Onwards to Colombo

~10pm December 1, 2004 Gate F42 Changi Airport waiting for SQ402 to Colombo

When we last left our hero all seemed to be going swimmingly well. AirAsia was going on time, all his luggage was packed in such a fashion where all he had to do would be to stuff the clothes left at Chris and Lisa’s in Singapore and away he would go. A fast turn around.

That would have been perfect. But if you’ve persevered in reading this journal let us not forget that the gods like to punish, or at the very least “play” with, Dups. Would today be an exeption? Let’s pick up the story…

So I came out of Singapore immigration (did I mention they provide sweets while you wait to get your passport stamped? I love Changi Airport) grabbed my luggage and waited outside for Lisa to be finished work. Meanwhile I talked with Mum and Auntie in S’pore. Mum wants me to pick up a washing machine in the Colombo Duty Free. Um, yes, a clothes washing machine. I could just imagine me going through customs…

“Do you have anything to declare?”
“Umm nothing, two bags and errr… this large washer…”
“Oh, that’s fine, is it fully automatic or manual?”

Exactly how was I supposed to fit this monster into the car? No matter, mum wants it, mum get’s it!

Finally Lisa is off work and I arrive at Chris and Lisa’s. In a sign of the day, I leave this journal in the taxi. The good taxi driver gives it to the gatekeeper who promptly hands it over to Lisa on her arrival a few mins later. Sigh — what is wrong with me?

Quickly I start packing things into my backpack — the idea is to run to the airport, check it all in and enjoy the evening without worrying about the hassle. As I pack everything in, I notice a package attached to the side. I lift it out and to my amazement it’s a kotex tampon. WTF? The first thought through my mind is “that rat bastard Chris put it there!” and then I decide with Lisa that I should recheck my backpack — lo and behold, this isn’t my backpack.

I had been the last to get off the flight and had been slowest through immigration etc. So when I reached the baggage claim, pretty much all that had been left was my MEC backpack and Chris’ pack he had given me to take. But no, this identical pack belonged to a Carol Wong of West Vancouver! What were the chances, I mean really? Two MEC green Brio Packs on an AirAsia flight from Phuket to Singapore.

Regardless, I feverishly called Changi Airport and was told to bring the pack into lost and found. I also called the phone number on the baggage tag and talked to Carol’s sister. I wasn’t about to trust Airport baggage handlers — not with 6 hours left to my flight to Colombo.

But I had nothing to fear. Carol had realized the mistake as well and had just moments before I arrived returned my backpack. Thank goodness! A disaster averted. I would have liked to meet Carol Wong — what an odd coincidence to happen. Thankfully it ended well for both of us!

I quickly checked in, called Lisa and made plans to have supper at Chat Masala, an Indian restaurant with Lisa and Keli.

Before I close off this journal entry, one more note about Changi Airport and Singapore! LAX has a lot (and I mean a LOT) to learn from Changi. Every person I met today was friendly, courteous and eager to help. The facilities are great, people fantastic, and well, what more can I say. The rest of the word’s airports lag behind Changi.

Anyway, here I sit on my way to Colombo, vacation is done — time for weddings and family! (Oh not to mention that darned washing machine).


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