25 April 2015
Ngapali Beach, re-named by Italians who were here in Myanmar during WWII with the Allied Forces, to fight the Japanese. Pronounced like Napoli, the Italian name of
Naples. Ngapali Beach is located on the Bay of Bengal, to the east of India, in the NE part of the Indian Ocean.
There we were, minding our own business, in a taxi on the way to the airport. We were heading out early because traffic was jammed up, and we didn’t want to miss our flight. There aren’t very many flights to Ngapali Beach; we couldn’t even fly on the dates we wanted because there aren’t daily flights. Our travel agent advised that we leave for the airport by noon, so we took his advice and were on our way.
And then the driver received a call on his mobile phone,
and he handed us the phone - but we couldn’t get a decent connection,
and couldn’t hear a word that the other party was saying. He told us it
was our hotel calling, and he called them back. He put it on speaker
phone, but the entire conversation was in Myanmarian, so we had no idea what was going on. We knew we hadn’t forgotten anything, so we were totally puzzled.
Turned out our flight at 3:45 PM was cancelled, and we were put on another flight. But that flight was at 1:30 - and here it was about 12:45!!!
Traffic jam after traffic jam, red lights, and a car
accident blocking one lane - our driver channelled Mario Andretti and
made it to the airport just about 1 PM. Driver leapt out of his taxi
and yelled something, and a batch of people came running over as we got
out - everyone was asking where are we going, what flight, I was busily
explaining that we’re going to the town of Thandwe, but that we’re on a
different airline than ticketed - Richard grabbed the luggage and I was
hustled into the terminal and to a window, still escorted by about six
or seven different people!
I handed over the tickets and passports. The lady behind the counter found us in the computer, and issued new tickets. I explained that we were in the taxi when we were called and informed of the flight cancellation and change, and apologized for being late - but that we didn’t know anything about it, so we couldn’t have done anything other than keep going and arrive as quickly as we could. Someone else tagged the luggage and ran it out to the plane. Another person came up to personally escort us through Security, and then through a crowd of people and into a van that was waiting to take us out to the plane. It was as though we were VIPs being escorted by a security team, right to the stairs of the little jet! Plus I was brought up to be polite, so I was smiling and thanking all the people at each stage, and they were smiling and waving us forward - as best we could figure out, the plane was actually held for us!!!! Once we were seated, the engines roared and we started taxiing down the runway.
We still aren’t sure what time the flight was supposed to leave - but we were the last people on the flight, and were treated like celebrities the entire way. It was really funny!
So we arrived in the town of Thandwe, found the counter for our fancy beach hotel, and I checked in - and this is a much more posh kind of place than we normally stay in, but, well, we’re right on the beach! Just walk out of the room, down the stairs, around the pool, and there is this absolutely gorgeous beach! Golden sand, warm aqua water, a few rocks to break up the monotony of the incredible water, and blue blue sky overhead. Picture postcard perfect gorgeous! And we get five whole days here!
Of course, Paradise doesn’t really exist. If it did, we’d have speedy internet, instead of intermittent connections.
But hey, we can just spend all our time in the water or on the beach, and catch up with the rest of the world later on. Including posting these blogs. So I’ll just add to my document, and eventually post when we have decent wifi speed.