The Amazing Race

Both our alarm clocks failed to go off.

When I opened my eyes and saw the light coming in through the window, immediately I knew… WE ARE LATE FOR OUR FLIGHT TO TAIPEI!

In 10mins I got dressed, called the cab and was off to pick James up. What time is our flight to Taipei? 8:35am. What time was it when I left my house in the cab? 7.35am How long does it take to get to the airport from where I live? 30mins. At least.

In the cab we said many a prayer, J and I. Getting to Taipei seemed a real challenge so far! But army-trained J, like all good Singaporean men, had the mind to make these plans: once we got off at Changi airport, I was to take the passports and proceed to the check-in, while J would handle the luggage and the cab fare. So once the cab pulled up by the kerb at Changi, it was Go! Go! Go!

Sounds familiar?

Yes, friends, meet J and Y, the latest participants on the Amazing Race!

The check-in Manager at the Singapore Airline counter told us that check-in for our flight had closed 10 minutes ago. But she radio-ed her colleagues and ran off to help us stop the luggage truck.

Yes! We’re on! But not without a mini-lecture from the manager. Yes Ma’am, I swear this was not done deliberately. What are the chances of 2 alarm clocks failing to go off??

But wait. Our seats were already given up, and they weren’t sure if there were actually any left.

The Manager and her counter assistant muttered, glancing at each other as their fingers fired off our request into the system.

“ 可以吗? (trans: Is this really ok?)” The assistant asked. We could not hear the Manager’s answer, but it prompted the assistant to repeat her question, “这样可以吗?”

Then our boarding passes crept out from the printer, and we were ready to Go! Go! Go!

“We can clear you here, but you look at the immigration queues hor?” She gestured at the long lines that had already formed at the immigration counters. “I can’t help you there!”

But thank you and sorry, ma’am, we can’t hang around to chat with you! It was 8.15am and we got the immigration queues to beat. Go! Go! Go!

And we did. Checked. On to Gate E11…which seemed felt like a 500m dash with a backpack for J and a pregnant Tote bag for me. Then in between all that running, J suddenly turned to me with a worried look and asked if he would still be getting an aisle seat.

Those of you who know J, an aisle seat is a must. He’s kind of claustrophobic and will start to have strange visions of either floating up into space or descending into some narrow box once he feels physically trapped. Plus his sinuses are not fans of the flying. I thought to myself - Oh please, not this now!?! If this was the Amazing Race for real, this would be a moment the “dating couple” is shown bickering or saying hurtful things. But you know, there was no time for such hysterics, please. It was just Go! Go! Go!

Well, folks, to cut the race short, we did get on the flight to Taipei. And I am now posting this from the hotel’s lobby.

the sight from Raffles class seats - image by J
Oh, I haven’t told you the best part yet. In the end, J not only got what he wanted, i.e. an aisle seat, our lucky bums were resting on Raffles Class seats instead! Yup – fully adjustable seats with leg/bag/dancing room, and an upgrade from plastic trays and cutlery to Raffles class porcelain and a full 3-course brunch separately served.

So praise God for his goodness! I know I know, God’s not some butler-cum-genie here to answer our most mundane requests, but I also know that nothing that happens – good, bad, suffering, joy or just plain dull - happens without him being in control. And this trip, even before it started this morning, has been a lesson for me about not being in control.

p/s Will put up some sketches and more photos tomorrow. Taipei's great so far - the sketchbook's fast filling up :)


Anonymous said…
ahahahaha have fun, you two! :D
shadow said…

Have a fruitful trip!
orangeclouds said…
YAAAAAAAY!!!! hhahahaaah. Yup, GO GO GO!
Terz said…
Yeah, have fun you two.
monk said…
o-clouds has my planned post, word-for-word and cap for cap :)

so i'll just say i was on the edge of my own seat for the whole read, and i'm really happy you made it.
Tym said…
A* for Changi service and A* for your running and go-getting abilities!
i hate flying, and i also need aisle seat.

maybe i should try this "trick" to get myself more comfortable seats...

have fun!
kiat said…
Trust you two to have failing alarms...all's well that ends well.

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