Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Paris to Singapore

Paris is raining on this Sunday morning. We drag all our suitcases down the tiny lift and onto the footpath. It takes three trips. Eventually we are down and we hail a cab. We drive with plenty of time to Charles De Gaul airport. I decided long ago that I did not want to deal with Heathrow airport, not with luggage and bags and kids!!!! Next time we go this way we are thinking of going through Amsterdam and then onto Humberside Airport near Hull. This will enable us to head north more easily, enable us to spend time with our friends S&J, as well as avoid Heathrow. Also a great excuse to explore other parts of Europe - particularly interested in cruising down the Rhine and also cruising into St Petersburg.

We get to the Singapore gate, but it has not opened yet. After a while it opened and we went through. We are very good at queueing now. Then we tried to get our VAT/GST back by standing in another queue and putting in our papers- in Canberra it was easy they processed it on the spot and put the money into our credit card, in Paris we had to fill in the forms have them stamped by customs and then posted them off (not sure where too now). We still have not seen that money!!

I wanted to find the guy that lives in the airport, he has lost his identity papers and his country of origin refuses to take him back, however we did not see him. His name is Merhan Karimi Nasseri.

We looked for coffee next and had to walk miles through terminals and past the duty free. Into our departure lounge, where I heard one woman tell another that she thought "the coffee was through here" and then into the next departure lounge where we found the "coffee shop" - it was really an excuse for a coffee shop and was slightly worse than the coffee shop at the international train station in Ashford.

Andrew was called over the loud speaker and we went to the information counter, where we found that the Singapore people had processed the wrong part of his ticket and had to stick it back on and take another part. The plane was delayed by at least half an hour, then we were able to get on.

The flight to Singapore is 12 hours. We knew how to operate all the machinery in the chair in front of us and we watched and played our way to Singapore with even less sleep than we got on our way from Singapore to Rome. MLR had a blister on her ankle which she took to the toilet and popped. She told me this when she got back. By the time we landed it had come up again.

Last bit of soccer, I promise. Soon after we took off the Soccer World Cup Grand Final started, and despite the technology live TV was not available. When we landed in Singapore, the captain announced that Italy had won and the plane were sad and happy at the same time. In the row behind us there was a group of Australian students returning from a six month exchange in Paris and they spoke a wonderful mixture of English and French.

We arrived at our hotel around 10am and we were given one of our rooms straight away, even though we were not due a room until 2pm. I think the sight of two sleeping children in the lobby helped them to make up their minds.

Late that afternoon, after we had all had some sleep, I took MLR to the Dr in the hotel to get the blister checked. He was most unconcerned and said that she had probably been bitten by some bug. Don't you just love Dr's.

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