2004-05-02 : Houston, we have broken free of Adelaide’s gravitational pull, and have now landed at the Old Dart.
How about that eh ? After 5 years of false starts and mishaps, I've finally gotten here ! London, here we… errm… are.
The departure stuff was fairly straightforward – uncustomarily so, for me. I was really stoked to have such a large contingent of farewellers at the airport – a nice surprise. And of course enormous thanks have got to go to the Morris Men, who took a break from their May Day celebrations to come and ensure that I left the country. I'm sure that travellers at “Adelaide International Airport” don't normally get THAT MUCH entertainment in one sitting ! The only downside was that after having a bit of a final dance with the guys I wound up rather hot & sweaty, which is always important on a long flight.
One thing which I suspect I'm going to notice the absence of over here is The Adelaide Effect, or 2 degrees of separation. Whilst in the queue to go through customs, I ran into my friend Kassie from back in high school, and my old French teacher Mrs Moody.
7 hours of flying saw Richie and I land in Singapore, and man was THAT a change of atmosphere ! I didn't realise how close to the equator it was, and a set of breathing apparatus wouldn't have gone astray. What a weird place !? They had these humungous goldfish in this big pond thing (which I didn't take pictures of for fear of looking like a tourist… but then, airports are generally FULL of tourists, aren't they ?), and more goddamn shops than I think I've ever seen. Happily, I resisted the urge of impulse shopping, and Richie and I wandered around looking for a bar instead. Surprisingly difficult to find, although we did find a place called “The Oasis”, which offered “Free Internet Terminals”… these turned out to be almost completely Free of internet connectivity, and there wasn't a beer in sight, so we quickly moved on. Not really much else to say about Singapore really, at least not that I can be bothered saying – anything over 20 hours in a plane tends to affect my linguistic skills.
Although I suppose a brief word about the next leg of the journey wouldn't go astray. They've done wonders in the airline industry in the field of cramming as many people into a tiny space as possible… And then there's their eye to forward-thinking policies such as giving exit-row seats to short people but cramming tall people into the regular cattle-class fixtures. I was located behind this pain in the arse woman who kept forcing her seat back onto my kneecaps in the most abrupt way… it was of course possible to angle one's body in order to maintain some semblance of comfort, but it leaves at least one kneecap or elbow hanging out into the aisle, which is perfect for locating the seemingly endless procession of drinks trolleys and duty free carts that went up and down. Constantly.
And that's another thing – what in the hell makes these airlines think that you'd be more interested in buying inflight duty free than from one of the myriad stores in Singapore ? The mind boggles.
Ah look anyway, to finish off, I'm here now. Caught the Heathrow Express to Paddington, then a black cab to Richie's place (with the disturbingly rickety stairs). Foggy as hell when we landed, so much so that I didn't realise we were in descent until the wheels hit the tarmac…
So yeah, here I am. Now what ?