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16 Days in Singapore (Part 1)

The Flight Home

Our flight back to Singapore was the worst.

We arrived at Sydney Airport four hours ahead of time because there were a bunch of documents required to fly and people are generally not prepared for it (At least that's what we hear). Since we arrived so early, we cleared customs pretty quickly leaving us another three or so hours to kill.

Sydney Airport is pretty sad. Not many shops to start and most of them were closed probably due to Covid and the reduced number of people at the airport. Three hours is hard to pass by especially when you have two shops to visit and just a McDonald's which I ate too much of.

At the one hour mark, we made our way to the boarding gate which was completely packed. Found a seat beside the loudest talking, extroverted woman who kept going on and on about random things with some guy who were both not wearing a mask. We decided to move away from them because 1. Annoyingly loud; and 2. No mask.

And then we heard the announcement that our flight was going to be delayed. 30 minutes passed and they made another announcement that they would need more time bringing the total delay to 1.5 hours.

So after 5.5 hours of waiting at the airport, we finally managed to board our packed flight. While we were settling into our seats, the extremely extroverted woman from the gate ended up sitting directly behind us. It would have been fine if she was sitting alone because there would be nobody for her to chat with but no, another Aussie lady ended up sitting beside her and they struck up a conversation that just went on and on after the flight took off.

We then noticed the Aussie people in front of us were also chatty and loud so it was Dolby surround of Aussie chatter after 5.5 hours of miserable waiting at the airport. Kill. Me. Now.

By the end of the flight, we both knew the basic stuff about the four Dolby surround sound women. One lived in Pyrmont, one was transiting in Singapore, one had the same return flight to Sydney as the other lady.

Also, with the packed flight, there were at least three crying babies within our section of the plane. I did not sleep at all.

Because of the flight delay, when we landed in Singapore after seven eternally long hours, the flight crew announced which passengers could disembark first so they could make their connecting flight.

Turns out Singapore is a major transit hub which explains why the plane was so packed so the stewardess announced at least eight or nine different destinations for passengers to disembark. Passengers were so pressed for time to make their connecting flight some of them literally ran off the plane with their luggage in tow.

And the extreme extroverted loud lady behind us was so extroverted that she couldn't help herself by attempting to strike up a conversation with Sarah. Thankfully Sarah didn't quite entertain her because we were kinda worn out by everything.

By the time all transiting passengers had disembarked, there were only 10 or so Singaporeans left on the flight as our final destination. Majulah!

We were back!

Welcome Home by the Government

After picking up our checked baggage, we had to take the mandatory PCR test which with Singapore efficiency was done in less than 10 minutes. Pretty impressive set up with 50 or 60 testing booths and people working round the clock.

Man, the airport PCR was by far the worst. The guy administering it was just functioning like a robot:

Robot Guy: Have you done a PCR swab before?

Me: Too many times. Haha

Robot Guy: Open your mouth.

* Jams the swab in and I gag *

Robot Guy: Tilt your head back.

* Jams swab in nose. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 * (In Sarah's counting voice if she's told you this story before)

* Other side. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. *

By the time he was done, my eyes were flooded. Welcome home Gabe.

Home at Last

After our welcome home by the government, we went to the pick up zone to wait for Dad to come and get us. We were scheduled to land closer to 10PM but because of the delay, we ended up only getting out just before midnight.

While waiting for our ride, we saw this family literally give their kids a spray down with Febreeze. The kids had to have their arms up while their mum sprayed them down and even sprayed down the luggage. I'm pretty sure that family is the type that would probably burn their kid's clothes when they get home. Not sure Febreeze is effective against Covid but whatever gives them peace of mind.

Customary hugs from Dad when he arrived. Nothing too dramatic, no tears. Luggage loaded and we were heading home.

On the drive back, I was probably more excited to see Lexus than family. When we got off the elevator, we ditched our luggage at the lift landing so we could film Lexus' reaction.

The last time I came home after being away for three months, Lexus just pawed me with a "Hey, cool you're back" and ran off to do other random things.

This time was a little different with both of us. He was definitely happy to see us but not the pass out on the floor reaction you see on YouTube when dogs get reunited with returning military personnel.

We're home!

Before our flight, we told Dad to pick up some Satay for us thinking we would be home by 11PM for supper. Also because we've not eaten a stick of Satay in the 7 months we were in Sydney. Australian Satay is like $3 per stick or some crazy price that we never tried.

It was 12:45am now because of all the flight delays and procedures so Sarah was not interested in the Satay. I felt 50% bad for Dad going out to get the Satay and 50% wanting to eat the Satay so I got down to business and had like 30, 35 sticks in one sitting at 1AM.

Immediately the first poor decision of our trip because I was so stuffed and by the time I had washed up, it was almost 2AM but I was too full to sleep. Ugh.

Stomach and hearts full. We couldn't have asked for a better start to the next 16 days back home.

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