Sunday, 9 September 2007

A Day In International Territory

CHANGI airport prides itself as the finest airport in the world. On our final day in Singapore we were, to be honest, a little bored of the city and didn't fancy carrying our enormous bags through the never-ending layrinth of shopping malls in the city centre. So we headed early to the airport to test its reputation. The following is a selection of highlights of our ten hour stay.

12.30pm We have arrived! The signs say there are cinemas and a swimming pool and public gardens, so we should have lots to do. It's a very modern, spacious and clean building with lots of light and informative signs. We should be fine.

12.35pm After a quick look around, it would appear that all of the interesting airport amenities are inside the departure lounge, which we cannot enter until we have checked in. For now, we have a Burger King for company.

12.40pm Ooh, nice fountains!

3.00pm I've been sat reading and listening to my mp3 player (henceforth called Len) for ages and we still cannot check in. My most interesting observation is that the hand driers in the toilets are quite exciting. I fancy cake.

4.05pm Bought a sandwich. I daren't guess what was in it.

4.30pm 'Cairns via Darwin' appears on the screen. We head to check in but the kiosk still says Bangkok. We ask both at Jetstar airways and Qantas, and both say the same - we cannot check in until 7.15pm. We relocate to the 'viewing mall' for a change of scenery.

4.45pm Oh look, a plane.

5.00pm To pass the time, I have begun listening to my entire U2 collection on Len in alphabetical order. I get to the oddly named Alex Descends into Hell for a Bottle of Milk when a little plane appears out of the back of the Qantas 747 in front of me through the window, as if the Jumbo has just given birth to a baby Boeing through its exhaust.

5.30pm Jeannette goes in search of food.

5.35pm I need the toilet. I push my trolley into the men's room in the hope that a disabled cubicle will have room for my trolley and me, but the room is narrow and everyone stares at me. I wash my hands as if that was my plan all along and get out quickly, wishing airports catered more for security-conscious lone travellers.

6.30pm Jeannette and I have a lovely conversation about what would happen if the Queen turned 100 herself.

7.15pm Woohoo! Check in finally opens. Budget airline to Australia here we come!

7.45pm We are through immigration and into the departure lounge!

7.46pm Jeannette has already found a copy of Heat.

Anyway, we got here in the end. Crikey! I'm in Australia!

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