Friday, March 9, 2012

Thailand: Planning (and Keeping) the Greatest Surprise

Soon after A. and our friend Ky decided to travel through Thailand and Cambodia in December together, I approached Ky with an idea. There was no way I could request three weeks off work so soon after our fall trip through Europe and a vacation of that length just wasn't in my budget, but, I asked, "What if I surprised him out there for New Year's Eve?"

At first I was on the fence about going through with such a crazy plan: I'd have to find my way out there alone and they still hadn't decided where in the country they'd ring in the new year. I wasn't trying to hop on some rinky dink little bus to go search for them in the countryside! What if I got lost out there with no way of communicating with anyone? Luckily, they decided to return to Bangkok to celebrate New Year Eve's before heading south to the beaches for the remainder of the trip. I was to meet them at their hotel, surprise the pants off A., and then travel with them until we returned home together. I bought my expensive tickets (which cost about $1,600) a week after they did.

That was in October, which meant I had to keep the secret for nearly two months. Two months! Mind you I can barely keep a birthday surprise longer than two days. So every time A. went on and on about his upcoming trip, how excited he was, and the itinerary (that I supposedly knew very little about), I had to bite my tongue, ask questions for which I already knew answers to ("When are you guys going to Cambodia again, babe?") and just say that I'll be missing him so much during the holidays this year. You don't know how many times I wanted to yell, "I'm going, too, you fool!" Whenever he'd gush to friends and they'd turn to me and ask what I'd be doing during all that time, I'd reply, "Oh, I don't know. I'm sure stuff will come up."
Whenever Ky and he would meet up to go over trip details and what to pack, I'd tag along under the pretense of wanting to hang out with them. Little did he know that I was making mental notes to bring along a poncho instead of an umbrella, look into anti-malarials, and Google what a tuk-tuk looked like. Bug spray, check. Outlet adapter, check. Only drink bottled water. Pack Pepto just in case. Visa not necessary.

There were some close calls, but I was able to breathe easier once they left. The chances of someone spoiling the whole thing would be a lot slimmer now that communication had been cut back during their travels. But at that point, it had become a great game to me and having kept the secret so long was like a badge of honor. He would never in a million years expect this from timid little Dorkys and there was no way I was going to ruin it now. During our chats, I never let on that I was home packing my bags and researching Bangkok, that I wouldn't be working for nearly two weeks, and that I needed him to settle on a freakin' hotel for New Year's Eve already! Ky and I even dared to Skype along with him and go on about how we couldn't wait to see each other in the new year. "I miss you!" we'd giggle and A., that poor man, had absolutely no clue what plans were swirling around him.

We'd spend days after our reunion explaining our grand ruse and all the little ways we shielded him from the truth. And it took him a long time to believe the stunt I had managed to pull off.


  1. I think it was great that you did what you did; and so romantic too! :)

  2. I want to see a photo of this Ky friend. He needs some recognition for helping with this plot. Can't wait to read more!

    1. Oh there will be more pictures and stories posted this week! By the way, Ky's a SHE :)

  3. I was so excited for you when you finally let on what you had done! I really don't think that I would be brave enough to pull that off, so I could not be more proud of you! That was so amazing to do that for A to celebrate the new year!


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