Is it half term every where this week? It is here for our school. Daughter has gone off on a school trip to London and Son and I have work to do. My work (on the travel articles) is being met with little resistance; after all this is what I want to be doing. Son's work... well not so much.
In order to make it as pain free as possible I've brought him to Chiang Mai, Thailand's second city. We're staying in the same hotel that we stayed in when we came here two years ago. It's orange so I'm very happy. It has criss crossed chips - fries - so Son is happy.
Yesterday I went down to breakfast before Son. I'd been up longer, was starving hungry and he was dragging his size 12 feet, hoping that the longer it took him to get to breakfast, the less likely work time would appear.
I was sitting in the restaurant; gazing around. There was a family on the table by the window with two small boys. They were around seven and nine, I'd guess. I began to think about how normal that is now... to fly longhaul as a family. When I was a kid I had a good friend whose Dad had his own travel agency and they went to exotic places and came back with suntans. I do remember being quite envious of her.
I watched these two boys, thinking how lucky kids are today. My family holidays had been camping to Somerset when we were that age. There were no suntans to be had there, though one year we did have a whirlwind that picked someone's tent up and placed it in the field next door with some cows. I certainly wasn't deprived: I went to Rouen in France on a school exchange. Then later, my Dad's job took him to Germany for work during the summer holidays, and we would go out to join him for a bit. I thought that was exotic.
After they'd finished eating the boys were allowed to play on some sort of computer console while Mum and Dad finished at leisure. I'd caught the Mum's eye a couple of times but eventually I looked at the Dad. I could only see him almost in profile, behind the Bangkok Post.
I wondered where my son had got to.
I looked back at the Dad: hmm, I thought.
Where is Son? Whatever is he doing?
It was a slow dawning. I was tired and it was out of context.
I texted Son 'Are you there?' No answer.
'SON' I texted next. 'You won't believe this...' Still no answer.
'Son, don't freak out, but your headmaster and his family are having breakfast next to me.'
I'm surprised Son came down at all to that news.