27 June 2008
I am at Louis Tavern Dayrooms, Bangkok, along my first international trip. The US Embassy has gracefully booked a hotel room for me to spend a night. So, after three hours and thirty minutes by Thai Air, and an hour’s rambling inside the airport , I have sat to ruminate over the ambiance here . First thought: Mr. Gyawali had said that only after leaving Nepal would we know the extent of our backwardness; now I saw (or began to see) sophistication right after boarding the plane.
I could not fathom the grandeur of the Suvarnabhumi Airport in my brief rambling. I was just left with awe. It is strangely beautiful though extremely busy, particularly with charming young girls and boys rushing along/across the sleek concourses — in addition to passengers, of course. Even the common faces of the Deubas, whom I chanced to notice on their way somewhere, appeared magnificent under the lights of the airport lobbies.
My worries about the night-long transit vanished in this strange world. I have got this cozy room to pass the night, but also a strong urge to rush out to that world of lights, rushes and languishing transit victims. But I am not sleeping long. I have sympathy for my companion, Mr. Pant, who must be dozing somewhere amongst other dozers — alone, excited and confused at the same time at his flight for a DV-fortune with a lucrative banking job behind.
I am not sleeping long, though. I must rush to find the counter of Northwest Airlines for my passes for the rest of my journey. The counter, measured through my tired body and feet, lies at least two kilometers away from here. And I am thinking of a possible queue that should not be jumped like in Nepal.
I tried in vain to give one of my six-hours tickets to Mr. Pant — a typical Nepali spirit of benefaction. Because I was not going to spend the 12 hours that the Embassy bought for me, I wanted to lend him the half. But it sounded funny to the beautiful girl in the Dayrooms counter. I regretted a little that I proved myself an idiot after being denied. My companion chose to loiter in the lobbies while I am the proud inmate here. I have taken bath and eaten the snacks from the fridge thinking they were mine. In fact, I was wondering about my hunger before I chanced to see these stuffs.
I am recalling the admonition of Prof. Devkota: “Do not get fixed in a place in a big airport reading or musing. Take this rare chance to explore the novelties there.” Not here at least. I have walked and seen enough of this airport. There are three more ahead. I will obey you later, my professor. Let me sleep if the sleep comes. Let me wonder what souls have tried to lie/lay on these beds before. I am one of those many apparitions who appear and disappear.
But will I remember to take my 20 dollars back, which I had to deposit for this scanty sleep? No, they will return it for the keys.
My English, which I have painstakingly polished for more than two decades, was shaken by the English(es) of these Thai damsels. I have decided to add gestures to mine, and beg pardons for theirs. I should be talking with them in two places at least: the counter and the customs.
I am far away from my destination. I look forward to flying over the Pacific Ocean tomorrow and seeing the waters below. I have heard that one would rather fly over the clouds. Waters or clouds, I will appreciate scaling the airs beyond, the strange realization of sharing an unknown fate with hundreds of unknown people. And, will I be travelling in day or night or alternately? No, time does not count inside the airplane except for the hours passed and remaining.