Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Melbourne Day 5: Finale

Last day, last minute shopping.

Walked to Queen Victoria market to get some last minute spoils - nougats mainly. And a throwing boomerang and some small trinkets.

So it's Aussie chocs, nougats, cheese, wine and clothing that will be filling up our baggage.

Had time to spare so went to a cafe in Hardware Lane to chill. Coffee and pastries in cafes cost quite alot less in Melbourne than in Singapore. And with way better taste too.

Off to the Melbourne Tullamarine Airport.

The check-in queue was a bitch. Changing shifts, and many counters were closed.

Customs was a bitch. Was randomly selected for a pat-down and proper metal detector scan.

Waiting for the pilots (they were en route on another flight) for an hour after boarding the plane was a bitch.


If it's any consolation, being on the above plane would cost $150 more and with not as stellar flight timings.

Food was a bitch. The wine wasn't too bad - it happened to be the exact one I bought and drank in Australia at Morington Peninsula's T'Gallant winery.

Beautiful sunset. Could see the orangey glow reflecting over the Australian desert and the lakes.

The pasta wasn't as bad. But. Still a fail.

To its credit Qantas's flight attendants weren't as grouchy as what most people say, and the beverage sleection is excellent. But there's ALOT that can be improved on the check-in, scheduling and food aspects. But if it costs $150 to do all that to meet up with Singapore Airline's standards, no thanks, I'd choose the old Qantas. Heh.

Touched down in windy and humid Singapore weather, with one side's landing gear hitting the ground a few seconds before the other.

Customs were efficient. But the locals here are rude, slow and unpleasant. Chaos at the duty-free store as queues were cut. Rude counter staff.

Then, a downpour. Classic of Singapore. Somehow for all my past few trips I leave Singapore in horrid weather, have perfect weather overseas and when I return, I get unceremoniously rained on again.

A taxi ride where the driver hardly spoke English (Malaysian?) and I had to struggle with Mandarin. And he couldn't keep to the lanes.

A traffic jam at 10.30pm. Wen it rains and when there's lane closures, traffic stalls to a halt, even if it's freaking 10.30pm.

Welcome to Singapore.

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