Flight to Singapore via Dubai
08.09.2010 - 09.09.2010 29 °C
So, after months of waiting, we've finally set off on our travels!
After several last minute panics about things we should have/shouldn't have, had forgotten, might have forgotten, etc, (admittedly mostly on Susie's part) we left yesterday (8th Sept) from Johns house to head down to Gatwick. We arrived a rather excessive 4 hours before the flight was due to take off, only to be told that there was a further 1 1/2 hour delay, meaning we had 5 HOURS to wait. As if we weren't spending enough time on this journey already! After some wandering aimlessly around Gatwick (playing air hockey on an ipad while listening to Dubstep in Dixons, racing the toys in Hamleys, Rockin' Rabbit totally beat Pudgey Pig) and some travel scrabble playing, we finally boarded our plane and set off to Dubai. An uneventful (and unfortunately unsleep-ful - we were too distracted by the cool camera on the plane that shows you the pilots view and the view from under the wing!) 7 hour flight later, we landed in Dubai (where it's Rammadan so we couldn't eat or drink anything), with 20 minutes until we had to be ready to board out next flight. Cue a few minutes of getting cross at people not getting off the plane fast enough, and then a quick march through the airport. Fortunately we were there in time, only to them find there was a delay as they were still loading luggage onto the plane (ours perhaps?!?). We set off, only 30mins late this time and had another fortunately uneventful flight to Singapore (watching several Disney films and episodes of Outnumbered on the way).
We arrived here at 9:30pm Singapore time, and it was still 29oC!!! We got our luggage, almost a miracle given the transfer! (although John did have to climb on the conveyor belt to get his since the whole thing had jammed. Cue 6 Singaporean porters scrambling up the luggage chute to unblock it while a random member of the public helped throw bags down the hatch....British health and safety would have had a fit!) Then we got onto the MRT (metro) to take us to the centre. The metro was fast and clean with big signs up saying $500 fine for eating or drinking or bringing flammable liquids on?!?! Also you get an oystercard like ticket even for just one journey, which gets dispensed from the machine. Then you get $1 back as a deposit when you reinsert the ticket after your journey. TFL could learn a thing or two for saving wasted card tickets!
Once we arrived at the rather fragrantly named "Lavender Station" we set off for our hostel. After only getting slightly lost on the way (which was nothing to do with Susie's map reading skills), we walked to our hostel. It's pretty nice, and the staff member on duty, Geoff, greeted us by name and is very friendly. At only £8 each a night, its not quite the Raffles, but it'll do us!
We headed out to get food, from a Chinese fast food place down the road, interestingly named "Beach Street Scissor Cafe" that had a massive queue of locals out of the door, so you know it has to be good, even if their unique selling point is that they chop all the meat with scissors for you as you order it! (John thought it was a sign for a hairdressers when we first saw it!) We had very tasty rice with various different curry sauces and meats and veg on, with a drink, for the grand total of £3 each! After dinner, we wandered round the area we're staying in, known as Little India. It's seems like a really safe and friendly area, but so SO busy! By this time it was gone midnight and everywhere was still packed, with loads of people everywhere! We accidentally found our way into a MASSIVE department store called the Mustafa Centre, which had hundreds of everything, and we really do mean everything - rice cookers to shoes to vegetables to suitcases to fridges to toiletries. For future reference, there's no point buying anything before you come - I think we could have bought everything in our bags from this one shop - including the bags themselves!
Tomorrow we're going to wander round some more - familiarise ourselves with Singapore a bit. We might meet up with a friend of John's from school who lives here too.
For now it's off to bed, so night night, or day day, or whatever. Our bodies have no idea what time it is!