Thursday, May 27, 2010


The flight was...okay.

No significant turbulence, no delay, and it was fast. The welcoming morning air and the bright sun at Changi airport, Singapore were a good start.

9 am, I was quite collected though it was my first time in that small clean country where Chinese-looking citizen swap around anywhere I set my feet to. Dragging the small dark trolley bag on my left hand, a backpack on my back, and sleepy eyes, I walked slowly following the fellow passengers to the claiming bag area. It is a nice and clean airport and I can see why people rate it as one of the best airports in the world...I stopped, tried to feel the thick carpet on the floor, looked around, did not really want to explore more of what it offered, my heart was set on the main reason I got myself flew over after only two-hour sleep the night before (The karaoke with my housemate ended at 2:30 am and we waited for a friend from the office to bring the much-needed case to bring to Singapore.)

I wished I would recognize any face on the stream of people whose faces boastfully reflect their morning moods: flat-dead depressed. The gang of mixed youth who sat on the far back seats of the airplane were letting our hearty laughter, one Italian look-like sad-faced cutie still wore his serious or deep contemplating face...there was something about him I was kind of drawn into, if it was not his nice facial hair and fair skin. But then I saw many good looking men which made it was not something interesting to look at anymore. Sort of.

I gave up looking around, walking closer to the claiming bag area with how-to-get-around-which-taxi-should-i-take questions repeated themselves in my head, I didn't feel like talking to anyone. Not yet.

I pushed the trolleys faster, the line for the taxi was cut short, 'So, this is how they do it?' I asked myself. I had to wait in line while each of us will get a taxi of all kind which happened to stop at the front door-you don't pick your own.

Then it rained while the sun was striking back with its significant heat.

I sat down in the back seat, said hi to the middle-aged driver, Chinese-looking, sure, who rubbed his head and  pulled over after a couple of minutes drive, opened his map (was the GPS LCD screen never works?) 'Do you know which area is it?' he asked me, eyes on the rear view mirror, expecting me to say something. I looked back at his eyes, threw my face to the side and smile. He knew the answer.

'Okay, don't worry, I will take you there, sir.' Then he talked on the phone, was it Mandarin or Cantonese, for god's sake I had no idea. His Chinese sounds alot better and clear than his Singlish (Singapore English) The next lesson: All taxi drivers in Singapore has no hesitation to talk loud on their phone while driving passengers, the FM station is on most of the time.

This particular driver turned out to be very likable. Though I only gave him short answers, he surprisingly out a smile on my face with his friendliness, told me stories I didnt really would love to hear, and the way he pronounce HOTEL made me chuckled. I asked him to keep the change and sort of wished could see him somewhere during my few hours stay.

It IS really a warehouse, nothing fancy about the building, cleanliness became so damn common you felt it was a part of Singapore. Before I put my hand on someone shoulder or start the excuse-me line, I read on the right wall of the elevator, printed in black bold letter the company's name.  pressed the number 8 and soon found the office, small and neat, everyone looked busy, good office attire. Sweaty back from my sweat and the rain, two trolleys: I felt inappropriate, felt like a refugee.

It turned out to be fast, they surely know their things. I enjoyed the sunny afternoon at the Marina Bay with some chocolate cookies and isotonic drink, which only lasted for ten or twenty minutes, couldnt savor more sights and times and places because I had to run back to the airport.

Two hours wait.

I didnt feel like eating, the clock said it was already 3 pm. What a crazy short-lived trip. I barely moved from my seat, cannot help but listening to the 40something man who spoke in Deutsch on the phone for long hours, occasionally looked at me. Many kids and teenagers feeding my ears with laughter and high-pitched excitement, the slurrrp of the noodles, the dragged shoes or sandals or trolleys on the floor...i miss finding myself sitting or laying under the shades of trees or umbrella on Kuta beach, alone, giving myself to the raging wind from the rolling waves, recollecting memories from hometown...or just sitting on my back, resting my tired head on my hands, absorbing the moment of silence upstairs at O's house.

The flight was delayed 30 minutes, I found this out by walking to the counter where five or six staff of mixed genres were gossiping, 'what is going on?'I looked at this Tamil-looking woman whose waist-long black hair turned her head to me and ignored her talking girlfriends, 'Did you know that this IS fifteen minutes past four?'

'The plan has just landed, sir. We will shortly announce the boarding when the plan is cleared.' I didn't thank her, just gave my weak smiled and headed back to my seat, sunked in it and ignored some stares and chuckles from a group of teenage girls who have been checking me out.

There is no nicer place than Bali, so far.