There’s just something about me leaving a country. The land I’ve been to must’ve really love me.
For example, the day that I left Cairo, there was sandstorm. Yesterday as I left Budapest, it was snowing and hailing.
In Singapore airport, you,
➡check-in/drop your baggage
➡walk to the immigration gate and say bye-bye / separate from your loved ones, or if you’re like me, no one loves you and you go to the airport alone, you just whizz in. No bye-bye. No nothing. Stamp your passport and don’t have to turn your head back.
Unless someone’s departing with you and brought their entire extended family, you can turn around and wave at them pretending someone sent you. But really, I don’t recommend that because the minute you’ve passed the immigration, HELLO SHOPPING!
I always get stuck here. No matter how late I am, I always hear the shops calling out to me.
From handbags all the way to mosquito patch, my airport got me covered.
➡Security checks at the boarding gate.
The very place where you take out your laptop, no liquids, remove your belt and get pat down (if you’re lucky). and last but not least;
➡Board the plane.
One thing that my mom and momski taught me is to never waste food. Which is why I have a bad eating habit of shoving food down my throat even if I’m already full because I can’t bear to see food down the sink or bin.
Apparently in Budapest airport, you:
➡Check-in/baggage drop, go through the
➡immigration and lastly,
Yesterday, my cousin and I arrived the airport early. (Need to get myself a medal guys.) Dropped our luggage and went in to shop for some souvenirs because when we went to the parliament house to get some, it was already closed!
This is the one of the few things I hate (with a passion) about Europe. Go to Asia, everywhere’s open till 10 or 11pm, aside from MacDonalds, of course. Here, everywhere’s closed at 5 or 6pm.
What am I supposed to do after that? Scratch my knees? Stroke my imaginary cat?
Before we hit the souvenir shop, we had to go through the security screening and the warm water which I purposely prepared to drink before flying had to be discarded. Or I have to finish it right there and then. Oh the dilemma. I must say, I was kinda taken aback by the early sequence of security screening.
There were probably 5-6 huge bin filled with water bottles, empty and filled. I can’t bear to part with my liquid. I don’t want to be one of those who waste water. Noh. Not today!
Unscrew the bottle cap and at that very spot, finished my 500ml of warm water. ‘Karma’s soooo gonna get back at me,’ were the words that came to my mind when I finished my drink. Well, whatevs, I didn’t waste any drop of water. So proud of myself.
Wandered around and finally found the souvenir shop. After washing my eyes with colourful postcards, I’m sold. Sigh, I’m such an easy person to please aren’t I?
As we were walking to the chocolate booth, a lady from a beauty booth called out to us. She spoke a little in ‘Bahasa Indonesia,’ aka Indonesian and because it’s not easy to find someone who can speak your other language and know “your area”, we sat with her as she tries to sell us her beauty products.
My mom uses the product and left them for me so I told her, ‘I’m all good. Still have my rations’.
But of course, NO GIRL can ever say NO to 50% discount. Also known as ‘Buy 1, Get 1 free’.
After dropping some kaching, back to our original plan – swing by the chocolate booth.
By then, karma started knocking the door. The bladder door.
Chocolates and macarons distracted me so at this stage I was still all good.
As we were walking towards the departing gate, the passport control booth appeared. I TOTALLY FORGOT about this. Seeing the stern faces of the officers made me wanted to pee-pee more. GAH! Doesn’t help the fact that the female officer kept holding on to my passport and speaking in some foreign language to her colleague and glancing at me. Please do humanity some favour by never scaring a person whose controlling their bladder.
After momentary distress, I finally got through and was looking for the toilet nearest to our boarding gate.
No toilet. Only boarding gate. This tied my hands back. Miss my flight or empty my bladder?
So I be a girl and man up. Skipped the toilet and head for the boarding gate. What awaits me next haunts me, till now.
After scanning my boarding pass, we had to go to outdoor waiting area. To get there, you have to walk through this loooong corridor.
The wind, the snow, the cold and more was in my face making it hard for me to focus on my priorities. Walking on the slippery road was not an easy task either. It also does not help the fact that I wasn’t wearing my coat thinking we’ll board from indoor. Right now I miss my Changi Airport.
Turns out, because of the hail, they had to unfreeze the aircraft wing’s and whatnot so everyone had to wait in the outdoor temporary building. It was a looooooooong queue.
