Feeling: IN NEED OF A SHOWER & SLEEP
First leg of an eleven-and-a-half-hour flight over (determined plans to slumber the majority thwarted by the discovery of Big Little Lies and the need to consume the whole seven hour-long episodes) and back in my personal version of Disneyland – Singapore Airport.
Honestly, I could totally go on holiday to that place. Literally board a flight, train between terminals 1, 2 and 3 for the allocated transit time, then fly home with bags of goodies and wild stories of butterfly gardens and massage chairs and food courts that take every currency and photos of myself amongst giant sunflowers and bathrooms with screens where you rate the cleanliness (ranging from 1 – very poor – through to 6 – excellent. I always give full marks with gusto; those basins and and porcelain chairs are so sheening, you could totally lick the floor and ingest less germs than you would when consuming a takeaway coffee).
Flight ”twas long. Why is it that when the toilet is freely available to use, the old bladder remains contently uncalling, but as soon as the announcement, well, announces that everyone must return to their seat for landing all hydration in the body decides to pressurise and demands to be released? The final 20 min of descent with an already stomach dropping tum are not fun in any sense.
I was pretty good this flight, only two times arising to firstly, pace the aisle and have a cheeky stretch up against a wall, then secondly grab my headphones and homeopathic “jet lag be gone” pills from the overhead locker (both weren’t there). With my glorious window seat, this meant only twice did I have to disrupt the German lad slumbering in 51C, meaning only twice was I tangled up in his headphones, requiring some hasty help to be freed.
I’ve improved on being the annoying passenger. And at least this time I didn’t park myself up in the wrong seat, as I’ve done far more times than I care to admit.
Upon reaching transit, I went straight to the butterfly garden and heady outdoor Singaporean air (instantly regretting the decision to wear thermal bed socks under my hiking boots) then set out on filling in my seven-hour stopover.
After hollering at Deb and awakening her from slumber to inform her I’d arrived, I Face Timed The Pedaller so he could remotely join me for an excursion around the Cactus Garden (his enthusiasm didn’t match mine) and give me advice on which keyring to get (got three, all of which he’d chosen the ones I didn’t buy). A nap in a corner with all my bag straps entwined around my limbs and passport stuffed down my pants, followed by relocation to my gate and another short sleep of the same set up, I boarded the next flight to take me to Delhi.
And promptly fell asleep for 5.10 of the 5.35 duration.
I swear, every single country in the world had a flight arriving at the Delhi Airport at once. Immigration and clearing customs took a fair load longer than the last visit, that’s for sure. But at least this time I wasn’t interrogated at the counter; the only apprehension felt so far this trip was on approach to the stamp man. Last time I had a real ringer who made like a detective and inspected every inch of my passport; this time I had a lovely lad who was overjoyed that I was here to do yoga and declared tomorrow – International Yoga Day – he would rejoice to celebrate my arrival.
I’d forgotten how incredible I find the Indian people. Beautiful bejewelled women with kids dangling off every part of them, rotund and voluptuous persons then some so skinny you can almost see through them. And so many unashamed selfies going on all around! Definitely one humongous constant that I had completely forgotten about.
And also; how funny is the indication of the male and female toilets?
And the staring has begun.
Honestly, if you want to know what it’s like to be a celeb, dye your hair blonde and go sit at a domestic airport. You’re like an alien species, with all – especially teenage girls and boys – eyes glued to you.
Twice already have I had the most lovely experience with Indian men; firstly, the lad sitting next to me on the to-Delhi haul (name unable to recalled unfortunately) could see I was absolutely riddled with necessity to sleep and about to coma, so he took my tray with my uneaten rice dish (wish there was a dietary requirement option for “recovering anorexic-slash-orthorexic”) atop his own. And then he had to hold it for 25 mins because the hostess wouldn’t clear it until everyone else in the plane had a meal. What a champ. (Him, not her).
And secondly, another man could see I was somewhat struggling to fill my drink bottle at the water station so came over to press the tap for me. Nothing creepy or sinister or seedy, legitly just two good-hearted people helping out a savaged-looking tourist.
I had my frisk at screening (going into a curtained cubicle where a woman pats down your lady bits), got through the domestic transfer process, had my alligator tears turned down to score the wifi code (need an Indian number to get one txt through and my newly-acquired sim hadn’t started up yet) (bish, my fake cries have never not worked before! Must be because I attempted it on a female), did an elicit exchange of 100rs with a young chap to hustle me his wifi code, and then parked up to touch base with the specials (both either at work or asleep so no banter able to be had).
It was funny, I walked up to the exact same patch of floor I’d bundled myself in last time I was waiting for my Dehradun connection, where I had been fully shaking in terrification and deliberating whether or not to call Henio and turn right back home.
Have I changed since then?
On the outer, yes for sure. My life is eons different. I have direction now, I have someone I can see a quite serious future with, so many beautiful new buds in my life. But my inner self? Am I still that influx girl (NOT lady) that I was when I quivered in that same spot two years ago?
I don’t think so.
Something in that trip changed me to my core. It shifted something, made me see life differently, made me realise what is important and what is merely decoration on this journey of my life. I haven’t necessarily upheld that new moralistic system at all times since, but this trip is about getting in the space where it is my day to day lifestyle.
I’m not scared anymore.
My Uncle Jamie (he lives in Delhi now and is a pilot for Air India, how rad is that?) came in especially to see me before I boarded which was absolutely just what I needed. Had a good yarn, discussed my itinerary and when we’ll be able to catch up throughout the next five months, then he waited just like my Bampga used to do until I’d gone through the long line to board the bus to take me to my plane.
My family is so beautiful, I’m so so fucking lucky.
And I just landed in Dehradun. As soon as I got into the fresh(ish) air and smelt that familiar distinctive scent, I knew with every ounce of my being that I am exactly where I am meant to be.
I feel home, in a mind space sort of sense.