I hope this holiday season finds you happy and healthy! We’ve put up our tree, put lights and wreaths outside between rainstorms, and attended Christmas concerts and parties with friends. Last weekend we we went caroling with some teenagers and friends from church, and had pizza afterwards. Of course, there’s mission baskets, online donations, gifts, wrapping,…“achoo!” Sometimes it’s hard to enjoy the beauty of the season.
We recently returned from a two-week trip to Singapore and Bangkok. It was truly the trip of a lifetime, so telling you about it will include several posts, but I will save most of them for the new year, when all of us have a little more time. The decorations in Changi, “the most beautiful airport in the world,” reminded me of my childhood when shopping malls were wonderfully decorated at Christmas, although in Changi it’s with glass or floral art, and natural themes. If you are following my blog via email, be sure to click on the link so you can see the pictures.
Part One: Getting There and the Singapore Airport
About two weeks before leaving, we got all our immunizations, including a flu shot, and we started laying out clothes on our guest room bed. We were having a heat wave in Atlanta, September had felt like July, and the predictions on weather in Singapore and Bangkok said late October would be in the 90’s in the daytime with lows in the 80’s, humid and very similar to home. I had heard that tourists wore shorts, of course, but we were going to be in a business area in Singapore, where people tended to dress very conservatively. So, what did I pack? Too much, and a little bit of everything! I found myself washing my two pairs of shorts in the bathtub later, and long pants came home clean.
The Pic-Collage reflects how I felt, coming and going, at the Singapore Changi Airport, I did not see the butterfly garden mentioned in the movie, Crazy Rich Asians, but I saw so many other beautiful things I did not miss the butterflies. There were gardens throughout the airport, accenting and occasionally accented by many types of art glass. There were installations of crystals in many ceilings that made me want to slow down and enjoy instead of race past them. (Enjoy an airport? Yes, really!)
Flying to Singapore takes two calendar days from Atlanta, leaving early on a Tuesday morning, crossing the International Date Line, but the day and a half of almost constant plane cabins left us jet-lagged, with cramped muscles and no sense of time. Once we’d checked in to our “cabin,” (a tiny airport hotel room, not much bigger than the bed) we walked through “Jewel,” the mall attached to Changi Airport, just to stretch our legs. We wished we hadn’t eaten inside airport security—food choices in the airport mall were endless, as were the shopping choices. (It is said that Singaporeans do nothing but eat out and shop!) But, we had an early-morning flight to Bangkok, so back to our tiny bedroom, thankful we’d checked our big suitcase at the airport (it would not have fit in the room), for showers in the matchbox-sized bathroom and a few hours of sleep. We emailed the family that we were fine and going to bed—It was only Thursday morning in Atlanta.
I hope that you and yours have a Blessed Christmas if you celebrate as I do,
a Happy Hanukkah to many friends, and
Happy Holidays full of rest, relaxation and love to all!