Not down, as such (nobody panic!!), but we’ve just stepped outta the airport on the first stop of le trip. Singapore is hot and sticky and the air smells sweet and the trees are luscious and green and everything seems perfectly manicured and tidy. And WARM!!
We flew here on a great big DOUBLE DECKER plane. And yet, despite the ginormous size and illusions of grandeur, I was still cramped and uncomfortable and squashed. We were sitting right near the kitchen (is that the galley? I feel like it is… if we were on a ye olde fashioned airship I would know these things, but the new Qantas Airbus is a whole other kettle of fish), so the majority of the flight was filled with weird smells, loud talking from the stewards (one seemingly uptight steward announced, quite boldly “I was a bit drunk, wasn’t I? I had quite a bit to drink before I got there. Actually, I was spastic” – it’s strange hearing a flight attendant talk like that), and a particularly unpleasant man who requested cans of beer every 30 minutes or so. Gotta pass the time somehow, I guess… As each beer was imbibed, he got friendlier and friendlier with the staff, until it got to the point where he was told the bar was locked and no more alcohol was being served.
My inflight entertainment (in addition to the drunk fella a few rows ahead) was a WHO Weekly (not actually particularly entertaining), 8 episodes of The Office, 2 episodes of Glee (kill me), and half a game of Scrabble with Rich.
This is my first big trip. I’ve been away before – with Rich and on my own – but this is the biggest adventure. With the most stops. And for the longest time. Seeing sights. Trying new things. Saying yes more often. I feel like I’ve been pretty calm in the leadup to all of this, but for the past few days my stomach has felt like it’s had an avocado tree growing inside it. It started with a heavy stone-like feeling in the pit of my guts (not indigestion…), and then the roots started to spread into my legs and branches into my heart and chest and head, and this morning, as I put the finishing touches on my packing and organising I felt as though I could faint or be sick.
It’s a weird thing though. As soon as we were on the plane, that little plant of anxiety vanished and things feel fine again. I’m sure it’ll return on the eve and morning of each leg of this trip, but it amazes me that it was so quick to disappear.
The first night of our world tour is in a funny hotel in Changi with a pool on the roof and a bar that sells no beer. We are sitting in our room listening to Aloe Black, drinking room service Tiger beers, and we are in single beds. A tres romantic start to our trip! There is a window from the bedroom looking into the bathroom – also very romantic. What could be better than gazing lovingly at your fella/woozer while they brush their teeth or clean their ears, or…. (I won’t say it – let’s keep things nice!).
Tomorrow we’re booked on a ferry to Bintan. I plan on drinking a cocktail from a pineapple (a coconut will also do) every day we’re there, and defrosting my Melbourne winter bones in the Indonesian sun.