Nauru Travel Diary

From Houston to Sydney 2013

From Houston

to Sydney



On the evening that we arrived in Singapore two days ago (on Saturday), I received an e-mail from Singapore Airlines inviting me to complete the online check-in for our flight to Sydney.  This was the signal that it was just 48 hours to go before we would take off on the final leg of our long, circuitous journey from Houston to Sydney.  It made the end of the journey seem quite imminent.

The departure for the final sector flight even closer now, and I am typing today’s diary just before heading to the airport from the hotel.

Although (as I keep emphasizing here) our Singapore stopover was designed for catching up with rest rather than sightseeing, those who know me won’t be surprised that I decided to go for a walk today before completing my so-called rest.  (The truth is that my walk actually replaced my ‘rest’).  Although the walk lasted only for two hours, it was a reasonable physical effort because (unlike our walks on the previous two days) the sky was blue, the sun was shining, and it was hot (Accuweather, which is still giving me temperature readings in Fahrenheit, gives today’s temperature as 90°F, with a “Real Feel” reading - taking humidity into account - of 107°F).

The areas where I walked are, in my opinion, the most interesting parts of Singapore – the Arab/Malay quarter and, just to its west, Little India.  These are the areas of ethnic concentrations of Muslim Malays (the Arab quarter) and Hindu Indians (Little India).  Unlike most parts of Singapore, which are (in my opinion) over-developed and over-sanitised to the point of becoming somewhat characterless, these two areas retain much of their authenticity, which comes from the older architecture, the customs and ways of life of the local residents and the sights and smells and sounds.

Walking along the streets of these areas, on the irregular footpaths that zig-zag under shop awnings, ducking to avoid being hit in the face with the goods for sale, the smells of Asian spices and foods comes to life, along with the aromas of incense and spices, accompanied by the unmistakable sound of Bollywood music being played at a deafening number of decibels.

Yes, this is a true microcosm of the real Asia!

Our flight to Australia is scheduled to take off at 8:15 pm this evening.  It is in a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380, and I am really looking forward to it.  Usually I think my Singapore Airlines flights are over all too quickly (especially when they are on an A380), but when we land in Sydney at our scheduled arrival time of 5:55 am tomorrow morning, the excitement of finally being in Australia just might take priority.

It has been a long journey, but a truly wonderful one.

Day 45 - Singapore


19 August 2013