the c & b diaspora

From Monday to Tuesday. . .

Posted on: June 20, 2008

So I’m sitting in a terminal at Auckland airport at about five to midnight, and I’m wondering what Colostrum tastes like. I’m guessing you have about two questions already, one beginning with ‘What’ and the other with ‘Why’. I shall share my secret information with you.

The first line of the Wikipedia article on Colostrum is as follows:

“Colostrum (also known as beestings or first milk or “immune milk”) is a form of milk produced by the mammary glands of mammals in late pregnancy and the few days after giving birth.”

Ok, so first question has been dealt with. On to the latter. There was some kind of health store/pharmacy inside the airport that was selling this particular item as a ‘health beverage’. The poster contained a large amount (all of it was, apart from the word ‘Colostrum’.) of what was probably Mandarin or Japanese, so I guessed that it was intended for their eyes only… or mouths. We were about ten minutes out from boarding our flight and I was concerned with scary cow birth milk products rather than the scary life upheaval taking place at the time. Another notable thing discovered on our journey to the aeroplane, a sign for massage chairs, that say ‘Acupuncture Massage Chair $2 for 4 minutes. Caution Do Not Use’. I have a photo that explains the situation. Auckland: Where design and common sense are dead.

The flight. At about this point after writing this much already I am contemplating just writing down the notes I have made in this small book I bought in Singapore verbatim. But I know that I owe you all more than that, plus it will give me something to do since Warcraft hasn’t managed to find it’s way onto this computer yet. I’m blaming Jet Lag.

Singapore Airlines was a pretty good bunch to fly with, given that we got the flights that we wanted. We only flew economy class, since we aren’t particularly wealthy! (I’m still waiting for that fat cheque from Steve Jobs) I hadn’t flown long distance before, so sleeping on an aeroplane was probably going to be a nice challenge for me, given that 1, I usually sleep in a horizontal position, even when in a shower, horribly drunk. And 2, there was a small LCD screen embedded in the back of the headrest in front of me that was filled with all sorts of audio visual goodies. In truth, I was already quite tired so I only ended up watching one movie before trying to sleep. This was probably a mistake. Both in terms of film selection and choice not to sleep. Vantage Point; what the frak is this piece of shit. Basically, Hollywood has gotten so lazy with their ideas that this film consists of the same eight or so minutes of film replayed eight times from different viewpoints. Oh, and here’s the clincher- it involves an assassination attempt on the President of the United States! Golly gosh. Matthew Fox attempts to be someone other than Jack from Lost, Forest Whitaker proves my theory on winners of Best Actor/Actress awards. After you win, the studios get to put you in whatever nest of shit they want.

Then I slept for about five hours and woke up around the time they started to serve what they deemed to be ‘breakfast’.  I ordered the ‘Scrambled Eggs’. Many of you will already know I don’t like scrambled eggs, but I was hungry after I already skipped the Supper that was on offer.  Every time I see food or drink of any kind on an aeroplane I am reminded of Fight Club. So the hash brown that came on my tray of single serve items was really, uh, white. I just ate the sausage shaped object and hoped everything would be okay. Shudder. Then I watched the latest Stephen Chow movie (Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle), CJ-7. To put it very clearly, this was a piece of shit. Had a couple of amusing moments but was a waste of my time. It could have starred Tim Allen and some snot nosed kid and it would have been the same. Hell, it will probably be remade with that exact casting.

The plane landed in Singapore at about 6 in the morning their time (see, seven hours.) I’ll try to accurately describe the airport for you. It is HUGE. The terminal we arrived in was probably about a kilometre long, and completely lined with shops of all kinds. They were mostly high class fashion stores that I wished to burn down. There were also electronics stores, cigar stores, toy stores, et cetera. This was one of three terminals at the airport, and they are all linked by trains that they call ‘Skytrains’. The size was the first thing I noticed, the second thing was how clean this place was. Although I wouldn’t do it, you could probably eat off the floor. Probably the cleanest toilets I have ever seen. The hotel I’m writing this in doesn’t have shit on these, and we are paying some exorbitant rate for this room. One scary thing I did notice was the creepy squatting toilets that were almost just a hole in the floor, that had some kind of shower head attachment inside the cubicle, for cleaning oneself post business. I steered well clear of these, strange, terrifying voids in the toilet. Who knows what may emerge from them.

The airport had been designed to really create a nice environment for those happening to be there, no matter how long they were there for. They had ponds. Ponds with FISH! Totally cool Japanese Koi, all of them would have been at least two feet long. I wanted to take one with me, but Briony explained to me that once you take a fish from water, they die. Another thing I enjoyed was sitting in a lounge, and being surrounded by trees. Trees. In an airport. I felt like one of the crows from Dumbo. I’d seen everything. Or so I thought.

After my gigantic in-flight meal I needed to eat again. More on what was available later, but I’ll be short at this juncture point and say we had Burger King. At 6 in the morning. The fries were pretty average but the burgers themselves were actually pretty good. All of you know I have very rigorous Burger standards. Fun things to note about Burger King at this airport:

  1. When you order something, the cashier will lean forward and repeat what you ordered into a microphone in front of them, LOUDLY.
  2. All meals come as large size. You can upgrade to a 32 ounce cup for 30 cents. That’s 950ml. Gotta love America.
  3. They don’t have regular pig bacon on their burgers, they have turkey bacon.
  4. They have other weird burgers, like one called a Rendang. (Not the actual burger, just what is in it.)
  5. They have a Taro Turnover as one of the desserts. This was the best thing ever, because of its enormous novelty factor. (I didn’t eat one.) A few of you know of Briony’s secret Samoan heritage. I offered to get her one, but she declined. I was sorely disappointed.

