Trip to Singapore

20090419 Immigration plaza

I arrived in Singapore a few hours ago. I just finished unpacking and getting cleaned up.  There was no way I was going to bed without a shower after 32 hours of travel!

I seem to have arrived with everything I need, and despite the length of the trip, it was mostly uneventful.  Singapore Airlines is wonderful.  The flight attendants are very kind, and everyone was super helpful and smiled each time they spoke with me.

I had a really long lay over in LAX, which is possibly the strangest airport known to man!  Please note that there are no pictures of LAX – that is not an oversight!  The international terminal is under construction, so the area where the gates are resembles a dungeon.  It is dark, croweded and there are no shops.  I couldn’t even buy a bottle of water!  Happily the area before security has places to buy food and internet access, so I was able to get some work done before going through security.  The other funny thing is that the plane does not park anywhere near the gate – they use buses to take everyone out to the airplane.

The flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo was not very crowded.  I had a window seat, and the guy who had the seat next to me moved to an empty row, so I had the row to myself.  I was able to spread out and get as comfortable as possible.  Joey had added a bunch of new pod casts and music to my iPod, so i had plenty to keep me entertained.

We flew into Tokyo as the sun was setting.  The view was pretty, but I could not really see any details.  My layover in Tokyo consisted of packing up my stuff, leaving the plane, having my passport checked, going through security, walking in a circle back to the other side of the gate that we had disembarked from, and re-boarding the same plane!  The whole thing took 25 minutes.  I was greatful to do something different and stretch my legs, but I really wish I could have spent some time in Japan!

The plane filled up for the Tokyo to Singapore leg of the trip, so I had to share my row, but it was still a pleasant flight.  What is amazing is that it was another seven hours of flying!

The Singapore airport is amazingly beautiful – huge, and everything is sparkling.  We walked a long way down the concourse, and finally got to the immigration plaza.  The space is extremely impressive, especially after having spent so many hours in small spaces.

I had no trouble getting through immigration, which was possibly the most efficient I have ever seen.  I picked up my bags and went through customs – also very quick and painless.  I had been worried that the booths for changing money would be closed because we arrived at 02:20, but they were open, so I am all set with Singapore dollars.  I grabbed a taxi and had a pleasant 10 minute ride to the hotel.  Checked in, and began getting settled.  The room is very simple and all the furniture is functional and has a very clean, crisp aesthetic – you can see it in the pictures.  I made myself a pot of tea, and took a bath, and I feel 100% refreshed.  I am going to get a bit of sleep, and wake up around 10:00.

A word on the first picture below, with the oil heater and the sign about bergamot.  It seems that bergamot is the fragrance of choice in this hotel, they have these little pots everywhere, which makes sense because bergamot is native to Southeast Asia.  Bergamot is a citrus fruit with an orangey smell, but the color and size of a lime, with a slightly bulging bottom, like a pear (don’t judge, it happens to the best of us).  Bergamot is the flavor that is added to black tea to make Earl Grey [HOT].  Joey has been on a kick about bergamot and how it is the basis of most perfumes throughout history, as well as featuring heavily in many modern perfumes.   He even researched getting a bergamot tree for our backyard.  He was foiled because it gets too cold in Texas – go figure.  I just couldn’t resist taking the picture!

Singapore is thirteen hours ahead of Austin time wise.  So from your perspective, I am in the future – that concept just never gets old or less amusing to me.  16:00 Central Daylight Time on 18 April 2009 is the same as 05:00 Singapore time on 19 April 2009.

I will not be using my cell phone, so if you want to reach me, send an e-mail, or look for me on Google Talk.

1 comment to Trip to Singapore

  • Glad you made it OK. Couldn’t remember exactly when you were taking off, but glad to know you arrived, even after that many hours in flight and roaming around airports, etc. Everything looks so cool. I will try to check in often to see how you are doing. I am having to get used to this medium as opposed to just calling and talking to someone. I had the same difficulty of texting instead of calling, but I think the infection is gradually taking hold!! When do you start work, Monday? Or is it Monday there already? Or did you land the same day you left, the day before today??? Are you there for one or two weeks? Thinking of you; love,
    Dad

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