Our holiday started with the usual beginnings of any international flight – the initial chaos of checking in, immigration and security. Surprisingly, this time it went smoothly except for a whole terminal evacuation as we arrived at the airport. Someone or something had set off the fire alarm and as we arrived, staff, customs and passengers were all in the car park gathered under what bits of shade they could find in the 30 degree temperature. 45 minutes later after the crowd had started to get restless we were finally allowed back into the terminal.
Luckily we had arrived earlier than required so our flight check-in wasn’t impacted and it went surprisingly well. After a quick bite to eat while we filled out the departure cards, we made the journey through to immigration. With the recent upgrade to the Perth International Airport, clearing immigration is all done automatically by scanning your passport and staring into the camera – first time I’ve ever cleared immigration in under a minute. A quick visit to the TRS counter to get the GST back from our recent phone purchases (a little known benefit when you travel overseas) and we were through to security. Another surprising quick process (mainly as they opened a new lane just as it was our turn) saw us into the departure lounge with heaps of time to spare. Enough time for a coffee, beer & wine! (not at the same time I might add).
Boarding went smoothly with minimal line-up and wait and we pushed back just a few minutes behind schedule. The flight was mostly uneventful until we approached Singapore where there was thunderstorms around, with lightning coming close to the plane much to Harrison’s concern. We landed 10 minutes late due to air traffic control sequencing (PC phrase for doing circuits in the sky) and disembarked and at customs before we knew it. With the usual dilemma of which line to choose, after the 3rd change we nailed the right line and cleared customs within 10 minutes. Our bags took about 30 minutes to arrive on the carousel, the only real part of the journey that was frustrating. (Edit – we later found out that bags can be delayed arriving at the carousel when there is lightning around).
After a short wait for a taxi, which I used to put the Singapore SIM in my phone (we got 2 tourist SIMs that share the same plan for $45 with 20GB of data), we were off along the expressway to the apartment, Forest by Wangz. After checking in it wasn’t long before we’d showered, done our teeth and off to bed.
We’ve just had breakfast at the little cafe on the bottom floor (included in our apartment charge) and are now getting ready to start the day, though we have to wait until 10am when Singapore starts to wake up. Nothing gets going till at least 10am, with some shops not opening till 11am.