Today all we had to do was make it to the airport at some point for our 7 hour flight from Singapore to Brisbane. We spent the morning with Tawfiq (Rubaina had to be at work at 6.30, so we had said goodbye the night before) and we took the bus to Orchard Road where our plan was to hang out at a café before he had to head into work. Arriving at Orchard Road, we realized that none of us are really café people so we walked over to Little India instead for lunch at a Bangladeshi restaurant.
We stepped inside just as some rain started and sat down. Tawfiq walked us through the dozens of items available but we have learned to just let him order so that’s what we did. Lynn and I sat down and poured some waters while Tawfiq began shuttling plates to our table from the counter. We had said to just order a little bit because it was only 10.30 and we weren’t very hungry yet. He claims he followed our request but what ended up on our table was a feast, certainly larger than three people should be eating. There were two types of fish curry, a beef stew, dal, two types of rice, spinach, and eggplant. It was all delicious and we appreciated the spices, though not necessarily how salty some of it was.
After we finished it was still raining outside so we sat and chatted until noon when we decided he really did need to get to work today and it was time for us to get to the airport. We ran outside through the rain, staying under awnings whenever possible to stay dry, until we made it to the MRT station. We rode a few stops with Tawfiq before he split off to head to work and we continued on to the airport. We were very grateful for their hospitality (for now the second time) and it was a little sad to say goodbye to our friends. Though who knows, maybe we’ll be back in a week again for some unforeseen reason.
We made it to the airport just fine and we both again lamented the lack of good public transportation in Austin. We checked in and had about an hour to kill before boarding began. We spent it walking the length of Terminal 1, stopping for a free “massage” in one of those electric chair massagers. I maintain it was more of a torture device because it was quite painful, even after reducing the pressure all the way. Lynn seemed to not mind, maybe my feet were two big for it. We spent the last of our Singapore dollars on some ice cream from a restaurant called Texas Chicken which had a logo very similar to what we know as Church’s.
An hour before our flight we began boarding our plan and let me tell you, if you have never flown Emirates you should try to. The seats were quite large, though maybe that’s because we’ve been flying budget airlines for the past two months. They also had free WiFi on-board and free cell phone service! They had full 14”displays with over 500 movies available and power and USB outlets available. The food was delicious and we both indulged in the free wine as well. The flight was not very full so we had room to stretch out as well, but we spent most of it watching Man Up, Mr. Holmes, Avengers – Age of Ultron before Doug found his favorite thing to watch on planes, the Showtime series Episodes, and Lynn watched a British Agatha Christie mini-series of course. As the sun set outside the plane the interior ceiling lit up with LED stars and at one point a stewardess came through and took polaroid pictures of all the couples.
We landed just before midnight in Brisbane, a little sad that our very joyful Emirates experience was over. Our first Australian experience was their incredibly efficient and all electronic customs process. If you have an electronic passport (which the US does) than you scan in your passport and pose for a picture and just head on in with no one looking at your passport or (sadly) no one stamping it.
We gathered our bags, Lynn declared her cashews and dried mangos because Australia is for real with bringing in food, and we headed into the Arrivals hall. Here we had a decision to make. We had only 4 hours until we need to check in in the morning for our flight to Cairns so w
e had elected to sleep in the Airport. But where was the best place to sleep. Luckily the information services desk was very helpful and recommended a nice spot out of the way with some couches in the corner. We headed over and found a few other people with apparently similar plans and laid claim to two couches. They were a little small and we had to move them at one point for the carpet cleaners but as far as airport sleeping goes it wasn’t the worst. So we locked all of our luggage together, at least hoping to deter in would be thieves, and settled down for the night with our blankets we had stolen from our Emirates flight. We fell asleep to the sounds of Christmas music playing in the terminal and two very excited boys on one of the neighboring couches who were keen on a lot of 2 am gymnastics.
Daily Walking Miles : 5.6 miles
- Bangladeshi food is delicious but none of the dishes have names. They’re just called “beef” and apparently everyone knows that means beef curry. Tawfiq has promised to send us recipes – and we’re holding you to that Tawfiq.
- We are both amazed that U.S. airline companies are still in business. Any Asian airline makes them seem like a crowded public bus that smells like pee by comparison. Our recipe for improving airlines includes: actually letting us use our miles to purchase flights, offering free meals regardless of flight length, offering in seat entertainment on even shorter flights (I’m especially looking at you American with your old CRT TV’s), and free checked bags.
- Lynn doubts we are in Australia because we have yet to see a kangaroo in the few hours we have been here.
- We are now the furthest south Lynn has ever been, and once again in springtime!