I’m glad I took Thursday off as my first day of vacation because we really needed the time to pack and prepare for our trip. We didn’t get as much cleaning done as we’d wanted to, but Yoshi’s parents (who are staying at our place while we’re gone) should be used to the filth in our house by now.
Our adventure really started from the time that we left the house with our two ginormous suitcases + carry-on bags. We had to meet up with Yoshi’s Dad on the Westside so he could drop us off at LAX. Although we arrived at LAX over 2 hours before our flight was supposed to depart, the line (or queue as they say here in Singapore) was so long that we were one of the last folks to board our flight. Since we still had phone service at LAX, we were still tweeting about people in pig flu masks and huge snaking lines. But the one thing we didn’t have a chance to do was to stop and buy some bottled water after crossing the security lines. This was a big mistake and we’re still paying for that now.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
Thankfully, our first flight was more or less uneventful, even though it took over 13 hours to get from LAX to Taipei. I was overheated for the entire flight and wasn’t drinking enough liquids. Yoshi was cranky and getting swollen feet because we weren’t moving around enough. We were both starting to feel old as our bodies didn’t want to cooperate with the long flight. Nonetheless, we both managed to snooze for a few hours at a time on the plane, while being interrupted for food once or twice. And I watched JULIE & JULIA (or is it JULIA & JULIE?) while Yoshi watched G.I. JOE. And then we both watched UP together (again), as well.
As our flight descended toward Taipei (Taoyuan) International Airport in Taiwan, it was still dark (approximately 5am local time) and Yoshi poked me when the landscape came into view. I can’t believe it has been 12 years since I’ve seen Taiwan. I felt my eyes tear up as I thought of my Dad and Grandparents and pulled myself together. The Taiwan segment of our trip is still days away!
We disembarked from our plane and wandered through and eerily empty terminal to get to our connecting flight which would depart to Singapore about 2 hours later. None of the store or eateries were open this early in the morning and we were miserably thirsty! I wanted so badly to get a bottle of water for myself and a Diet Coke (or anything carbonated) for grumpy Yoshi, but it was not to be. None of the airport businesses would open until 6am! Though my Mom left us with an envelope of Taiwanese currency before she left California, I was bummed that she didn’t leave us any coinage… the stores may not have been open, but I could see vending machines full of soda, water, and juices taunting me from every direction!
Finally, 6am rolled around and the businesses opened shop. I finally was able to break my bills into coins and get some drinks. After hydrating a little, Yoshi and I returned to grab a light “breakfast” of spicy braised beef noodles and xiao long bao at the airport. I don’t know if it was because we were hungry or because all we’d had to eat was airplane food, but we both thought the food was yum. We finished with just enough time to run to the restroom, pick up a gift for our host in Singapore, and jump on the flight… this time, we WERE the last ones on the plane!
The flight from Taiwan to Singapore was another 4 hours. I wanted to read more of I LOVE YOUS ARE FOR WHITE PEOPLE, Lac Su’s book I brought specifically to read on this trip, but I started feeling a little bit of motion sickness so I decided to close my eyes and nap for the flight. I woke up again when the pushy flight attendant made us both wake up, sit up, and take some food. I was still full from our food at the Taiwan airport, so I didn’t eat much. But by the time all this was done, our flight was almost over and I could feel us descend toward Singapore.
Our first time in Singapore!
We were met at baggage claim by our wonderful hosts and were whisked away to their home! After Yoshi and I were able to take much-needed showers, we all headed out for a short ride on the MRT to Orchard Road and one of the ginormous malls there. We went to UNIQLO, hoping to find a billboard of Daniel to send back (they didn’t have the HEATTECH stuff up, so no Daniel pix), wandered around MUJI for a bit, and then the first thing we ate in Singapore was chopped ice cream. I had the sweet corn ice cream in a wafer; Yoshi had mango.
We got in a cab as we finished our ice cream sandwiches and went over to Arab Road to wander around the shops. We all got hungry and decided to go to Little India Arcade where we stuffed ourselves silly at Banana Leaf Apolo. The onset of food coma set in almost instantly– combined with our jet lag, we decided naps were in order.
But of course, back at home– instead of napping, I am blogging. Yoshi made the smart decision to nap but I won’t get to sleep since I just received our phone call letting us know we should be getting up and getting ready to meet up with folks at our next rendezvous point… more to come for Day 1 in Singapore!