Why is the airport difficult?

One of my many odd hidden talents is the ability to cry on command. I can produce real genuine tears that once started make the person observing so moved with empathy that they have to help.

Arriving at the Singapore airport, I was ready to cry to the customs agent, the porter, the girl at customer service and now the supervisor at counter. Fortunately, he was kind to me and I didn’t need to unleash a fury of tears.

At the check-in counter in Bali, the check in agent only gave me my ticket to Singapore and not the connecting flight. I told her I had a connecting flight and she said I would pick up the next ticket in Singapore. I asked about the luggage and she said I would also have to pick it up. I said I prepaid for luggage services so I would not have to go through customs and lug my stuff for 7 hours. She said, sorry, but you need to pick it up. Not wanting to argue with her, I accepted the boarding pass and got on the flight.

On the flight, I asked the flight attendant where I could pick up the next boarding pass and she too said I needed to go through customs. She told the other passengers with connecting flights the same message.

Onward through customs, with luggage picked up, I then spoke to everyone mentioned above to assist me. I didn’t want my luggage based on principle. I paid for a service and I wanted to stay inside the airport after security clearance – that’s where all the services can be found which requires a boarding pass.

Upon reaching the supervisor and explaining the situation, he told me everyone misinformed me and I should have not exited customs. He said it’s possible that leaving Bali, due to a partner airline, they might not have the same communication about policies. He said he would help me check in my luggage and produce a boarding pass, even though the check in time is at 4 am. He said I should bring up my grievance online with Tiger Airways, which is something I do not need prompting to do. Last time I wrote an online complaint to another airline, it produced free frequent flyer miles. Not that I did anything with those miles but it was a nice gesture.

The fun part about waiting for the supervisor, a Chinese monk came to talk to me and ask about his flight. He too is here at 10 pm for a flight at 6 am. Unfortunately, he has to wait until 4 am to check in. I was proud to communicate with him and be understood. It’s nice to know I have the words to communicate even though I have been so out of practice.

Once through security, I found the gym, the movie theater and dinner. The only movie I might be interested in, is playing at 3:45 a.m but I doubt I will make it to that hour.

Sleeping at the Transit hotel for budget room rate is $47 sgd at terminal 1 and 2 (6 hour block), $35 for terminal 3 (rates called slumberette or nap – 3 hour block). The rainforest lounge ($30 for first 3 hours, $8 for subsequent hours). As much as I would like to sleep and try a slumberette, I’ve never paid that much while traveling so I am not going to start now.

I am disappointed I did not take my swimsuit out of my luggage. For only $14 sgd, I could have used the pool and jacuzzi.

If you have a layover of 5 hours or more during the day, you can take a free guided Singapore tour. They take you around town for FREE.

Dinner was a delicious South Indian dosa. At the cash register you can pay in Singapore dollars, US dollars, Japanese yen, Euros, Australian dollars or Hong Kong Dollars. I thought that was neat.

It’s 11 pm and I am getting tired. I might consider finding a bench or somewhere to lay my sleepy eyes but I always get concerned about missing my flight. Once, I was so tired between a connecting flight, I slept directly at the gate and missed the flight. I’ll set an alarm this time and hope for the best.

Photos: random pictures at the airport, the monk I spoke with, driving to the airport in Bali – passing a truck of chickens.

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