Changi in Transit

Do people blog about airports when they travel? Airports are places too, even if you are technically “in transit” and have not entered the country. I think eleven hours (was it more?) in Terminal 3 at Singapore’s Changi airport certainly counts as visiting a place. I’m cheating a bit, really, because it’s been three weeks since I passed through Changi. Thinking back, it seems like a distant world and not a five-hour flight away from Perth.

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So what do I remember? I have a lot of firsts here – my first butterfly garden. Click. Click. My first airport sculptures – click. My first koi fish pond – click. My first piano recital at an airport – forgot to click. My first food court meal – absolutely not worth clicking. My first Chinese New Year horoscope display – everyone else is clicking, so why the heck should I?

After deciding that I’ve exercised my flight-swollen feet enough, I head for my windowless room in the Transit Hotel, with its exhibitionist (glass-walled) bathroom. Not that I mind really, the service is great. I can make my own tea and it’s blessedly quiet. Much fumbling with the automatic timer…click. Now I feel like a tourist. Eventually I check out and head for the departure gates. Annoyingly, the free Internet terminals are set to access Facebook and I want to use GoogleTalk to chat with family. After exchanging my passport details for wireless access, I sit with my laptop and give a running commentary of what’s happening around me.

Weird and wonderful in an Indian airport usually means the passengers – or worse still the many shapes and sizes of their luggage. Okay, so I’m not very understanding of People Who Can’t Travel Light. Everyone in Changi seems to be sporting a laptop or a backpack. Boringly efficient, but I approve. One lady is standing by a wall that has an art installation quite similar to something I’ve seen on the wall of a lecture hall in Perth’s Curtin University. Final click. It’s time to board my flight to Australia.

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