I guess we had to go back and visit friends and family eventually so a trip home to Oz was planned to coincide with our youngest son Lochlan’s 21st birthday. Even though he didn’t want a party, we still wanted to be there for it as he indicated that he didn’t want to come to Thailand (it was a suggested birthday present – oh, but that changed).
Learne returned about 3 weeks earlier than me due to the fact she needed to leave Thailand as her visa was close to expiring so, she arrived late October and unfortunately just missed saying goodbye to her younger sister before she moved her family to Victoria to join Chris, who has a posting there with the Army. Unfortunately Learne couldn’t change her flight to arrive earlier because of our plans to see Rory in Koh Samui. She did however enjoy some great quality time with her Mum, who gave her a diamond and sapphire heirloom ring for her 50th. Leaving a little earlier also gave her a chance to catch up with her girlfriends over brunches etc without dragging me around.
In the three weeks I had alone in Thailand, I didn’t really do much except get stuck into some online work once I replaced the hard drive on my laptop. I was a little concerned about doing this in Hua Hin mainly due to the language barrier but I needn’t have worried as it was all pretty painless and only cost around A$70, including installation and the transfer of all my data. I did get a little bored but also managed to catch up with a few friends.
We both had the same flight with Emirates from Bangkok to Brisbane via Sydney, just 3 weeks apart. Might I add, what a great airline! It was super comfy, the staff were great and they think of everything, even in economy. There are USB ports, an AC port for my laptop and even wifi. Love them! Learne discovered she was on the same flight back as a family friend who was travelling business class and she kindly invited Learne into one of the airport lounges at Bangkok. I think she may have enjoyed herself a little too much from all reports, drinking fine reds and enjoying the many cheeses that she misses so much while in Thailand.
The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Sydney was how expensive the beer was. I appreciate that I am paying silly airport prices but I was hanging out for a Pure Blonde but nearly fell off my chair when I was charged A$9.95. It didn’t stop me having a 2nd one though. Everything is expensive in Oz when it comes to food and drink, especially after being in Thailand.
It was great to catch up with most of the family in Queensland. We drank and ate way too much as everyone really looked after us, which was greatly appreciated by-the-way – thanks guys! We had a great day on Lochlan’s birthday and watched him enjoy a jetpack and flyboarding experience down at Main Beach, which was followed by an Indian lunch with us and the Grandparents on the Broadwater.
As I was only in Oz for about 10 days it didn’t leave a great deal of free time to catch up with friends just outside of the Brisbane/Gold Coast area, which was a little disappointing – definitely next time! The weather was really good with quite a few hot days and a little cooler at night which we enjoyed.
So even though we booked through Emirates from Thailand for the return flight, we actually flew Qantas back to Bangkok. Not as good, but still not too bad all the same. It was an older aircraft and it had quite a few more passengers due to the high tourist season now on in Thailand. We also noticed it was way cheaper booking the flights from Thailand than it was from Oz. About A$750 return compared to $1150 return!
Other than catching up with friends and family, we both enjoyed a few steak dinners, big rashes of bacon at breakfast time, and Learne thoroughly enjoyed catching up on the Aussie red wines. I must admit, I did have a few Jack Daniels along the way. We’ve stocked up on few necessary items that are a little hard to get in Thailand, and it is going to be interesting to see how we cope having Lochlan living with us for a month or two, and also him embracing an experience that is completely foreign to him. Time will tell.
At this stage, we will be in Hua Hin for Christmas, so that may be a little depressing for us not being with all of the families, but I’m sure we’ll make it a good day with our other expat friends that will all be feeling the same way.