Traveling, food and sleep are key. Forced overnight in Beijing. Dinner was marginal, but the breakfast buffet was a spread that was a sight to behold. Freshly prepared noodle soup, hot and tasty, much like I enjoyed in Hanoi. Two bowls of that and some really good fresh fruit definitely set me up for the day. The dining room was pretty darn cold. Everyone in their coats, made for a greater appreciation of the hot soup. Visibility outside is very limited. I think the smog readings are still very high but every time I get a page up on the internet talking about the fierce smog in Beijing it disappears. I guess there are ways around the censorship but I suspect is successful with 95+% of the population.
I decide to stay inside, relaxed morning, I was able to buy a couple of books from Amazon to give myself some kindle time. Head to the airport after lunch for a change of scene, several café tables by windows but the smog is so bad you can’t see anything. Flight to Bangkok is 7:45pm, checking in to board, seat change, low number, left as I enter the plane instead of right. First class to Bangkok! Nice meal and the first time I’ve tried out the seats that go all the way to a bed. Too bad they are way outa my price range, they would be real nice for a long flight. Caught a bit of sleep before arriving in Bangkok in the middle of the night. No use getting a room, Druk air departs at 8:55 in the morning. A restless night and I succumbed to Starbucks and a muffin around 4:30. Check out the orchid display in the airport, orchids everywhere! Matching sets in every bathroom!
Druk air is timely, beautiful flight with Everest in the distance and Kachenjunga close by. A quick stop in Bagdogra, Sikkim, India, and over the hills to Paro. Coming into Paro the flight path is up a canyon, plane banking left and right as we fly below the ridgetops on both sides. Blues skies as we deplane from the ship with the Druk, or thunder dragon on it’s tail. Met at the airport and driven straight to Thimphu. Hop out just as the group is heading toward a meeting with the civil service commissioner who oversees our program. Drop the bags in the room and off we go. Government meeting so it includes tea, sweet and milky, dumplings and egg rolls. A welcome snack. Finish up that meeting and a few of head over to the hospital for a medical certificate necessary for employment. A bit of a line to wait to have BP taken by a rather suspect digital reader, Doc signs it and off we go. A long night’s sleep is the very necessary plan this evening.