DM and MM's Italy Trip Diary

Day 23 - Roma to Bangkok

Monday, 21 May, 2001

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I slept very poorly again. Not sure if I slept at all. I felt dreadful. My nose was severely swollen.

We got up and packed our bags for the last time. Michelle carefully folded all the new clothes she'd purchased and packed them neatly into the backpacks. We kept our tickets, passports, and other documents such as the sales tax claim form for the big purchases handy. After breakfast we wished the friendly reception guy farewell and lugged our bags over to Termini for the train to the airport.

We got to the airport nice and early, and waited a short while before the check-in counters opened. We were one of the first people to check in to our flight, getting seating through the change of plane at Bangkok to Sydney. We requested an exit row for the extra legroom, which I felt would be very useful in my sickened condition. We got one for the flight to Bangkok, but not from Bangkok to Sydney. The woman said the second flight was nearly empty though, so there should be plenty of empty space around us.

With our backpacks checked in, we went to the Tax-Free for Tourists booth to claim our cash back for the sales tax we'd paid on several items. When we got there, the woman behind the counter was arguing with an American woman in front of it, who was complaining that she'd checked her luggage in already and that she didn't know she had to show the goods at the refund counter to claim the tax refund... The woman behind the counter was very firm and refused to look at the other woman's claim forms, leaving her storming off in a huff. Having just checked in our bags with all the goods we were supposed to present for our refund, we didn't even bother approaching the counter.

We went through the security check into the gate lounges. It was getting close to lunch time so we ate at a cafeteria. After that we had an hour or so to wait until boarding. I saw a sign indicating a quiet room for waiting so we went in there. It was empty and I laid down on a lounge to rest. I had a bad headache.

Eventualy it was time to board the plane. We had exit row seats on the left side and the extra legroom was very welcome. The flight attendants noticed I wasn't well and gave me paracetamol tablets. They also gave me ice to soothe my aching head. As the flight wore on, my eyes started swelling badly.

The flight was late getting into Bangkok. We were told that the connecting flight to Sydney was waiting for us. We were the only passengers on the plane getting the Sydney flight, I think, and the attendants told us we could get off the plane first to make the connection. After landing at Bangkok, they escorted us to the door and we exited with the first class passengers. We raced through the terminal to the gate where our Sydney flight was waiting. We had to board a bus to be taken out on to the tarmac, where we climbed aboard the plane in the steamy dead of night. A few minutes later we were on our way, hoping our luggage had been handled as efficiently.

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