I Somehow Escaped Thailand.

I thought the Phuket “international” airport was the smallest, dinkiest wannabe airport ever—until I landed in Subang near Kuala Lumpur. That, my friend, was a parking garage for mini-planes. “Baggage claim” was a pile in the corner of a warehouse-style room. Then we drove for an hour by bus to the Kaula Lumpur International Airport and I restored all faith in airport architecture.I kid you not, I have staked out one of the Burger King’s benches for the night…because it’s 12:20am, all hotels in the city are booked, and I’m too chicken to call a cab without a male companion. On the positive side, I have free internet and I have to adjust jetlag anyway if I ever want to make it to my last two weeks of classes before I am hopelessly fucked for finals. My flight to Taipei isn’t until 2:20pm—fourteen hours from now. What, you thought four hours was long?!

The low-down: Where did I leave off? Oh right, Bangkok’s airport closed two days ago and fucked everyone over, we checked out of our villa and moved into another one across the street, called agents and airlines until Phuket unplugged all of their phone lines, then we checked out in the morning and waited at the jam-packed airport —hoping that we’d get somewhere somehow sometime…hopefully in time for the major transpacific flight back home.

Amidst the angry crowds, flustered secretaries, and queued lines, the heavens opened up, light shone through, and the angels sang out loud. Sit tight kids, it’s story time.

Yesterday, we were going to take a bus from Phuket, Thailand, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but when I called China Airlines, they said all flights out of Kuala Lumpur were booked—so we didn’t leave. This morning, we waited at the China Airlines office in the Phuket airport and we weren’t hoping for much. People in front of us were cussing in Italian, translators were waving their hands in the air, people in line were getting impatient—then it was our turn. All flights to Hong Kong were booked until the 24th, all flights to Singapore were booked until the 2nd, and all flights to Kuala Lumpur were booked until the 4th except for one flight tomorrow, because no one could get anywhere today. All flights from Taipei to San Francisco were booked until the 12th but our flight on the 30th was still confirmed, we just needed to get to Taipei in time. Miss the 30th? Wait until the 12th when school’s over and I can forget about…everything. Just imagine our anxiety then. We grabbed tickets for tomorrow’s flight from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei without knowing how we’d get to Kuala Lumpur from Phuket. Everyone else was in a similar or worse off situation. We all tried to grab whatever we could, even if the flights didn’t connect. Then we went from ticket office to office, with no available tickets to Kuala Lumpur until the 2nd.

Here’s when God granted us a miracle. An angel at the tiny airline company, Firefly, sent two requests for two additional planes to Subang tonight and tomorrow morning. We all waited for five anxious, uncertain hours until the government finally approved the night flight, and then the race began. The lucky 70 who were there since the morning were able to get plane tickets, and even that wasn’t easy. It took a fifth credit card to work, because they didn’t accept American Express, Citibank and BOA thought we were performing “suspicious activity”…

I’M LOW ON BATTERY POWER AND I DON’T HAVE AN AC ADAPTER. Anyway, I’m in Kuala Lumpur…I’ll finish the story when I get power.