ED is in departED (Thailand Days 1 and 2: Sat/Sun 23/24 June 2012)

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Written on Sunday 22 July 2012: 5 years 10 months on … Advantage ED

 It was about half past seven in the morning of Saturday 23 June 2012 – the first day of our trip to Thailand.

We were packed and ready to go. Cheryl Price picked us up at home and we were on the way to the Port Elizabeth airport.

E-tickets checked, luggage weighed and handed over (only three bags to the hold because Pera and I were sharing a bag) and then we were off through security (bells ringing as a result of my leg brace) and to the departure lounge.

Everyone appeared to be coming to Port Elizabeth for the big rugby test and I thought that we would be the only ones leaving and going in the opposite direction. I was wrong.

Kulula Flight MN6238 (aka British Airways between Port Elizabeth and JHB and complete with a free (!) morning snack and drink) was full, departed on time at 08h50 and took us safely to Johannesburg.

An hour and a half later, at 10h30, we were collecting our luggage at the carousel at Oliver Tambo International Airport.  

Whilst waiting for the luggage to arrive, I was approached by a gentleman who had sat in front of us on the plane. “You’re ED from AlgoaFM aren’t you?” he asked, “I recognised your voice on the plane!”

He, his wife and son were also bound for Bangkok and when I asked if they were from Port Elizabeth, he replied that they were from Plettenberg Bay.

“Small world”, I said, “we are also travelling with a Plett family!”

 “Who are they?” I was asked.

“The Bryants”, I replied.

Well, it transpired that the Gotz’s are household friends of the Bryants, their son James and David Bryant are in Helderberg Residence and at Stellenbosch University together, and we would be having supper together in Bangkok on Wednesday evening!

It’s a small world after all! It’s a small, small world!

Rupert Upton picked us up and we were off to Pretoria. (Rupert and Samantha worked with me at P&P and we have spent many a holiday with them over the years – either at their home in Waterkloof Glen, Pretoria or at their holiday home in Plett, just around the corner from the Bryants. We tried to remember the dates, but time has taken its toll! I think we celebrated Rupert’s 40th birthday (17 July) in Pretoria when Nelson Mandela celebrated his 80th at Sandton Square in Johannesburg on 18 July 1998. Their parties were on the same night and I designed the invitations (for Rupert’s party, not Nelson’s!), and we flew up for the weekend.

We also spent time in Pretoria with them when we visited the Kruger Park in 2005(?), Sun City in June/July 2006 (just before I became ill) and Kruger Park again in July 2008 (just after I became ill – supposedly our last family holiday!) when Rupert celebrated his 50th birthday.

So we were spending this weekend with them before we departed for Bangkok on Monday morning. It was a relaxing weekend and great catching up. On Saturday afternoon we were joined by mutual friends Lisa and Brendon and watched the Springbok vs England test in Port Elizabeth (thank goodness we didn’t stay for that!) and had dinner.

Sunday morning was a late brunch on the stoep overlooking Menlyn Park, followed by dinner, last-minute checks, repacking for Thailand and for leaving a “winter” suitcase in Pretoria for our return.

Monday morning was an early wake-up and then dropped off by Samantha at the Oliver Tambo airport round about 09h00. The journey was about to begin!


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