Free at Last, Free at Last!!! Though not that happy.
One last stroll on the Lido aft deck.
We arrived Singapore on the 15th of February around 7 Am and soon were on our way to Changing Airport.
Before I get to my “travel” story, I want to share some pictures of this beautiful and massive complex of terminals and shops, especially this “Butterfly Garden”:
This enclosure inside the main terminal is completely suited to an environment for hundreds of live butterflies. Feeding on ….
…. and fresh cut pineapple and watermelon slices (not shown)
…. live planting arrangements decorate the massive hallways that lead to boarding gates.
The Boeing 777W was our magic carpet home – 4 hours, Singapore to Taipei, and 10 hours, Taipei to Seattle, in Premium Economy Comfort ….
…. Barbara was watching her first movie on an airplane, can you guess the name and filming location? (Answer in the Footnotes.)
Notice the amount of space between her and the seat in front. Sitting upright I could just touch the seat back. We are spoiled with Premium seating and it’s many perks.
Now for my “travel” story ( I will use a couple of self originated acronyms – see footnotes)
Holland America had contracted with a private transportation company to transfer those guests flying out of Changi from the cruise terminal to the drop off point, with access to the modern Skytrain people mover, very similar to the underground system at SeaTac.
Our escorts name was Jackie, and her sole function was to make sure we got there with all our bags. Jackie was not an employee of HAL, therefore did not have to “kowtow” to those suffering with “CSES”! Upon our arrival a person with an extreme case of CSES, did not want to be dropped off at this point, but she demanded on being dropped off in front of her check-in counter, because she was “unable to walk”. After a lot of wasted dialog with this person, Jackie responded (in a very forceful tone) something to the effect; ” Madame, you have a choice, you can get off here with your luggage and take the Skytrain or you can ride back to the cruise terminal!” Case closed! At that point we disembarked, loaded our luggage on to the “free” carts and started our long walk to the EVA check-in counter.
Stopping at the first “rest stop”, we emerged to see the person with CSES, walking along pushing the luggage cart. Here I will use another acronym “WWLBHS!”.
Continuing …. when we disembarked our magic carpet at Taipei, our departure gate was approximately a mile away, up one elevator, down one elevator, to our C4 departure gate. Since we had about three hours to wait, we settled in. IT soon became apparent, that we not only had Typhoid Mary behind us (seems like there are two or three in every confined space – buses, trains and planes) as well as an Asian family “reunion” with everyone talking at once. So I decided to move us to a more quite spot. Enter CSES # two!
In a quiet area there were four seats reserved for persons with handicaps, and four for those without reserved signs. Two of theses seats were vacant so I got Barbara and we moved, when we arrived, #2 informed us that they were intending to use those two vacant seats to “lay down”, strange since there were armrests there. When I inquired of # 2 that there were other seats available to lay down in, #2 responded “Well I was brought here in a wheel chair and this is where they put me, and they will bring me a wheelchair when it is time to embark” – companion to #2 was silent! “And it is very rude of YOU (me) to suggest otherwise”. Then #2 started playing videos and music on their iPhone! When I asked #2 to turn it down, the response was something to the effect, NO,hopefully it will make YOU move. WWLBHS, I just broke out my noise cancelling headset, and waited till their battery went dead – Karma is a bitch!
As the evening progressed a miracle occurred; #2’s ability to walk was restored and wheel chair never showed up! ! Two miracles in one day!
Arriving at SeaTac, I am always thrilled to see “Welcome to the United States of America” banner upon entering the passport control area. Processing was expeditious, now on to pickup luggage and run it through customs and border inspection. However, the after some time trying to spot our luggage, the area looked more like a cargo terminal receiving area, as many folks from Asian countries fly with large boxes of “stuff” along with or as their suitcases.
Well, that task complete, the rest of our day/evening went just “swell”. After dinner at Dennys, we retired of “part of the night” until 2 AM for me.
Pickup by Rocket will be this morning at 10AM, hopefully the weather (snow) holds off till we get HOME!!!
Can you guess the gender of #1 and #2?
OH, ya, footnotes:
#1 Crazy Rich Asians – a great movie with a lot of the scenes filmed in Singapore.
#2 CSES – Cruise Ship Entitlement Syndrome- An affliction that manifests itself in rude, crude and uncivilized behavior toward staff and crew, because, heaven forbid, this person might write a bad review! (Kowtow is heavily played here)
#3 WWLBHS! – “What would Larry Burton have said!” You May have read a couple of Larry’s comments toward the end of these postings. Larry and Ruth (my coffee buddy) sailed with us from Sydney to Singapore, and we became very good friends. Larry told so many stories about his encounters with rude and uncivilized behavior (or as Larry would say STUPID), sometimes prompting Ruth to say “PG13 language please.
It’s GREAT to be back in the Pacific Northwest!!!!
Until our next cruise and adventure – farewell