in 36 hours!
12.11.2009 - 14.11.2009
The journey to the airport was characterised by torrential rain which was at first worrying due to potential traffic and lateness but it felt quite good to be leaving the country on that note for sunnier climes! We arrived at the airport with a few hours to spare thanks to Pete's amazing all-weather driving skills then wandered around Stansted (still looking like panicky deer in the headlights) eventually buying a New Zealand rough guide with the WH Smith voucher given to us by our good friend Jayne. Once through customs we had a couple of beers for Dutch courage and it wasn’t long before we were boarding the Air Asia Boeing A340. We found when we disembarked that it was the ‘Raiders’ Air Asia plane which is the only plane to have an NFL team advertised on it. So there you go. The flight itself wasn't too painful once we had some food and a snooze - the seats were reasonably comfortable even though they didn’t recline too far and both of us managed to get about 4 hours sleep in fits and starts. Joy’s feet puffed up ‘til they looked like two hams on the end of her legs and there wasn’t much room to wander in the aisles but they returned to normal, thankfully, once on dry land.
Once we had arrived in KL the long wait for our connecting flight began. Once through the heat-sensitive Swine Flu detecting cameras Richard felt it was time to sneeze quite loudly and messily much to the chagrin of our fellow passengers. Needless to say he neither caught, binned nor killed it. It was very muggy outside and we milled about most of the night without any sleep. We managed to get two hours free WiFi at the airport to contact home and eventually succumbed to the dreaded McDonalds where we both got a grim egg McMuffin meal. Managed to pilfer some free mini boxes of cornflakes they were giving out though – the scavenging begins! It was such a long wait but the airport was very clean and air conditioned. The lights were very bright all night and all seats had individual arm rests so sleep was off the cards. By the time we’d found a comfy spot to rest in it was time to check in so we wandered through and waited for our flight to board. Once on the plane it felt like we landed almost instantly – Richard hadn’t looked up from his book (some light holiday reading – ‘The Damage Done – 12 Years of Hell in a Bangkok Prison’) so when the plane finally landed he nearly soiled himself having not realised we were already there.
We had arrived in Singapore! Our final destination for the time being. The airport was empty, spacious and modern not to mention absolutely huge. We were first to get our bags from the carousel and had beaten all the crowds from our flight until Richard was accused of having a blade in his backpack. It turned out to be his camera tripod but they were fairly friendly about it and let us be on our way within ten minutes. We got the Skybus through to Terminal 2 where we took some of the biggest escalators I have ever seen down to the MRT stop. Three changes and roughly 45 minutes later we were in Little India – thankfully the walk to Perak Road where we were staying at the Footprints Hostel was fairly short but unfortunately we would have to wait a couple of hours for our room to become free.
By this point I think we had both used up any available energy in our entire bodies as we had not slept since on the plane from Stansted on Thursday night. As much as it would have been nice to have a quick wander around the locale to find our feet the best we could manage was to sit looking like despondent zombies on their sofas until our room was finally ready. When the blessed time finally came we dumped our stuff and had a well earned shower before wandering to the neighbouring Footprints ‘restaurant’ to get some food. Richard had a delightful braised pork belly and mushrooms served on a lettuce leaf and steamed rice with a complimentary fried egg on top. Joy opted for grilled fish (we think the term for general unidentifiable ‘fish’ we will use from now on is ‘Ocean Fish’) corn on the cob and rice. The plan was to go back to the room and snooze ‘til about 7pm before heading out to see some sights by night but Richard’s alarm didn’t go off so we actually woke up at 2am. It’s hard not to be relieved we finally got some decent sleep in a horizontal position so the plan now is to be ready for breakfast as soon as they open at 7.30 and make a full day of it, zoos, mountains, harbours, towers, Singapore slings – the works!