Lost and Found: Around the World

Lost and Found: There was a series of journal entries I had posted on the old blogging system. I meant to import them into wordpress but somehow the database had been corrupted. Today I stumbled onto the original text doc from one of those posts. If this was saved, there might be others.

Written: February 19 2004

We are cruising at 32,000 feet – Going from Gaum to Hawaii

After 16 days out of town on this tsunami relief mission, we are finally making progress getting back home. I’m actually writing this in the air to be posted later because there isn’t anything else to do right now. Review time.

We left over two weeks ago to fly out on a civilian airline. it sucked and took forever. Airport after airport, then a 14 hour flight to japan. Little kids sat next to me, not letting me get any type of rest.

Then we set in japan for days and days not doing anything productive. The only notable thing that happened was that we went to a hibachi restaurant and had some of the famous Kobe beef. Delicious, but the meal cost a small fortune. Everyone who has a chance should try it though, regardless of the price.

Once we did get a call to go to work, we found out that we were the last mission for the relief effort and the government would be closing out the stage. Stages are central locations or rest stops on a route to a mission. It’s kind of like a one way street. You Stop at each location to get some rest, the crew that got there before you will take your plane and continue on. Then when you wake up, you take the next crew’s plane. That way the planes are always moving, even if the crews are not.

So we fly to Thailand with another crew dead heading (aircrew’s with out thier own plane just catching a free ride) and on arrival at Thailand we learn of a leak on one of the engines, undeterred we loaded the plane anyhow hoping that it would be a simple fix.

It wasn’t, we learn that a part must be flew in to fix it but it would take a few days. Once it came, It was the wrong one. We stayed a little while longer. 9 days in total i think.

The stay in Thailand was great. We got to stay at the the Marriott resort and spy located in a popular city, Pattaya, or otherwise known at ‘Sin City’. We happened to be right in the middle of their new year celebration, so the place was crowded with tourists. Very nice place, Very friendly people. Though at times the place stank like hell.

Some of the things we ended up doing: First thing upon arrival and check in was head to the bar. We all had a few drinks and a light snack because our rooms still were not ready. While sitting at the bar we read about their hotel and found that they offered an awesome massage package. Quickly everyone started setting up an appointment, Myself included.

The message: Two hours long. Less than .50 cents a minute for a ‘King’s Treatment.’ The girls washed our feet in rose pedals and hot water. Then stretched every muscle in my body from tops to fingertips to ears and scalp, Cracked my back in several places and even cracked every knuckle on my hands and feet. Sometimes this job is so tough, I don’t know how anyone can do it.

Over the next few days we mostly sat around by the pool bar and drank in the mornings and headed out to try different places to eat at night. One place had dancers and another had Thai kick boxing. We took pictures everywhere. We tried elephant riding. That was fun for about 10 minutes… Then it became a literal pain in the ass.

The day before we had to leave, A few guys wanted to go to bangkok and needed one last person to go so they could get the tour guide to pick them up (6 total) they nominated me and after staying up all night talking to robin online 5 a.m. rolled by and the phone rang, time to go. Damn.

It took 3 hours to get to Bangkok. On the way we stopped for breakfast at an A&W. It was weird being at an “All American” place in Thailand. We also stopped at a furniture place that build everything by hand, some of the stuff was amazing, including this 6 foot piece of wood that was crafted over 2 years time to look like a 3 dimensional jungle setting. I would have bought it and shipped it homehad it not been for the $5,000+ price tag.

We then stopped at the famous floating market. That was really cool to see how the Thai people use the river to their advantage. We bought some crap and got some good photos.

Once we actually made it to bangkok we went to see the Grand Palace, home of the king. We visited a priceless 3 foot tall Jade Budda, dressed in pure gold. After that we headed to a temple that housed a Budda the size of a ship. Gold plated and huge. The monks were very friendly.

We stopped at a few other places on the tour and then decided to head back to Pattiya.

When we got back to the hotel, we all went to sleep and got alerted a few hours later. We left without a problem and made it to Guam. Once we landed we had another small maintenance problem. (imagine that, right?) So we ending up having to to stay the night.

The stage manager got us rooms at the Guam Hilton, which I was told is a very nice place. too bad that we were only given the minimum amount of crew rest, 12 hours. I was called and asked to go out that night with the crew but I was still tired from the Bangkok trip, so i declined. I stayed in the room and watched “Sky captain and the world of tomorrow”, one of the bootleg DVDs’ I picked up in Patiya.

At 6 A.M. we get the call to go to work and head out to the plane. Since we were already loaded their wasn’t much to be done and we quickly got set and took off on time.

Now we are about 6 hours out from Hawaii and the plan was to stop again for the night but because we are so far behind now we may try to quick turn (refuel and go) Hawaii and go straight on to California.

Although it would be a long day i would like to do it just so we can then hurry up and get a way back to dover. It’s been along time out even though we didn’t get much done work wise, I’m home sick. Also, i can’t wait to see the look on robin’s face when she sees the presents I got her.
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Addition: We did stay at Hawaii, we stayed for 3 or 4 days playing on the beaches and drink at the bars at night. Then it was off to California, Good time there too, then we finally got back to Dover. We had made it around the world.

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