I waited on the stoop outside my hostle on Koah San Road early yesterday morning. The street was buzzing from the night time though the sun was edging up over the buildings. Inside the bars drowsy pool players hunched over their sticks. Some travelers had decided not to go to bed and had their bags piled up to the side of their chairs. I ate my yogurt I got from 7-Eleven and sat anxiously waiting for the shuttle bus I was promised would arrive.
The Bangkok airport is clean open and modern, but not without Asian quirks. After finding the quiosk, I had about an hour to kill before it opened. I spotted a newsstand and a Starbucks on the 2nd floor, just one floor below me. There was a guard blocking the escalator down. He would not let me through unless I had a badge. I signaled I wanted to go down to the Starbucks and he pointed at the elevator. And so I packed into the elevator and as the doors closed, I stretched my hand through the thicket of people and pressed 2, but the light didnt come on. The elevator went down to the ground floor, everyone got off and others got on, I pressed 2 again and nothing happened. It was then that I noticed a sign on the door, "Elevator will not stop at 2 floor." What! I got off at floor 1 and tried to find stairs, an escalator, something. In the end I had to walk 500 yards to the other end of the airport, climb some stairs and walk all the way back, no idea why.
The landing at Kunming was one of the more beautiful views I've seen here. The landscape is simply incredible and because the first time I flew in at night time, I had not yet seen all of the surrounding geography. The dirt is red like Arizona. The topography is very rough, dark green mountains, seperated my burnt orange paths that ribbon them apart. Every now and then there's a rice terrace that is cut into the side of the forest. Little levels that get softer green as they step lower and lower. There is a resevoir to the north of the city that I had never seen before. The rippling glare in the water reminded me of the texture of elephant skin (I rode an elephant in Thailand). And as we dropped altitude we settled into a violet haze of city smog and exhaust that blanketed the windows blind till touchdown.