Singapore is cool. Like, really f’ing cool. Aside from Changi Airport, Singapore has never really been on the top of my travel list. I didn’t really have any expectations for the place, but after my first day there I was enthralled. There are so many things I love about Singapore…I wish I could have stayed longer but I think I covered a lot of ground while I was there. My full Singapore review may have to be split between two posts as my mental capacity is currently at an all-time low…and my ancient law school macbook I recently resurrected from the dead (under my bed with an exploded battery) is painfully slow and keeps freezing up on me…
Let’s start with the flights…
CLT -> ORD
Surprisingly this was my first time flying through Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. I was impressed. So much art, light, and a yoga room! I flew United Economy Plus and my flight actually left on time…that’s what you get when you book a 6:00AM flight. The plane was new and nice and I had legroom for days. It was a quick flight that I mostly slept through. I landed in Chicago and wandered around for a bit. I walked through the tunnel connecting the B & C concourses in Terminal 1, where Michael Hayden’s “The Sky’s the Limit” light sculpture can be found. It’s awesome. After that I grabbed a coffee and sat in a bright hallway that was beautifully decorated with children’s art.
I made my way over to the rotunda and sat down by the indoor garden to finish my coffee and catch up on some e-mails. I scoped out the yoga room and found a bathroom nearby to change in. The yoga room was small but had a nice little nook to store luggage, large mirrors, and some natural light coming in. I was in there for about an hour, and was alone for most of the time. A few people came by and peeked in the window, likely just curious to see what was going on in there. At first I was just going to stretch for a bit, but knowing that I had a 14 hour flight ahead of me, I decided to get a light workout in. I had a great little practice and my body felt amazing afterwards. I managed to snap some selfies (duh) and played music until a few people came in.
After yoga I changed, grabbed a snack, and got ready to board…my journey was off to a great start and I boarded the plane with visions of legroom and friendly flight attendants and bottomless wine and snacks.
And then United crushed my dreams. I was in an “economy plus” seat, however, there was nothing special about this, and no extra legroom. I sat down and immediately realized that I was surrounded by small children. Literally, every direction I looked, there was a child under the age of 6. I sat next to the sweetest Navy wife and her 4 year old daughter. They were wonderful, and the little girl demanded that she sit in the middle seat next to me. She kept talking to me about their “village” that they lived in back in Japan (navy base) and how they had a lot of spiders out there. She made it clear to me, about 50 times, that she does NOT like spiders. Me neither boo. She also had an impressive dinosaur collection and knew everything about every dinosaur. Her favorite dinosaur is the triceratops, but she agreed with me that the brontosaurus is kinda lovable.
I generally prefer to have the entire row of seats to myself, or have someone who is polite yet mute. I tend to do weird things like write, read strange pieces of literature, and drink heavily when I fly. Opening up conversation with my neighbors always puts these activities at risk, and I hate feeling rude when I put my headphones in. These particular neighbors turned out to be fun , and they also slept a lot. My attempt at drinking heavily was squashed when the flight attendant brought me a warm glass a chardonnay from a box, and gave me a dirty look when she saw that I had finished it before “lunch” was served.
Let’s talk about lunch. I didn’t photograph it. Perhaps if I had been sitting alone or with someone who wasn’t engaging in conversation with me I would have. Lunch on this flight wasn’t terrible, but I got a bad feeling when the mom next to me immediately took her dinner roll off of her tray and put it in her purse for later. She had done the ORD->NRT flight a few times and knew that after this meal, it was going to be a loooong time before another one came. I ate my roll immediately. And later on, when I was hungry and my stomach was torn up from the chardonnay, I wanted to steal her roll. We had some sort of ravioli, salad, the infamous roll, and then ice cream. Much, much later on in the flight they came around selling snack boxes and duty free and then gave us some variation of eggs right before we landed in Tokyo.
I enjoyed the Tokyo airport and wanted to buy everything in the shops. I definitely want to go back to Japan, and actually venture outside of the airport. When I was in Tokyo I was feeling a little off from the eggs and chardonnay so naturally I bought some chocolate, key chains, and sake. I was terrified that my flight to Singapore (about 7 hours) was going to be another cramped, loud flight with poor service and shitty wine, so I decided I would sneak on my own snacks and booze and have as comfortable a flight as possible.
NRT -> SIN
Another old plane. Boarded super efficiently and left exactly on time. Lucked out with an empty flight and got my own row! There was a strange fellow sitting behind me that kept talking to me before we took off, but fortunately he went to sleep early on. As soon as we were in the air I stretched out and took up all three seats. I had two plastic cups of cheap wine and some more weirdo pasta, then passed out. I slept A LOT, and it felt great. By the time we got to Singapore I felt much better, and still had my sake.
I turned 30 a few minutes after clearing customs in Singapore. boom!
I cracked open my jar of sake and fumbled around for about 20 minutes trying to get wifi. I still didn’t know the address of my destination but figured I should probably celebrate somehow. Warm sake that cost $2.50 at the Tokyo Airport. It was actually quite good. I continued to drink it for the duration of my cab ride.