Going Back Ain’t So Bad

Udo Thani bus station

The smiles and welcome from the three beautiful guest lounge receptionists at Abu Dhabi was very refreshing after a six hour Etihad flight from Bangkok. What came next for me was even better. I was pleased to see the lounge area was near empty and before I had even reached the bar the barman called out to me ‘ a large Jack Daniel and coke sir.‘ A quality moment at a top of the range airport terminal.

PepsiMy journey had started at Udon Thani bus station some 19 hours before and one hour previous to my departure Wonderful Wi bought a one month old Shitzu and Poodle cross bred puppy dog from the night market for 1500 baht. A Shit-poo or Poo-zu call it whatever you like but I opted for the former because the young pup really stank like crazy. In an adorable sought of way.

As the bus pulled away I waved Wilai and the newly named pup Pepsi goodbye until Christmas and settled back for the eight hour one stop ride to Suvarnabhumi. I slept on and off for most of the way. A couple of cans of Beer Chang, a packet of biscuits and two smokes at the stop off saw me nicely to Suvarnabhumi and its warm moist air. The bus and its air con always makes me cough.  I checked in and headed for the Thai Royal Silk guest lounge and after a couple of large JD’s and a little internet I was ready to leave the Land of Smiles behind.

Abu Dhabi

Next month Abu Dhabi hosts the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which is the finale to the current racing season and the airline was promoting the race in the duty free area with a couple of models and a sleek looking Formula One racing car. One of the models kindly posed for a photo and I couldn’t make up my mind which had the sleeker bodywork. With thoughts of Wilai reading my mind I plumped for the automobile having the sexier curves and more mileage, I was either running scared or getting old. Perhaps both.

The Etihad guest lounge is the best of the three that my 12,000 mile round trip takes me through and is a quality asset to a quality airline. The camaraderie, laughter and warmth that you feel from your co travellers on your outward journey seems to be replaced with suspicion, mistrust and a solemn acceptance of what the coming months hold on the returning path home. The guest lounge and it’s facilities help to erase many of those negative thoughts. Three large JD’s, plenty of cigarettes and some excellent hot food from a well stocked and wide variety of choice self service food display and I was ready for the final leg back to London.

Etihad flight mealI don’t normally enjoy on flight meals but the one served on the Etihad leg to Heathrow promised Beef and mushroom casserole with oven baked potatoes and vegetables. It was delicious and helped make the final part of my journey much more enjoyable.

My holiday in Kanchanaburi and Udon Thani was fantastic and on a blogging front I have brought back with me some wonderful photos and posts to write. On a personal level the trip furthered my desire to one day live in Thailand amongst its colourful and carnival like citizens, great culture and laid back lifestyle and to achieve that I must put my work first and save hard. Work begins again tonight.

Over the next few days I having some catching up to do with the Thai blogs in my sidebar and then I will be posting a later than usual monthly blog review. I hope you will come back for a read of that and wherever you are in the world best wishes from myself and Beyond The Mango Juice.


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.

9 Responses

  1. Talen says:

    The lies we tell ourselves…of course going back is bad! But you have something to look forward to in going back to Thailand.

    Glad to hear you had a good trip and brought back many photos and stories to tell…can’t wait to read them.
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Going Green in Rural Thailand? =-.

  2. Hoo Don says:

    Talen I didn’t think the title would fool you for one minute….thanks to you and Thailand, Land of Smiles I have plenty of photos and stories on hand. I took just short of 1000 pictures and some of them are about the little things that I’d normally miss but your writing has taught me that the smaller things and daily things can make for an interesting post. Cheers.

  3. Catherine says:

    Martyn, I too am looking forward to the stories you’ve gathered from your recent trip to Thailand. What I learn from both you and Talen keeps my interest at a high level for sure.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Thai 101 Learners Series: More on Titles =-.

  4. Mike says:

    Martyn you have almost convinced me a trip home by Etihad would be worthwhile! But then again I ask myself where is home now?

    However with our cool season approaching I think I will rough it here for a bit longer!!

    Glad your trip was so good and Christmas is not too far away.

    I fancy WW’s house is becoming a bit crowded with all these dogs! Shit-poo it is! I could even suggest a personal name for the little fella too if you like.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..A Guide to Prachuap Khiri Khan Thailand =-.

  5. Siam.Rick says:

    Martyn, your descriptive words reminded me of the melancholy of turning homeward and leaving my spiritual home behind, namely Thailand. For me, the gloom sets in the day before and it doesn’t get any better for 24 hours. Have to admit, sometimes I look forward to a little relief from the heat and chaos, but that soon pales not long after arrival here in Canada. It’s usually in the dead of winter, too, which kind of shocks the system. All the fun and excitement drains away and you’re left with very little, other than work. It’s a good thing to be busy and the same night you get home you can start picking dates to return and checking the airfares. Betcha I’m not alone in that little pattern. 😉

    Well it’s been six months since I returned to Canada and it’s another two months before I return to LOS. I can almost smell the heat upon stepping outside at Swampy. I think I just had a happy shudder!
    .-= Siam.Rick´s last blog ..Keep eye on your B vitamin levels if on Thai food diet =-.

  6. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine you and me both learn a lot from Talen. I think I’ve got a couple months of good posts coming up and I hope I can make them as interesting as possible with a little humour thrown in here and there.

  7. Hoo Don says:

    Mike I’ve travelled with a load of different airlines and I rate Etihad the best and if you use their guest lounges then the whole trip gets even better. Pepsi is the third and last dog so I’ve been promised and Wi has told me that Gaan and Cola haven’t taken to the young pup so far. I think they realise that a new young kid has joined the Buffalo Boys and they’re starting to worry about the attention he is receiving from Wi.

    Rick with about three days to go for me in the LOS I start to fret about going home but within a few hours I have convinced myself that those days have got to be enjoyed and so has the trip home. I fool myself by thinking that I am leaving Thailand to go back to work in England and that in 3 or 4 months I can return home. After a couple of months in England that reverse thinking starts to wear a bit thin. Roll on Christmas.

  8. Talen says:

    Funny, I learn from all of you with each new post as well. That’s the great thing about community we can learn from each other and help each other out.

    Just let me know when you guys want to learn how to muck up the back end of your blogs….I have considerable experience in that area.
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Gavin Hill & Tim Wright Respond to Big Trouble in Thailand =-.

  9. Hoo Don says:

    Talen the back end of my blog looks very much like the most dense jungle you’ll ever come across, even I don’t want to go in there sometimes.

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