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Going Back Home!

Last year I arrived in the Netherlands on the 8th of March for a 3 week family visit.

Then the corona outbreak changed everything and I ended up staying almost 11 months...

Early January this year I'd started preparing my return trip but the amount of required documents were daunting to say the least and at times made me want to start banging my head against a wall.

Besides a new Thai visa, there were also the following items to be obtained:

A medical insurance covering covid-19 treatment, bank statements, confirmations of ASQ hotel package booking and flight tickets, Certificate of Entry and most important of all, a Fit To Fly statement (total nonsense!) and a negative corona test result...

I managed somehow to score them all and was brought to Schiphol Airport by my sister and brother...

At the airport there was so more paperwork to be done, but that was peanuts compared to everything previously.

Although I knew that air travel had been massively hit by the pandemic, seeing the airport that desolate still took me by surprise...

Most shops were closed...

Almost deserted corridors with just an occasional passenger here and there...

My flight's check in was at Gate E18.

Not much work for security these days...

On the right passengers had to queue for a final documentation check.

Last checkpoint before boarding, I guess there were about 50+ passengers on board.

Shortly after taking this photo it was announced that due to privacy regulations no photography of either crew or passengers was allowed during the flight! That was the first time I heard of this new rule...

Of course face masks were mandatory during the whole time.

After a pretty decent flight arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport at last!

A large welcome committee were ready for the few arrivals.

Again documentation checks, taking temperature, etc.

Luckily the staff was pretty efficient and it didn't take much time at all.

After collecting my luggage I was met by a hotel rep, these days they all dress very differently...

Same for the interior of the transit minivan!

On the road to 15 days quarantine...

Despite all the checks and more, this was really one of the fastest arrivals ever, around half an hour!

A bit of slapstick for the end: the red doormat was drenched in some kind of disinfectant and despite the piece of cloth to 'dry' the soles of my shoes once inside as you can see clearly I still managed to slip!

Luckily I didn't hurt myself but it would have been rather silly to end up with a broken leg after going successfully overcoming all the various pandemic travel hurdles!

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