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Published: December 11th 2017
Ok, this might be the only way I get the blog done… Sitting on our 7 hr flight from Singapore to Sydney on Scoot, Singapore’s ultra cheap airline. It is a very nice Boeing Dreamliner, but there is no entertainment console. Nor blanket, pillow or free water. Yes, you paid for the seat. Anything else is extra. It is an interesting new concept. You pay for the wifi, even pay separately to access the power box to charge your electronics. That will be $7 please.
So, if you don’t travel with a laptop, or Kindle or phone, which is just about no one; or are too cheap to pay for the extras, you are forced to sit and possibly just think, a novel concept. Or… catch up on a blog. Course our seat looks like command central with our two kindles, noise cancelling headphones and computer. Hard to believe in the olden days, we travelled with a paperback and a Walkman with 6 cassettes!
The other, (new to us), concept in Singapore is immigration, where they have installed passport scanners and thumb prints. It works very efficiently. Not sure if this
will work on entering a country, too. But, that technology will be wonderful when it eliminates the painful process of standing in line with 200 other people as you wait for the two or three immigration people to, ever so slowly, process each person. Especially painful after a 12-15 hour flight. But, I do wonder how it works if there is a problem with your passport, or your thumb….
So, our winter trip has started. We enjoyed 8 days with Ed’s Dad in Florida, celebrating Thanksgiving and doing some minor repairs on the house from slight hurricane damage. Then it was on to Doha, Qatar with a 2 day layover, a new country for us. It is a beautiful, modern city, a smaller version of Dubai. Meticulously clean and very easy to get around. The airport is gorgeous, and humongus! The aqua colored taxis look so bright and cheerful. And hassle free. This sign inside the cab says if the meter does not work, the ride is free. Thailand might consider this approach!
We spend our 36 hours just touring the downtown area. The Souk area has been modernized but
still consists of lots of narrow alley ways filled with small shops and restaurants in the large open areas. It is abit surprising to see some of the men walking with their Falcons. There is an entire section - The Falcon Souq, where there are at least 25 shops selling falcons. There is also a Falcon hospital.
As we wander, most of the men and women are dressed in conservative traditional dress, so we obviously don’t blend in. Yet everywhere we go, our smiles are returned, with many striking up a conversation with us. And once again, I am reassured of the kindness of people and how amazingly wonderful the world truly is.
One of my goals with this blog has always been to attempt to show how beautiful the world truly is, or at least how we see it. We have been the recipient of so much kindness and generosity in so many countries. People are amazing, and it takes so little to bring out the best in all of us. So, it is discouraging with the fear and hate we see occurring right now in our own country,
based on things that are just not true. But, it will pass and hopefully, without too much damage.
The rest of our time in Doha is spent, touring the Islamic Museum of Art, a beautiful display of ceramics, books, rugs and artwork, showcasing the amazing history. Then an evening dhow ride to see the lighted coastline. The beautiful lighting of their buildings, makes it feel timeless and magical. We do hope to come back and spend more time here.
Then it was on to Phuket, Thailand. We used some of our credit card points to stay at Santhiya, a beautiful resort on a small island off the coast. It is a definite upgrade from our usual style, with stunning views of the Andamen Sea, amazing breakfast buffet and lots of swim time. A true holiday! And, not until we post a couple of Facebook photos, do we learn, this is the same resort where Kelli and Nick (our niece and nephew) stayed last year.
Then, it is on to Singapore. The last time we were here was 1995, during a 6 month trip and funds
were very tight. We always said we would return and have that $26 Singapore Sling at Raffles, which those days was a full day’s budget! We also enjoyed the Gardens at the Bay, a beautiful reclaimed park with two football field size domes that contain botanical gardens full of living walls of plants and 30 ft trees. Later we enjoy the beautiful Christmas music and light show. It is a Saturday evening, so the area is packed with families enjoying the holiday festivities that include a small carnival and Christmas shops.
The next day is spent utilizing the Hop On, Hop off buses to Little India, China Town and the beautiful Orchid Gardens. I think my next calendar will be just of orchids. Poor Ed, I took a bazillion snaps!!
And, yes, we are still on that flight to Sydney. But, hopefully I will post this tonight. And tomorrow start our Australia portion!
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