A JOURNEY OF 8510 MILES BEGINS WITH A 3 A.M. TAXI RIDE.
Traveling from my home in Bangkok to my mother's home in Kearney Nebraska is extremely daunting, but for me it is always the first leg that stresses me the most. April 7th at 3 A.M. a taxi driver arrives in front of my home. He's wired from a long night of some kind of chemical blend of energy drinks, cigarettes, and youth. Its the rare time of day when there is NO traffic in the city and so he revels in the freedom of revving his modified Toyota and racing us to the airport in just under 30 minutes, a journey I had estimated would take closer to an hour. He helped me out with my bags and raced off and I stepped into the cavernous Suvarnabhumi International Airport. At this time of the evening the attendants and ground workers outnumber the passengers and in fact, I was the only one there when I found the Delta counters. I chatted with them asking if I was the only one flying today, which at 3:30 in the morning is not funny.
My first flight was Bangkok to Tokyo: 5 hours 25 minutes. A pretty nice little warm up. Next flight, after a 2 hour layover, was Tokyo to Minneapolis: 10 hours 40 minutes. I had 1 hour to switch planes for the final leg from Minneapolis to Omaha: 1 hour and 40 minutes. All total just under 18 hours of flight time and about 6 hours of airport time for THE LOST DAY.