The last day of my trip.
I arrived at Bangalore's Hindustan Airport (BLR) ready to finish my trip around the world and return to San Francisco. I was leaving India for Singapore. From Singapore I would switch planes and head to San Francisco with a stop in Seoul, Korea.
That didn't happen.
At the airport, I was informed my reservations had been canceled. There was room to put me back on the flight to Singapore. However, the flight from Singapore to San Francisco was completely booked.
My best option was to fly to Singapore and take the next available flight to San Francisco, 14 hours later with a stop in Hong Kong. There was also a chance I could get back on my original flight via standby.
Why were my reservations canceled? Apparently the travel agent had me booked twice...once for a Friday night departure (in case I wanted to come home early) and also for Saturday night. Singapore Airlines noted I did not show up Friday night (I never planned to), and it is their policy to cancel all reservations if you miss one. The travel agent was not aware of this policy.
I probably should have been furious about all this...but I was actually excited. I get to spend a day in Singapore!
The only bad part: I missed out on a night of sleep. I left India Saturday night (11:10pm) and arrived in Singapore early Sunday morning (6:05am). I had almost no sleep since the flight was about 4 hours long.
There was a chance that I could get on my original flight as a standby. I had to hang out in the Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge until my original flight left to have a chance to board as a standby. The lounge has free food and drinks. I had about 2 hours to kill so I had some breakfast and cleaned up in the showers.
While I was waiting in the lounge, I saw some Asian girls checking out some guys. The girls were tracking their every move and trembling in excitement.
I noticed the guys had several security guys with guns surrounding them. I asked the girls who the guys were.
They were *shocked* I asked such a question! "You don't *know* who they are?!?!? They are FAHRENHEIT!"
Above is a picture of Fahrenheit in the corner of the lounge. They are a new boy band that is big in Asia. I'm usually up on my celebrities...so it was bizarre being one of the only people in the lounge that had no idea who these guys were. I tried to get a photo with them, but security would not let me approach them.
My original flight took off totally full without me...so now I had 12 hours to tour Singapore. I asked information if I would have a problem visiting Singapore for the day without a visa, and they said I would be fine with my passport. I bought a Singapore guide book and headed out of the airport on a train.
The train seemed like one unit instead of individual cars. You could easily walk the length of the train while it was traveling. When the train turned, you would lose sight of parts of the train that were bending around the corner. It was an odd effect. I took some video of it:
My first stop: find the new Lucasfilm Animation Singapore studio. I found it, but it was closed (it was Sunday) and my badge didn't let me in. :(
The lobby with a Yoda statue from Clone Wars
Exterior of Lucasfilm Animation Singapore
I got back on the train and headed towards downtown.
Singapore Flyer (above two photos) will open in early 2008 and will be the largest/tallest observation wheel in the world.
I spent some time walking around the beautiful Raffels Hotel.
A Toyota Mark X parked in front of the hotel...never heard of this car before.
I grabbed lunch at Seah St. Deli (part of Raffles Hotel). I was *really* craving a burger, fries, and a milkshake...and this place does a nice job of mimicking an American deli.
I returned to Singapore Changi Airport to prepare to head back to the US. This airport is amazing. It has an enormous shopping mall, a movie theater that is free...
...free internet terminals, free Xbox 360 kiosks, a sports bar with enormous TV's, and nice fish ponds...
If you are going to be stuck in an airpot...this is the one to be stuck in!
The last thing I did was exchange my Singapore Dollars for US currency. Here is what their money looks like:
I was impressed with how clean and advanced Singapore is. I plan on going back when I have more time to enjoy it!