Blessed to be a witness

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Thursday, July 21st

It could have been my fault (sorry, Bali)

I confess. It could have been my fault. It could have been the airline's. I'm not sure.

We were meant to be going to Bali, you see. But we called Singapore Airlines and cancelled the flights, instead opting to revisit Phi Phi. We'd been so cut up leaving the first time that the thought of departing Asia without revisiting the island was anathema. So sorry, Bali, but we're in love with another tropical island. Another time perhaps.

On the 21st, we said goodbye to our friends in Saigon, and got an early flight to Bangkok. We then trawled over the long walkway to the domestic departures terminal, and hung around waiting for the Air Asia check-in desk to open to get our flight to Phuket. Eventually it opened, and we patiently waited to be given our boarding passes. Except that we weren't on the passenger list.

We went out of security to the Air Asia ticketing desk, and they found our booking. So we went back through security and were turned away again. Back to the ticketing desk, and they gave us a booking invoice to take back. Back through security, and again we were told we weren't there. It was at this time that M noticed that the invoice said "23rd July", not "21st", as I'd booked.

The internet connection in Vietnam is flaky at the best of times. When I booked the flight to Phuket and hit submit, the connection with the Air Asia site crashed. The next morning I had found two Air Asia invoices, with four tickets in all for the two of us. I didn't check the date, as I clearly remembered selecting "21st". I called the airline from the hotel (which cost me US$40 as I kept on getting cut off) to cancel one of the bookings and get a refund, and again never checked the dates. So after twelve hours of hanging around waiting with hordes of other antsy people for non-available standby flights, we gave up. I don't know if I had inadvertantly selected the wrong date, or whether the Air Asia computer selected its default value when it glitched. Whatever, it meant another two days in Bangkok.

The next day, feeling extremely irritated, we went to Khao San road to do a little shopping. There we bumped into Netti, one of the other long-term volunteers (and one of the contestants in the chilli eating contest), recovering from Phi Phi-caught dengue fever, who told us that about fifteen others had left Phi Phi at the same time, and they were all still in Bangkok. We met up with them that evening, and had a lovely time remniscing and hearing about the changes the island was undergoing, and it diluted our annoyance somewhat.

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