambition. I don’t want the NY Bar and I don’t want to become a pilot. I want to do exactly what I’m doing and be exactly where I am. Around the world, I mean. Be in the middle of people. Grow my skills, communicate, break language, cultural barriers. Be kind.
I think this means I’m letting my ego behind and understand more what life is really about.
Spectacular violet flowers are next to stacks of garbage and dirt. Nature and human.
I didn’t know how to get rid of this flight and now I just can’t wait to return. This trip had a clear purpose to make me see I don’t need to rush – the pace of my life is at perfect rhythm now and I have to take things as they come, as they are given.
Such a wonderful gift this journey of mine through life. I am blessed because I’m given the chance to learn, to see, to feel, to compare, to evaluate, to think for myself. Such a paradox, right? Many people think cabin crew don’t think much, but their mind is opened. I know, I have some other advantages.
The crew is all dressed up in uniform and nicely groomed. All look in a good mood, but my smile is so big that I cannot hide. The checker onboard asks me why am I laughing. I say: “because I am happy” (below, with Happy Buddha).
7 August 2015
The attitude I have towards my work is a life philosophy. It is about kindness to people, about good vibes and positive energy. About giving and receiving. But giving first. I am transforming every day, I am becoming very happy and it’s visible. Even the toughest supervisors onboard noticed it.
I know I am a storm, a thunder, a tornado, a tsunami in both ways. With one look I can take your smile away from your face and with a small detail I can make your day. I just have this gift and since I got my new passion aka job I started using it intensely.
Their seat was in front of my crew seat. You could tell they are business class travelers. They were relaxed after their Thai holiday, a pleasant couple in their mid 50, maybe more. We started talking, I offered them some extra attention and just kept my happy face on all the time. The words they told me at the end of the flight really made me feel so good and appreciated. “You have done a wonderful job today”, “Well, I like our guests, especially if they are like you”, “Good luck in your future, even though I have no doubt you will be successful”. He asked how did I apply, what did I do before. I hesitated and then I said “I worked in a law firm”. Then my supervisor told me she will write a report about this because they had told her also. She said it in front of the super-supervisor whom I told I was happy. Happiness brings happiness. Positive attitude brings good vibes.
After coming back from Bangkok I woke up after about 17 hours happy. My roommate noticed “Man, you are so happy”. Yes. Reason? Plenty, but nothing special. I open my new Hermes perfume – Un Jardin en Mediterranee. I am not a brand fan, I’m just not that kind of girl. But I appreciate a good story and quality of things and moments. This perfume’s philosophy is the following: “Hermes Parfums is celebrating the Mediterranean, that mosaic of different crafts and cultures, with the creation of Un Jardin en Mediterranee – a journey of emotions, a olfactory progress, an impressionistic evocation of a garden beside the sea. It is a perfume of shade and light where fig, mastic and red cedar trees blend with bergamot, orange blossom and white oleander. A woody, green, fruity perfume”. And puf on my neck. My things are for me, to make me happy. Love it! My thought drift away. The story of money, again, they don’t bring happiness unless you spend them to buy memories, moments. I think of Algiers, where I just can’t wait to return, of Casablanca, of crowded souks, of oriental stories of spices and silks.
Whatever I own represents me. Whatever surrounds me tells a story, one that many times I am the only one who knows it. My life, my evolution, my past, my well-kept secrets, my no shame revealed stories, my heritage, my education, my bad moments, my fame moments all lead to me, the one I am today. I am peace in a very crazy and hectic environment and lifestyle.
Maybe I’ve reached the perfect place for me, but it’s an amazing feeling, one I’ve never felt before. All my “previous life” – like I love to call it seems far away, almost like a dream, like it never existed. And I had a good damn life even before. I just dream airplanes every night.