lundi, août 31, 2009

Back in Action

Dressed for the "South Pole" in full summer

The kids started playing the minute they were home. They've missed their toys.

I had been without internet for 2 months. I was home for that long too but that didn't stop me from feeling sad as I was taking off at Changi airport 2 nights ago. Reaching Italy, I felt kind of surreal, trying to pin down what it was like being in Singapore one moment and then back in Europe the next - but that eluded me.

If I didn't have those 5 luggages (super over-loaded, had to carry one with me on the plane - and got into some trouble as I had a kid's cutlery set inside) and an amazing bouquet of curry, laksa and lime leaves from my aunt's garden in front of me, I could almost forget that I've been to Singapore. But of course each time I weigh myself, it would be difficult denying that I've passed through Asia, all those roast duck noodles and seafood horfun have left the blood stream and settled down in the cellulite - probably for good if I do not do something about it.

I am a little perplexed as to why I couldn't seem to "feel" what it was like to be in Singapore just a few days before. It is like I'm capable only of living the present and condamned to figuring out my past, as in "did it happen or did it not?" When I was younger I dreamt of moving from one country to another; now, I am cursed with occasional images of people I've met, places I've been to, things I've eaten...and a need to wonder about what is happening to everything and everybody all the time. I am going crazy...

The flight had been quite smooth. If only I could say the same about most of the KLM air hostesses' faces. On my 1st trip to Europe 17 years ago, I flew with KLM. I thought that those ladies were archaic then. Thay haven't aged, if you wish.

I do not (totally) agree with SIA's policy of only hiring slim and young women; but when you're flying with them, it is pleasant to have beauty and grace in front of you and a few smiles. Those ladies on my KLM flight hardly smiled and I swear the one serving my aisle actually frowned when I couldn't decide quickly enough whether I wanted orange juice or water. When Baby Boy said he wanted a 2nd glass of Apple juice, I begged him to forget it as I couldn't find the courage to ring for her. I almost threw him out of the plane when he started crying because she served his Child's meal to Eldest Son (the brothers exchanged seats) and the teenager actually ate it.

But the inflight entertainment was quite good (compared to zero on Lufthansa) and the lamb with mashed potatoes on the SIN-AMS leg was even quite yummy. But the best must be the sandwiches between AMS and BOL, I ate up mine plus those rejected by the children. And I normally dislike sandwiches. Dutch bread is good as is their caramel biscuit.

However, I agree with Shirlina that I may wish to reconsider flying with KLM again - because immigration at Schipol could be a pain. I entered Europe with my Singapore passport and my 3 kids' French ones - and they stopped me, wanting to check the authenticity of my Italian identification pass. With a Singapore passport I wouldn't need a visa anyway and with 3 European children I would hardly be material for clandestinity, don't you think so? They should be begging me to take up European citizenship. I was asked to wait in a queue comprising only of coloured people - from Indonesia, Nigeria etc. Took the opportunity to brush up my Malay with the poor guys and made the most of looking thoroughly bored each time the immigration officer looked my way. Comforted myself that if they were smarter they wouldn't be immigration officers.

The house had been invaded by crickets (they literally jump out when you open doors and cupboards), flies, spiders and their webs. Wasps had colonised the parasol outside. The cleaning lady had for some reason known only to herself moved half of our shoes to the guest room the last time she was here (cleaning after for Hub). There is dust everywhere. Half a dead pigeon and all of its feathers remained outside our door. Don't you think the owners ought to pay us to stay in the house instead?

School starts for the kids in a few days and we're set for one birthday party even before it does. I am so very far behind with my blogging and I'm already back to planning and cooking meals. Did I really go to Singapore? To Penang, Saigon and Bintan Island? I must surely have. Miss my parents already. Nobody to wash and iron my clothes and buy me breakfast...

7 commentaires:

rinaz a dit…

Aww ... I am sure that you will be back to Singapore again!

By the way in case you were wondering who this stranger is, commenting on your blog, I think that it was Clare recommending it :-)

About your trip with KLM, I dont really have such experience with them, all the while, they were pretty alright - I suppose that we had very different stewardess.

The studio shots look very lovely by the way :-)

Beau Lotus a dit…

Hi Rinaz, thanks for visiting. I couldn't figure out which Claire all of the sudden though...

Hope you're having a good time at Rome - we've yet to find time to visit the city and we really ought to I know.

rinaz a dit…

Or it could either be Elaine who's living in Turin. I'm not too good at remembering things ...

And yes, I'm getting used to the life in Rome slowly. It was really tough at first though, being in a country where you dont speak the language and practically dont know anyone.

Anonyme a dit…

Lotus

Finally u are back in Italy! Waiting for yr updates for so long. Glad you had a good time back home!

I was wondering why you did not sign up for a Star Alliance frequent flyer program eg on Lufthansa? Its called Miles & More. With a family of 5 flying you can easily accrue miles and redeem them for a free adult or child's flight very easily.

You can also opt to fly SIA, Thai Airways and gain Lufthansa's miles. As long as u have Lufthansa Miles & More card, all your miles flown on Star Alliance partners will be credited to Lufthansa.

Lufthansa is the best for awarding generous miles. Do NOT sign up for SIA's Krisflyer miles which is NOT generous at all.

Hope to comment soon on yr post on Spore musings -sociopolitical commentary. I always look forward to yr sociopolitical pieces. No time now.

Beau Lotus a dit…

Anon, now that you mentioned it, Krisflyer does seem very stingy because instead of signing up with Lufthansa I signed everyone up with KF and we never got any miles because they expire faster than fireflies. Hub is with Lufthansa and he still has his miles...

But so lazy plus dunno how to switch.

Huh my musings are just that, out of politics for sooo long, I'm becoming apathetic.

Anonyme a dit…

Then no need to switch from SQ Krisflyer since yr husband has Lufthansa (LH) Miles & More.

So, you use his LH to book SQ or Thai flights from Milan which is closer to you than traveling all the way around Europe.

So even if you want to take Thai Airways, you can use Milan as your arrival/departure point as Thai Airways also flies there but then will involve a change of planes in Bangkok. Personally, I feel Thai has better seat pitch of 36 inches compared to SQ & LH. Also the Thai meals are tastier & plentiful than SQ. The Thais stewardess are also very gracious as is typical of Thais. They do offer very good deals from both Europe & Spore. Have taken them in 2007 Spore-Munich-Spore via BKK and they are punctual.

Beau Lotus a dit…

Actually we avoid travelling to and from Milan as it's still at least 2 hours away. Hub has missed his flights a few times trying to get there and being stuck in traffic jams. So we usually choose to fly round (transit in) Europe from Bologna which is nearer.