Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 1: Christchurch to Singapore

Our plane ready for action on the Christchurch apron
Our departure from the autumnal chills of New Zealand went off with only minor mishaps. Michi had left behind our itinerary and schedule but quick thinking and even quicker response from our driver Nick meant we could relax. Travelling on Singapore Airlines, I was impressed by the plushness of the cabin space. While an aircraft cabin is as far from the most desirable place to be, good leg room and extensive inflight entertainment system quelled my desire to get up and jump about. It was quite a surprise when the pilot interrupted Charlie Wilson’s war to report with ear bleeding volume that we had begun our descent.

Our entry to Singapore was probably the easiest I’ve had to endure, the authorities putting our boxed bikes in the too hard basket and waving us through, a response seemingly at odds with their policy ‘death penalties for drug smugglers’ printed in red ink on the entry card.

Michi smiles through the travelling personal space violation that is the MRT
Boarding the MRT for downtown began as a quiet affair with only a dribble of airport commuters, but by the time we had reached the main line we were crammed in like sardines, our personal bubbles clearly violated by the sheer volume of Singaporeans. Their chagrin was evident as our bikes occupied the same space as approximately 6 metric persons, but we played the ignorant tourist card and felt their glares go right through us.

While Ollie zones out...
Up till now we had the pleasure of air conditioned carriages and buildings, but on departing the train we were flooded by the full sweaty reality of Singapore’s equatorial position. With no maps we set about lugging our bikes around the streets, eventually arriving at our hostel (complete with air conditioning) an hour and a bit later.

A quick shower and straight to bed, the cumulative effects of man flu, our slow roasting walk and jet lag taking their toll.

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