It’s 6 a.m. and I’m sitting in the Manila airport. I’ve been here since 4 a.m., and have another three hours before my flight to Bangkok.
In total, it will take me 36 hours to get to Bangkok. It didn’t have to take that long. At some point, when this trip was still a distant dream, I booked this ticket and decided to save several hundred dollars by taking the longer route. Well. I saved some money. But I’m not sure I’d do it again.
The flight from L.A. to Manila was 14 hours and it was dark outside the whole time.
There are, however, two things that made the trip more bearable.
The first is that I love airplane food. I am deeply ashamed of this, because airplae food is disgusting. It’s normally some miniature, luke-warm rubberized meat product in mystery sauce along with an apple slice, a roll and some sort of dessert that is 90% high-fructose corn syrup.
In other words, airplane food is objectively disgusting.
And yet nothing makes me happier than when the lights come one and the flight attendants start rolling out the carts with food on them. I smile. I impatiently crane my neck to see when the carts will get to me. I eat everything on that plate, except maybe the gross high-fructose-corn-syrup thing, because even in my darkest moments I have standards. I don’t know why this is true, but I have an unreasonable love of airplane food. And they served THREE meals on this flight. Someday I’ll understand this strange passion of mine, but right now, if it gets me through 14-hour flights, I’m pretty happy to leave it as is.
The second is that I am an expert at sleeping on airplanes. I approach it with the sort of grim determination you would normally associate with life-or-death situations. Because, by God, I am determined to arrive somewhat rested. Wake up, flip, find new position. Repeat. Ignore neck and back aches. No pain no gain. Think gentle thoughts. Are you a man or a mouse? You WILL sleep right NOW. I think I got in a solid six hours, so that’s good.
On to Bangkok!