I believe I have to stay awake during a flight. In my mind, it is the fact I am wake that keeps the plane up. And the thought of nearly 12 hours of terror and self imposed torture were daunting. In the end, it was as easy as pie. The flight was very smooth and I even managed to doze off twice. Thank you Diazepam. Arriving in Bangkok was a surprise as I had spent months convincing myself I would never actually get there. As I got into the taxi driving me to the hotel, I thought “Now what?”

I spent one day in Bangkok recovering and did not do any sightseeing. A day later I was at the train station at 8 am to set off on a 12 hour train journey to Chiang Mai. I had read about the train having a restaurant carriage so did not even bring a bottle of water. As I sat down on my seat I had the sudden realisation that this particular train did not have a restaurant carriage. Thankfully, twice during the journey a lady came with a trolley and handed out a glass of drink and a small pastry. You couldn’t buy anything and could only take what was offered. I arrived in CM, tired, hungry and fed up after a delay of several hours.

I was glad I took the train. It was nice to look out of the window, water everywhere, everything green. And something growing on every bit of land available. There is a sense of industriousness everywhere. Both nature and man taking full of advantage of the bounty the monsoon brings. Paddy fields and water lilies. Making me realise, that yes, I have done it. I am finally here.

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