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7 September 2003

They say it's a small world after all, but try to travel from one part of it to the opposite part and I think you'll feel that it's not such a small world after all.

I am sitting at a terminal in the Singapore Airport, having successfully weathered the first part of the trip. For awhile I thought I was the only person in the airport. Long, long aisles totally devoid of human presence. .

There is a tram to take you to Terminal 1, where the famed Rainforest Lounge is purported to be (I still have't found it), but that's closed (the tram). The moving walkways are closed. It's a loooooonnnnngggg way to terminal one when you're carrying a 10 lb backpack (I haven't found any of those manned stations where you can store your gear. I haven't even found an electronic one which takes Singapore coins. .

So I walked, figuring the exercise was good for me. I'm not sure what the temp is here, but I think they said it was something like 83 degrees coming into Singapore. I dunno, but it's hot enough that as I sit here, sweat is pouring off of me. .

The flight leaving San Francisco was interesting. First, as I walked up to the counter of Singapore air, the clerk looked very concerned as she kept punching in things and finally said it says flight suspended. Swell. .

But it turned out that it was the computers which had gone down and passengers lined up behind me waiting for them to come back up. When they finally came back up again, with some difficulty, she was able to check me in, but couldn't give me a boarding pass from Singapore to Perth. (I may be stuck in Singapore...I feel like Charlie on the MTA.) I'm supposed to pick that up here, but of course, at 2 a.m., there is nobody at the desk.

Next was to go through security, which was no problem until I got to the end and couldn't find my boarding pass, which I'd handed to the security person as I entered. I started to explain that to the guy who was letting me leave, when I realized that my passport was missing too...and then found both of them tucked away in my fanny pack. Sigh. Things were no starting well for this "walkabout."

Finally got on the plane and I was in "steerage." The very last row. It was the only place with 2 seats across instead of 3 and I swear it has less leg room than all the other rows. The guy who was assigned to the seat next to me was one of the most unpleasant people I've come across. Very large (I envisioned a very uncomfortable 12 hours or however long it took us to get here). Didn't even make eye contact. Obviously NOT happy with his seat. IT didn't look good.

Fortunately, the plane was not full, so as soon as all the passengers were loaded, he changed seats, which was lovely because I could spread out and occupy two seats myself.

Service on Singapore cannot be faulted. It has some of the best airline food I've tasted (when I get to Peggy's, I'll post pictures to My Food Log, but as an example for lunch I had Oriental style roast chicken served with plum sauce, my "light meal" was Bulgogi, a Korean style beef dish that was incredible, and then I had sea bass in a tomato sauce, which I only ate part of.

Best part of the flight was flying over Tokyo, which was totally covered with clouds. All you could see was Mt. Fuji sticking up out of the clouds. Really cool!!

I did not get off in Inch'on, Korea. I would have had to bring all my stuff with me and I didn't want to do that for such a brief stop. But when all the passengers (re)loaded in Inch'on, the plane had only ninety people! The entire center section was empty and I thought I could sleep, but it was terribly uncomfortable and more comfortable to lean against the window with an extra pillow.

Speaking of sleep, I haven't had much of it. But I've seen lots of movies. I watched Bruce Almighty and then Whale Rider and then slept thru The Inlaws. After some meal, I watched The Rabbit Fence an Australian film (figured I'd get in the mood).

Now I'm going to explore some more here at te airport, see if I can find that damn rainbow forrest (though I wanted it for internet access and now I don't need it!).

At 9:30 a.m. Singapore/Perth time I will be headed for my final destination. That is, if they decide to let me board the plane. Sigh.

It very definitely is NOT a "small world." Trust me on this!

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