I shall now continue my long story of Singapore airport. Because the airline is so nice they give all passengers with a stopover of longer than 5 hours a free 2 hour tour of various parts of the island. This was cool. In a manner of speaking. The customs process here was rather relaxed, the officer stamped our passports and we proceeded to the x-ray. I only had to put my backpack through the machine, I was told not to worry about my camera bag. Okay, sure. No matter about the canister I have in my bag, disguised as a camera lens that actually contains a really strong biological agent that could pretty much decimate the entire island. Awesome.

The point where we stepped from the lovely air conditioned airport into the real world was a bit of a shock. I knew that it was a rather humid country but it was still unexpected. You step outside and you are instantly coated with a lovely layer of sweat. And no, its not your own. Its just the air, with its moistness, rubbing on you. Your own sweat gets to mix with this too, if you are outside of an air conditioned environment for about thirty seconds. Lucky there was a nice bus waiting for us.

Our tour led us into the heart of the city, the tour guide explained to us the history of the island along the way, all the while I was attempting to take photos out the window, trying to avoid getting seats and curtains in my shots. The main expressway into the city almost flows along the waterfront, there is only a park between the road and the ocean. Looking out you can see about 30 container ships just floating out there, probably waiting for a berth at the port. It was an awesome sight, I just wish that I had been able to get a shot of it. Damn speeding bus. The bus eventually stopped speeding, and allowed us to disembark near the old parliament buildings near the river. Our free tour included a BOAT RIDE. (Not a pony ride.) We were taken under a variety of bridges, all which had special names for reasons I can’t remember. Its impossible for a man to take photos and listen at the same time. The main business district of the island was gargantuan, there were probably about ten ridiculously sized skyscrapers, all of which probably held claim to being the tallest building in Singapore at some point in time.

Singapore also has a rather funny icon, known as the Merlion. Its basically a Lion with the body of a fish. Or a fish with the head of a lion. Read more. It was interesting. Probably a little more exciting than a small flightless bird. But at least ours is real.

The island is so hot, but it just seemed really pretty. It just seems to be constantly evolving and growing. For a country that has the same population as New Zealand, it makes you think how different things would be if our two little islands were perhaps a little more geographically convenient. Seventeen hours wasn’t enough time to explore Singapore, we hardly left the airport. This was mostly through fear of getting horribly lost and missing our flights, so it looks like we will have to go back again in the near future.

After we ran screaming from the bus back into the comfort of the airport, we had a shower. After flying for that long and then being in the sweaty air for a good hour we just needed it. The showers cost $8 each. No, they weren’t communal. But they were nice. I was a typical old man type and wore my jandals in the shower through fear of contracting AIDS or one of its derivatives, such as HIV. Perhaps there were strange chemicals in the showers but we walked out feeling gooood. If I knew what sex was like I would probably make a comparison at this point.

I have now reached the fun/unserious section of my novel. There were many amusing observations that I made while in Singapore.

  1. There was a distinct lack of hobos, drunks, and other street vagrant type people within the airport itself. I was expecting to see at least one hooker.
  2. HILARIOUS foods, such as flavoured cuttlefish, Collon, and my personal favourite that almost caused me to have an aneurysm: POCARI SWEAT. It is some kind of ‘Ion Supply Drink’
  3. Rather Large condom displays, containing at least 30 varieties. They must cater to all tastes.
  4. The candy store, where everything was super expensive.
  5. All the airport people called you ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’
  6. There was a Ferrari store, that sold only Ferrari things. For when you are driving your Ferrari, or Toyota Hiace.
  7. Beard Papa Sweet Cafe: They sell cream puffs. And yes, that is their name.
  8. The logo for Ajisen Classic. When you see it, you’ll know.
  9. They had a bunch of PS3s, Xbox 360s and Computers all for playing games on. For free. Had there been decent games to play I may not have left at all.
  10. Procrastinating about taking a dump. This is from sheer terror. I elected to use the hyper-clean bathrooms in Singapore rather than the lavatories on the aircraft. I stand by my choice.

This is all for now. The tales of England are still to come, as are the photos that I have yet to upload. I am procrastinating giving Yahoo my details for a Flickr account.

I miss you all.


4 Responses to "From Monday to Tuesday. . ."

Sounds like an amazing time you both are having, hilarious! I was laughing to my computer screen imagining you saying that outloud.

Would you disgusted to know tht ive had pocari sweat?! It’s actually a HUGE drink in japan! Maybe thats why i have wayyyyyy too many Ions?!

Keep ’em coming x

You have a g-mail account right? Use their photo image storing service, its pretty good, better than most of the ones I’ve had to use.

To answer one question, colostrum is very good for you, but tastes like crap. Let’s leave it at that.

❤ guys.

FINALLY I get to read your airport stories….I KNOW I KNOW…..what have I been doing….indeed Singapore airport is a sight to behold isn’t it? I just couldn’t get over all the free internet…and the POOL!!!!!

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