It’s Time I Flu Away

Heathrow AirportI could have picked a better time to travel to an international airport and stay inside it for over three hours. At a time when tortilla crisp sales are surely on the wane and pork is not flavour of the month, I’m leaving my Mexican sombrero at home and heading to Heathrow airport early Tuesday morning for my 9 a.m flight to Thailand.

If anyone sneezes in Terminal 3 they’ll be the last one standing as everyone else hits the deck and the tannoy announces ” Would the person stood up in Terminal 3 please wear their facemask at all times.”

I’ll be heading for the guest lounge (pictured right) and making myself as isolated and comfortable as possible. Once on the aircraft avoiding any bugs and viruses means you really are on a wing and a prayer.

Being an avid fan of obscure theories and in possession of a carbon footprint that would scare a yeti, I have naturally come up with a swine flu and air travel theory. Due to the nature of their profession air stewardesses are the most liable carriers of the H1N1 virus, so I’ll sit right at the back. Sitting at the rear of the aircraft ensures the stewardesses can only approach me face on.

A sneeze travels at 90 mph and with the aeroplane travelling at about 600 mph any sneeze from the “trolley dolly” will journey about half of a metre and be forced backwards by the speed of the plane. Simple. The elite first class passengers should have a smooth take off, have the sniffles flying over Germany and be carried off by white suited medical staff at Abu Dhabi. End of theory.

Apparently Thailand are issuing facemasks to all tourists and taxi drivers in the fight against swine flu but being a gentleman I’ll give mine to Wonderful Wi or to be more honest because it’s easier to smoke without one. The taxi will be heading to Pattaya and once there we’ll book into our usual hotel and head out into a city that takes pity on no one.

PattayaPattaya is to be home for Wilai and myself for the first four days of our holiday and I can hear many of you groaning already. Pattaya is a good place for a short stay in Thailand but you do need to know the lie of the land. The rule of thumb concerning Pattaya is the further you travel away from the beach the less vulgarity you’ll see. We’ll be staying a good 30 minute walk from Pattaya beach, which surely rates as one of the worst stretches of sand in a country that hosts some of the best beaches in the world.

From Pattaya we will be moving on up to Udon Thani and a much more relaxed way of life. A night or two will be spent in the city and then it’s time to rent a car and spend ten or so days in the village giving me my first meet with the Buffalo Boys. Pattaya, Udon Thani and village life all give the chance to work on a couple of blog projects I have in mind.

I’m also planning to once again take lots of photos but this time mostly with Wi’s shocking pink Sanyo camera, a far superior one to my cheap Vivitar 8010. I had hoped to buy a quality camera for this trip but with the extra holiday expense that comes with a strong baht that has been put on hold. I just pray that the banknotes I used to purchase my Vivitar turned out to be as blurry as the images the camera produces. Now that would be sweet justice. Posting next time from Pattaya. Chok dee krap.


Photograph Heathrow Airport by nakedsky

Photograph Bad Guy Pattaya by chrisada


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

7 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Martyn you have covered most bases but I wonder will you be seeking an exclusive interview with the soi dog millionaires in Pattaya?

    Have a good journey, cover your mouth when sneezing and wash your hands frequently in beer Lao.

    Mike’s last blog post..Thai Garden:Weekly Update (6)

  2. Malcolm says:

    Martyn, glad you are close to being on your way to yhe LOS , I know how much you love it here and how you miss Wilai and the buffalo gang, have a great time and stay out of the big city as much as possible , lots more to see and do in the country . Have a good and safe trip Malcolm

    Malcolm’s last blog post..UNSEEN THAILAND TREASURE

  3. Hoo Don says:

    Mike – Lovely comment and I won’t be wasting the beer on my hands, will keep in touch via your blog whilst in LOS.

    Malcolm – Thanks Malcolm, I’m looking forward to seeing Wi and the Buffalo Boys and as with Mike I will keep in touch. Must rush as I’ve still got one more 12 shift and my packing to do.

  4. Catherine says:

    I just flew into BKK from the UK yesterday.

    When I came through no face masks were being given out at arrivals, but we did have to fill out forms stating that we hadn’t coughed, sneezed, or have a fever (and a few other things NOT to check, but I’m still shagged out so the brain isn’t working).

    And once again, getting through Thai immigration was short, quick, and dead easy.

    Over all, the hardest part of my trip was convincing a 90 year old relative that it was safe for me to continue on from the UK during the flu alert.

    I’m sure you are getting the same from your Mum and family?

    Catherine’s last blog post..Bangkok Taxi Drivers: Die, No Problem

  5. Adullamite says:

    As you leave the airport sneeze loudly and watch the panic!
    Have a good time.

    Adullamite’s last blog post..The Dead and the Suffering

  6. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine – Glad to hear you got back safely and that’s definitely a carpet fitters way of saying you’re tired. Hopefully I’ll sail my way through immigration and be on my way to Pattaya. Cheers.

    Adullamite – A good sneeze at Heathrow could delay about 400 flights so I’ll be giving that a miss. Happy job hunting and I hope something turns up soon.

  7. Have a great time HD < chok dee marg kub

    The Thai Pirate’s last blog post..Thai Cambodian Border Run – Where am I going wrong?

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