May 222005

We finally staggered off our plane after taxiing past what seemed like 5 miles of terminal to get to the gate. Customs worked fast and, as luck would have it, my suitcase was one of the first on the belt. Marty had left his suitcase back in Detroit. He got there too late to check his luggage and they would not let it on the airplane. They wouldn’t check it at the gate and it was too big to go as a carry-on, so he traveled to Singapore with nothing but a backpack and the clothes on his back. We caught a taxi to the Conrad Hilton hotel, which is stunning, got checked in, and dropped off our luggage. Vince suggested we all go out and get a beer “to help us sleep”. Three hours and five pitchers of Tiger beer later, we staggered back to the hotel. I got to sleep at 7am and didn’t wake up til 2pm.

We ended up at the Tiki Bar along the waterfront, which is lined with bars, clubs, and restaurants. We all wanted some food, but only a few bars were open and none of them served food that late. While we were there we made the acquaintance of Grace, a local girl, who lost her bet with the bartender and DJ as to whether we were English, Australian, or American. She told us how horribly boring it was to spend your life in Singapore (she’s 20), and how she couldn’t wait to leave for Melbourne in the fall to go to school. Sometime during the conversation over the third pitcher of beer I let slip that I was getting married the Friday after we got back, and they all congratulated me, but so far I’ve managed to keep the nature of my wedding a secret. I think it would just be too awkward. Do you have any idea how hard it is to avoid using gender pronouns when talking about your significant other? I feel like I’m back in the closet again!

Left to Right: Lobby of the Conrad Hotel, outside the Tiki Bar, me and Grace

Once I got back in the hotel, I discovered I have this view out my window:
More to follow…

 Posted by at 3:35 am
May 222005

I have to say, if you ever have the means and opportunity, I highly recommend travelling business or first class. I felt like a country bumpkin gone to the big city for the first time. The powered seat went in every direction, had built-in rolling massage, and straightened out almost flat into a bed. I had my own video screen with video-on-demand, free booze, and lots of dinner, mid-flight snack, and breakfast choices. I got a Bombay & tonic to start, and she left me the rest of the can and a small bottle of gin to make my own after the first one. I nursed all of it for a couple hours but was still a bit buzzy. I went for the Japanese style dinner, which was really tasty. I didn’t know what most of it was, but there wasn’t anything bad and I ate it all. After that I changed into track pants and t-shirt, popped an Ambien, and said goodnight. Our flight path took us right through the middle of Alaska and I kind of wish I’d been awake for it, since according to my coworkers the view of the mountains was amazing.

L to R: Business class, my seat controls, dinner and dessert

Now we’re sitting in the NWA World Club in Narita, waiting on our flight to Singapore. It turned out to be Vince, Marty, and Darren on my flight, which is ok. They’re all cool guys, and Darren is actually pretty hot. Darren had DVD software on disc for me to install, so now I can watch Cowboy Bebop (woot!). I really should be working on some kind of presentation for the workshop, but I have no idea what to show, and I have no Powerpoint skilz to speak of. Maybe I’ll whip something together on the Singapore flight if one of the guys sits next to me to give me some pointers.

Time to take a quick wander nearby and get some pictures…

L to R: Walkway, Darren in the WorldClub, Marty with his only luggage, kiosks of indeterminate Japanese function, gift shop, beer dispenser(!)

Narita is a pretty cool airport, but other than being Japanese it’s pretty much just another airport. Except for the beer dispenser in the WorldClub.:)
Soon we were off to Singapore, a 7.5 hour flight after just spending 12 on the way to Japan. *zzzz*

 Posted by at 3:35 am
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