Thursday, January 6, 2011

Airport Madness

On my recent trip back to the States, I ended up spending a LOT of time in airports.  You see, the trip from Singapore to Canton, Ohio typically takes about 27 hours, which is nothing to scoff at.  And that's how long it took me to get there on this last trip.  Getting back was an entirely different story.  I got mixed up in the huge snowstorm that hit the east coast of the U.S.  My flight was supposed to go through the Newark airport, which was slammed so hard by snow that the airport actually shut down.  My flight was canceled (luckily before I got to the airport) and I was moved to a flight the next day, then two of my three flights were delayed, causing me to miss the third.  My luggage was lost, and so was my vegetarian meal reservation.  It took me about 40 hours to get from Ohio to Singapore, and I ended up missing two days of work that I hadn't intended to miss.
Snow on the runway at Newark...I thought I parked my plane around here somewhere...

During all of that traveling, I got to know some airports pretty well.  Newark was none too exciting, with only yummy Famous Famiglia pizza to redeem itself.  I'm harboring a grudge against the Beijing airport for losing my luggage (yes, I got it back), but the place itself was all right.  It's hard to dislike an airport with a pagoda and zen garden in the middle of it!
The Beijing Airport is so stressful they had to slap a garden smack in the middle of it
Yeah we lost your bags...but look at our pretty pond!

However, the airport that easily nabs the prize for best place to kill time is Singapore's own Changi Airport!  Bryan and I shared a taxi to the airport, but his flight left an hour before mine so I had some time on my hands.  Luckily, Changi is full of fun stuff to do when you're stuck with a wait.  First of all, there are clean, working computer kiosks with free Internet all over the place, which is fantastic.  There's the usual stuff, like shops and restaurants, and much more.  There's a cinema showing a free movie 24 hours a day, a kid's playground, a giant indoor slide, and an arcade.  If you're looking for something more relaxing, there are big comfy chairs set up in front of huge plasma screens with cable TV, or you can visit the koi pond or butterfly garden.  I didn't have a ton of time, so I decided to just swing by the butterfly garden before heading to my gate.  It was pretty neat to be hanging out in all the lush greenery with the colorful butterflies rather than sitting on an awkward metal chair in the stuffy airport!

The butterflies were all over the place but were a little hard to photograph, what with all their excited flitting about.  Luckily there was something almost as exciting to me- pitcher plants!! My favorite!  All different kinds!

Not bad for an airport, eh?  Even though it was neat, I was still eager to be on my way- snow and family awaited on the other side of the planet!

1 comment:

  1. Changi is the best airport to be stuck at. I like to go early to do a bit of shopping and eating when I fly out of there, too.