Checking out from Guillaume and Morgane is easy. Wish all our stays where as good as this. After a nice breakfast we gather our bags, say goodbye to Guillaume and the kids and head for the airport.
This is the last flight before going home. Right now I have no idea how many flights we’ve had, but it adds up to a whole lot. It will be good spending as lot of days in one location again where we can unpack and live “normally” for a while. We’re getting pretty tired off living out of the bags, with half of everything dirty and smelly, and never really taking it all out and into closets. This is one thing that now shines like a beacon back home pulling us ever closer.
The ride out to the airport is nice and easy, but with a taxi driver that would be denied entry to any club in Norway on the account of being high on something. He’s a constant chatter all the way to the airport, laughing and just talking nonsense. He’s in a good mood though, and that’s better than the alternative so we just smile and go along for the ride.
The airport is as smooth as the rest of Singapore. Check in is a breeze and we’re ready for some coffee. On our way down to Starbucks we pass a fantastic installation. There’s teardrops in gold being moved in different patterns. Still photos don’t do it justice, but believe me, it’s mesmerizing.
Nothing much to do on airports other than waiting. Oh, and shopping, as Katja pointed out. Once again she find something of utter importance we need. Today it’s another scarf. Sure, wouldn’t survive in the high thirties without it.
One thing we learned the hard way is that security check is done at the gates at Singapore airport terminal 1. We had found drinking water fountains and refilled our drinking bottles. Then at the gate we’re told we can’t bring then through filled with water. Gulping down 0,75 liter just before take off is a good idea, right? Well, it had to be done. On the other side of security there’s another water fountain and we refill the bottles again. Can’t have too much water.
Jet Star airline, a part of Qantas, has cancelled all flights to Bali because of ashes from a simmering volcano. It’s not a full eruption, just a little fart or two. Virgin followed after and we were a little nervous that Bali would be off the flight grid. AirAsia and all others still fly though and we’re inbound to Bali for the third time on this tour.
Singapore is really so clean and neat as I’ve read. It’s spotless, for the most part, and there are heavy fines or other punishments for any illegal activity. Like eating out drinking on the MRT. They do still sentence people top caning, that got to be one of the most inhumane punishments still in use.
From what we were told Singapore was built on a diversity of people and religion. To make sure it’s all kosher they implemented a strict enforcement of any rule. Police with batons would beat you into submission if you spat on the street or otherwise behaved inappropriately. This has left the Singaporeans with a fear of authority. The president recently died and he was revered almost as a saint. Hard to fatom for us with an ever growing distaste for politicians. There are books to be bought that celebrate his life as our friends on Facebook expressed grief seldom seen in such situation. A real father figure, it seems.
Bali on the other hand is just as chaotic and dirty as we left it last.
And we still love it. The temperature is almost cool, coming from Singapore. There’s less humidity and it got to be at least five degrees colder here. Colder is a strange statement when I write about 32 to 27 degrees, but hey, It’s describing it pretty good.
It takes an hour from we landed to the bags arrive on the conveyor. Immigration was OK since we already have the visa. I got grilled on number of visits, how long I plan to stay and why I had visa already instead of using visa on arrival. Katja on the counter next to me surfed through without a question. Guess appearance matters.
We’re picked up by the hotel driver and it takes an hour and a half to get to Ubud. Mostly it’s people who park their car on the side of the road to make a “quick” errand that blocks the traffic. There’s little flexibility in such situations and there’s constant honking and motorbikes weaving in between. On the way to the hotel we stop and buy Rendang for dinner at our favorite place and then get SIM card for the pocket Wi-Fi and my phone. All set we go to the hotel.
When we get to the hotel we get the packages we’ve sent here, and that other friends have helped us work and shipped here. We go to our room and have lunch/dinner immediately. It’s so good but sooooo spicy. As I’m gasping for air Katja smiles and chew down on another bite.
We go out to deliver laundry and buy fruit and water. Back in the room we have a feast of melon, apple, banana, grapes and yogurt while watching TV.
“Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.”