When I walked off the plane at 4AM, I had officially been traveling for 22 hours. I was exhausted, smelly, and had to figure out how to get a cab to my hotel. Standing in a too bright airport with a language I couldn't read demanding me to go in a million directions, I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to google Bangkok.
Hunched over in my cubicle, pouring over multiple spreadsheets on my double monitors, with headphones blasting electronica in my ears, I almost missed the phone call. It was my bosses boss. Terrified that I was about to be fired over the phone, I pulled the buds from my ears and tried to answer the phone calmly.
"Jis is Thean. THIS IS JEAN." I stumbled and then awkwardly shouted.
"Hey Jean, would you mind stopping by my office when you have a chance?"
Of course I would. Only first I'll save all my pictures of cats to a flash drive, and erase my recent google history. You can never be too careful.
Just minutes later, In her pristine office, with the rare and beautiful north side view of the Chicago skyline, Michele cut to the chase.
"How would you like to go to Bangkok?"
This question on its own sounds a little bit like a Brokedown-Palace-under-the-table-your-mom-would-tell-you-to-say-no type offer.
"Sure!" I said. Because I'm a team player.
"Can you leave in a week?" She asked, surely incredulous that I had accepted her dubious offer without even pondering the repercussions of my agreement.
The week did not pass without road blocks. The call out for an unemployed person with no personal life to cat-sit in my poorly venalated city apartment for almost two weeks at short notice for no more payment than a bottle of cheap champagne and a pack of cigarettes only appealed to one desperate person: my best friend of 15 years, Nicole. (Full Disclosure: The promises i made could only be redeemed upon my successful return. Double Full Disclosure: Unbeknownst to Nicole, this was more of a permanent arrangement, as i saw my odds of surviving the trip without contracting a deadly disease or being locked up in Thai prison to be rather low.)
Stay tuned to see what happens...