Stared out at the night sky as the plane cruised home. Waiting on the tarmac for anything from 30 minutes to an hour seems to have become quite the norm. It's fashionable to be thankful for smooth flights mid-air and upon landing.
It has been a difficult trip for me in the sense that the friends are the ones who were the decision-makers and led the judgment calls, down to choosing makan venues, what to do in the next hour or what time to wake up. Well, we've been up at 6am or so just to catch the sunrise, and also separately head out for swims, climbs, short walks or treks.
We are on vacation after all; even with a sabai-sabai mindset in Thailand, we've pretty much stuck to the schedule. Hehehehe. The friends drove all the way and refused to let the man take a shift at the wheel. This feeling of 'being taken care of' is weird. I'm usually the one either mothering or nagging or lecturing people, especially when traveling in a group and we need to keep to a schedule. I'm not used to simply going along and enjoying the ride. At various junctures, it felt like I'm taking advantage of the friends!
The friends and I go back a long long way. We've gone through so much together and we keep it real. They've also known the man for close to a decade now. On one hand, it's like...how can I ever repay this colossal favor? On the other hand, it's like...'what have I (we) done to deserve all these awesome treatment?!' The man was more than stunned to know that the friends arranged and paid for all accommodation at all stops, and that I amazingly found no way to decline. They secretly stocked up the fridge in our rooms with beer and snacks, and almost wanted to fight with us over paying for petrol and all the fantastic meals too. TSK.
The man and I are overwhelmed by the wild generosity and warmth of the friends. It goes beyond monetary privileges and taking leave from work obligations. It's this extended amount of time with one another. It goes deeper than mere friendship. Am immensely touched. I'm truly blessed to have a very tight-knit group of friends who are effectively family. Can't ever thank them enough. There's very little I wouldn't do for them (without breaking the law lah). No wonder this country (even with its mind-boggling political and social shifts) and her language will always have a special place in my heart.
Bye Thailand, you've been phenomenal. Till the next time.