domingo, agosto 27, 2006

Singapore - Part 1

I've always wanted to do this.

On September 20th, 2002, my parents drove me to JFK. I had two large suitcases, so heavy you'd think they were filled with bodies. My parents fought the whole 1.5 hour drive to the airport. They weren't fighting about anything I can remember. I do remember sensing that maybe I'd put them into their bad mood. I was moving a zillion miles away, to a country they knew nothing about - except that it was a very strict place and , hey, did they really cane you if you broke the law and was it really against the law to chew gum?? My poor parents! We passed Brooklyn. My father never fails to point out the area where we lived when I was a baby. There's Ocean Parkway. You remember that, Lauren? That small apartment? Of course I remembered. There was a bright yellow duck in a playground nearby, where I took my first steps. I wondered when I'd next have the opportunity to roll my eyes at my father mentioning this.

We got to the airport a full 4 hours early. It hadn't been long since 9/11. Airlines told you to get to the airport that early back then. I was flying on Cathay Pacific. Cathay. I liked the name. I remembered something about Marco Polo having made it up as a name for some eastern empire. China, I think. Despite my parents' mood, I was psyched. My head was swimming with little factoids and disconnected thoughts like that one.

Having only flown relatively short flights all my life, I thought it'd be a bright idea to get a window seat. I could look out if I got bored. Maybe I'd see some mountains or ocean. Even clouds are nice sometimes. Before I knew it, it was time to go over and sit by the gate. My parents were still bickering. My mother said goodbye as if my leaving were a betrayal. She's so good at that. My father said goodbye like a normal, adoring parent. My brother said a very cute goodbye over the phone. Back to seating issues. Little did I suspect, but this was the beginning of 30+ hours of pure hell. Window seat + long haul flight = are you on crack?! I will never sit in another window seat for as long as I live. I spent a good part of the flight agonizing over whether to wake or climb over the two guys next to me so I could get to the bathroom.

The flight went from NYC to Vancouver to Hong Kong to Singapore. I think it was somewhere over Japan that I felt this unbearable urge to jump out of the plane and swim the rest of the way. I wasn't used to sitting for that long a time. And I hated how the Phillippino guy to my right kept trying to gage my opinion of 9/11. Obviously, as an American, I must have a very unique view apart from - it was a horrible, sickening tragedy and yes it seems to have affected the whole country very deeply. Am I afraid to fly? Crap, now that you mention it, I'm terrified! Gee, I should've thought of that before I booked my ticket! Moron. I wanted to punch him.

On a happier note, I was really looking forward to the end of this uncomfortable journey. I was going to see Blue (code name for college boyfriend of 3yrs, now ex) after being apart nearly 6 months. I'd get to see where he grew up. I'd finally meet his family. I was going to live in Asia. I had an interview with the Singapore American School lined up the following week. It didn't seem all that promising because it was a position they were only just thinking of creating - a sort of media/events coordinator. They hadn't decided whether they needed it or not. But no worries, I'd find something else if that didn't work out. I'd written to several other places from the US, but they didn't seem interested unless I was actually in Singapore. Surely I'd find something sooner or later.


Anonymous Anónimo said...

OH, where is this leading ??!

9:01 a. m.  
Blogger LNR said...

To Sheng Siong and Breadtalk, monkeys and geckos, prata and hokkien mee! Ants and mosquitoes, yoga positions on morning news, lucky mole hairs, Bukit Timah, Ubin, This Fashion - I want it all. I want it back. This is leading to the purchase of a horrible leather couch I gotta peel myself off of when I fall asleep watching My Sassy Neighbour =)

9:42 p. m.  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

waaa laoooooooo!

10:35 p. m.  
Blogger sshortcake said...

I am looking forward in reading Singapore - Part 2...or even 3 ........

9:04 p. m.  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

Hey, it's Candy again. You've left your job in the US and heading to S'pore again?

8:53 a. m.  
Blogger LNR said...

Hi Candy. No! I haven't left Boston. I'll be here for a good couple of years still. Thing is, I never took the time to write about Singapore. I'm doing it now so I don't forget the place... amongst other reasons. Hope you are well.

12:57 a. m.  

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