It was two years in the planning. Once the divorce settlement was over, Gary was going to leave Krupp, a dreary small town in WA and take the first flight out.
Enough of crazy American consumerism. Enough fighting for toilet paper at Costco. Enough of an ex who only wanted half of what he had, and then another half of his half. Enough spoiled kids screaming for iPhone XXXII.
He had talked to his friends and they all had said the same thing. Asia. Warm weather. Sandy beaches.
And the women, oh Lordy! The women! Young, beautiful beyond words, angelic, innocent, submissive, caring, sincere, sexy, hot, humble and poor, plus they respect old farts… and their buffaloes are sick. (All in that order.)
His friends told him the whole package would cost him maximum 15000 baht per month.
“500 dollars!” Gary exclaimed. “My ex used to demand that on a daily basis for her beauty shopping!”
His loyal friend promised Gary he would meet a girl named Nid Noi upon arrival. She would meet him outside gate 4 with a rose.
Gary couldn’t wait, so a ticket was bought. Flight confirmed. He would travel out on 10 March 2020, land in Suvarnabhumiboomrattakosin airport, meet Nid Noi, and connect the flight to Koh… Samuel or Samsung or something…
The night before the flight President Trumpy announced that all flights out will be canceled from the 13 March. “And those coming back from Asia will be quarantined for the period of….just wait for my tweet for the announcement. It will be bigly.”
“Thank God I’ll be out of this dump by then. And going back? Ha! Never! I’d rather treat a sick buffalo in Nakhon nowhere than to go back to Trumpy.”
At Seattle airport 13,000 people were waiting in line to be tested for fever before they were allowed on the planes. Gary was somewhere in the middle of the line.
“Small inconvenience for a wonderful life ahead,” smiling to himself and to others who tried to keep a 2 meter distance from him, not because of the virus but because of his mad grin.
The cabin attendants in full hazmat suits put the food trays on trolleys and left one in front of the cabin and one in the aft.
“Please come and take the food yourself,” they announced.
Passengers were sprayed with disinfectant in their face whenever they tried to talk to the attendants.
“Excuse me, could I have a…”
“Sorry for the inconvenience. It’s the protocol.”
The plane transited in Taiwan. As the plane came to a full stop, men in white hazmats stormed in and sprayed the cabin, choking the passengers. Those who dared cough from the spraying were dragged off the plane and quarantined.
Finally the plane took off but not for long. It turned around back to Taiwan.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a slight medical problem. The first pilot is coughing so we have to go back and change pilots. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
The plane landed and the spraying started again. Two more passengers choked and were dragged out.
“But I’m just choking on peanuts.”
“Sorry, protocol. Out!”
Finally the plane arrived in Bkk.
The pilot announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have now landed, and happy to say we are 2 hours earlier than schedule as most planes had been grounded, so there was no air traffic all the way. The temperature outside is 45 degrees Celsius. Enough to kill any virus and sunbathing humans, so enjoy your stay and thank you for flying with NoNonsense Airways. See you again soon…which could be in the next few hours if you are not allowed into the country.”
The airport was deserted but Duty free shops were all still open. Sales girls standing outside with their surgical masks on, chirping away.
“Big Sale today sir. Chonny woker buy one bottun get four bottun.”
“Mabolo Sikalatt cheap cheap. Shokkolat, perfoom, evelything jingerbell. Fibty percent opp.”
Immigration line was short. After one passenger sneezed in the line, the officer left for coffee break and never returned.
As Gary was walking out with his luggage through the green no declare channel, an officer stopped him.
“Sa-top Mitter. You hab fever, must kwalanteen 14 day in Sattaheeb.”
“Where is that?”
“No wolly,” officer said. “Welly qood hau, on a beed, sea sand, fee food,”
“Ok… sounds good. Can Nid Noi come with me?”
“No can. Nid Noi go with Mitter John already. She no wait yo.”
Gary was put on a devil driver van who took one hour and 10 minutes to get to Sattahip.
Officers talked to one another and came back to the van.
“Solly, no hab loom. You lib in tent. No wolly. We gib you food… fly lice evlyday.”
“Do I at least get a beer?”
“Hab only Corona beer.”
Now, Gary was on a visa on arrival which allowed him 14 days stay. But, he hadn’t realized that yet.
Stay tuned for part two.
(Trailer: immigration, massage, beer bar, and hot ladies, police station.)