passport, Thai baht and travel documents

The Thai Diaries (1/6)

Samantha Walsh with pink hair
Pink hair, don’t care!

19th January 2018

Right, Thailand! I need your help. (“Again?!” I hear you mumble, raising your eyes heavenwards.) Sorry, yes. I need you to fix me. Just saying your name is like drizzling honey onto my soul, giving me the sugar high I need to keep me going until I catch a glimpse of you once more from my window seat on the plane, chosen specifically for that moment.

Like an old lover you’ll scoop me up in the arms I know so well, and all the wintery chills and memories of ills will seep from my brittle bones, to be replaced by your comfort and warmth. I’ll nestle against your shoulder, breathing in your characteristic aroma that I’ve dreamt of continuously since our last liaison, as you brush away my tears and dry them with sunshine.

With the tender love of a mother, you’ll nurture me with good food, warm air and blue skies, and rock me to sleep with lullabies sung by the sapphire-blue ocean lapping at the shores.

And if for some reason the spell has been broken and we no longer find ourselves entwined with love…

Samantha Walsh, Mum and Warthog sitting on the plane
Me, De Mama…and Warthog least I’ll have De Mama with me to share Sangsom buckets and dance to tinny techno on the sand.

I’m roused from my dreamy musings by Mum’s frantic nudging, her elbows jabbing my ribs in alarm as the whiskery warthog of a man in the seat next to hers on this 787 Dreamliner is stroking her calf with his outstretched toes.

“He’s playing footsie with me!” she hisses, and I lean over to take a look, before peering over the seat in front where his middle-aged wife is snoring gently, her snood-style hoody pulled up over equally hooded eyelids. The toggle on the drawstring collar is pulled tight, her entire face concealed, reminding me of a slumbering slug in a polo neck.

Mum yanks her leg away from Warthog and passes me the white wine she’s just accepted from the flight attendant even though she has no intention of drinking it. One sip of alcohol and her face is the colour of a baboon’s backside, so I kindly take it off her hands and consume it myself instead. I know, I’m all heart. Mum takes this as her cue to recount a recent incident whereby she and my younger sister, who is also always willing to take alcohol off her hands, attended a local healthy living exhibition. Whilst receiving a skin diagnosis, the therapist pointed out Mum’s ruddy complexion and remarked: “Like a drink, do we?” Teetotal Mum could only gawp at the audacity of the woman, whilst my sister Karen sniggered Muttley-style into the face-hole of the massage table she was lying on.

What she misses out on in alcohol she makes up with in-flight meals and boiled sweets (“essential for stopping ears popping”) and the 12-hour flight passes without further event, save for the diminutive woman in the row parallel to ours constantly popping the lock on the overhead storage cabin and climbing up on the seat like a cheeky capuchin monkey to retrieve some random item or other.

Finally, the pilot makes that welcome announcement: “ Cabin crew: prepare for landing” and there she is: my favourite place on Earth. Thailand. Land of Smiles. It’s like coming home…

wing of aeroplane as plane lands in Thailand
First sighting: hazy early-morning sunlight over a Phuket beach


Published tomorrow:

The Thai Diaries: Phuket (2/6)

Sam x

Sam’s other blogs:

If You Booze, You Lose
Costa Rica Chica 

Life: A Bird’s Eye View

No Emotional Thais: Sam Goes Solo
Mummy Mission
World Wide Walsh: Around the World in 180 Days
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