After 5 minutes, I wanted to squat but obviously, at that point in time, that position is the worst position for me.
Needed some distraction.
Me: Talk to me. I need distraction.
Cousin: What do you want to eat when we get back? We have kebab wrap, persimmons, fries, cheese stick, crab meat, chocolates, yada yada yada.
*Life lesson: Food bonds people.*
Me: We can have kebab with all those. *smiles* Ok no, this is not working! I really need to pee.
My sentence kinda killed the conversation.
*selawat in head*
*sing in head*
Turns around. Saw the male toilet sign. They have toilets!
Doesn’t matter if it’s the one used by the staff. Beggars can’t be choosers! Plus, customer is always right!
The male toilet sign never looked more attractive to my eyes.
Because we were in the middle of the snaking queue, I had to say lots of ‘Excuse me’, to get out to the toilet.
With light heart, light steps and heavy bladder, I climb the few steps to the next cubicle, for female, of course.
Put my hand on the door knob, pushed the lever down, pull the door open and voila! IT’S LOCKED!
I wanted to curse the 500ml of warm water that I drank right there and then but kept my cool like the pouring ice.
Approached the staff for the key and they told me it’s closed because the water/pipe in the toilet is frozen. I asked directions to the nearest toilet and she told me it’s the aircraft as she shrugs. I asked her if the door will be opening any time soon. She has no idea. Great.
Many ‘excuse me’s’ and judgemental look later, I reunited with my cousin.
My primary coping mechanism which is also my mantra at that point in time is,
‘God doesn’t test you more than you can handle.’
Works like a charm.
But I needed a new secondary distraction strategy! Talking no longer works.
Face my back against the door and opened the pamphlet that I got from the beauty booth earlier. Read it slooowly. As I was about to finish reading the pamphlet, the door opened.
We all know that as we’re approaching the toilet, the urge gets stronger, yes?
It was to the point that it was hurting me.
Doesn’t help the fact that we had to walk through the open cold, windy, snowy and slippery road to the aircraft. All that cold and shiny water on the floor makes the urge stronger.
As we entered the aircraft, the stewardess was doing her duty, checking everyone’s boarding pass.
Of all days and flights, why do I bump into a strict staff today.
I bet she was tired saying the same thing over and over again, ‘Hi welcome. Boarding pass please’ that her tone was getting strict and monotonous.
Die. Die. Die. No chance to pee-pee. Stewardess so angry (fierce).
When it comes to my turn, I quickly showed her my boarding pass before she could ask but she beat me to it. Plucked my courage and said this, ‘I’m sorry, it’s very urgent, where’s the nearest lavatory? I really…’
Guess what? Her voiced changed and she sounded so warm!
Turn around, unlock the lavatory door at the entrance as quickly as she could and said, ‘It’s here. There you go, dear.’ and even shove me in.
I swear. She must be a mother. That compassion. Someone get her a gold medal!
I remember in one of the few flights I’ve been in to, on an international airline no less, a stewardess tried to stop me from entering the lavatory because the seat belt sign was on. Because I was adamant about it, she said (along the line of), ‘Alright, but please note we won’t be responsible for you as you’ve been warned.’
My, my, such difference in choice of words. How can one fall in a lavatory? It’s not as big as you think it is. You only have enough room to pirouette. But, I shall not say more because, apparently karma is real.
I was all smile as I finished my business.
As I left the lavatory, walking towards my seat, I thanked the stewardess again. Tried looking at her name tag for her name but my myopic eyes failed me. I could only make out the initial of her name, ‘N’.
Need to put a ‘visit the optometrist,’ on my calendar when I get back in Singapore.
To ‘N’, who saved the day, this ‘N’, (my name starts with ‘N’ by the way) hopes to follow your footsteps in saving a person’s day, sooner if not later. This ‘N’ also can’t thank you enough for taking care of her, a stranger.
I was too engrossed in my bladder that I could not and did not take any picture of the area. I mean, how could I? Have you not read this post?
This is the closest I have.
Last winter break, enroute back from Munich, I transited in Amsterdam and because of the cold weather, the wing froze. Sitting by the window seat, witnessing all these, has been really an experience. Teehee.
I’ve never wanted to leave the aircraft more that day, climb on the scaffold and help the guy. Doesn’t it look funnnn!!!??? 😍😍😍
What’s your story on your most memorable flight?