Tuesday, August 14, 2007

number seven

I completely missed her birthday, since I spent it
along with hundreds and hundreds
of other Singaporeans

out of the country.

Which is apt, since this final piece is all about transits and transitions.

I pay tribute to one of singapore's favourite icon, The Changi Airport

The love hate relationship we have with our biggest airport is symbolic of our love hate relationship with Singapore. Singaporeans love the new things; we love the shiny and the bling and whatever is on the hot list of some magazine editor.

Changi is off that category by a mile.
A little old, a little aged here and there. Not quite elderly enough to fit into the current retro love affair sweeping the country (that award goes squarely to chinatown and kampung glam).
But not quite a spring chicken that she does need a nip and tuck reno these past few years.

All her parts still work perfectly. but still that botox injection of a new Budget Terminal and a Terminal 3 shows that the old girl is up and fighting to court new business from air travellers now starting to flirt with the new chicks on the block like KLIA, Suvarnabhumi.

Why do I love Changi so?

This comingDdecember holidays will see record numbers of Singaporean leaving for holidays all over the world. While they will be more than happy to leave this stress filled island, Changi does it for them in the most stress free manner possible. Changi has one of the best departure halls in the world. Great facilities. Wide berth toilets. Internet access everywhere. Good kopi catering to all price classes. Comfy chairs. Even the smoking area does not stink of smoke. Compare and contrast with (god forbid) heathrow.

Changi ensures Singaporeans leave in peace, not in pieces.

But do we come back? Of cos we do. and Changi pulls out all the stops to welcome us back.

Everytime I fly back to Singapore, I insist on a window seat. As the plane approaches Singapore, and the pilot does a sweep turn to Changi. I peer down my cheap economy window seat, down into the sea, and I see the rows of ships parked just off east coast beach, the lights of hdb flats of Tampines, Bedok and Simei twinkling in the night. This sea of lights replacing the dark sea thats been the view for the past hours cramped in seats too small for dignity.

I love it, this view that changi brings to the airplane audience. It still does bring a lump in the throat at this light show.

We might bitch and moan and complain about her stolid ways. but still. Singapore, she still knows a thing or two about the right buttons to push

Its so fashionable to be cynical and blase when writing/blogging on the internet, but I'm not afraid to say this

Singapore is a keeper

I'm a day late
but still
happy birthday, babe

i heart singapore