Airport Experiences – Part 1

For this week’s Friendly Friday Challenge, Amanda asks for stories happening in airports. Wow, I thought, I remember so many strange things in airports. It’s too bad that I’ve always been too slow to take photos. But wait, in this year’s redefined Friendly Friday, there’s no rule about photos!

One of my favorite airports is Singapore’s Changi Airport. Small wonder as it’s an eight-time winner of the World’s Best Airport and has awards for the World’s Best Airport Staff and the Best Airport Staff in Asia. It is marvellously efficient, clean and pleasant with a butterfly garden, Imax theater, video gaming center, a massive indoor waterfall and wide variety of shops and restaurants.

Indoor waterfall in Changi Airport. Photo: Matteo Morando from Wikipedia.org

I once lived in Changi Airport for two months.

No, it wasn’t a Tom Hanks situation, as in The Terminal movie. I was comfortably esconced in the hotel attached to the airport. It was conveniently located to my work place and there was a daily bus shuttle to & from the airport. Outside of work reasons, the airport had all the amenities.

It was directly connected to public transit; had its own 24-hour food court for tasty and affordable meals; all the possible coffee shops; banking ATMs (all currencies) and its own supermarket and pharmacy. I became very familiar with the hotel’s staff, members of airport security and airport taxi drivers … even if I frequently had to direct them to not drop me off at the Departure terminal.

While in Singapore, I traveled a fair bit and had ample opportunity to explore the airport’s many shops and features. Like airports everywhere, there was the usual assortment of high-end stores with haute couture clothing, luggage and overpriced chocolates.

A few shops specialized in Singaporean souvenirs, while others showcased Singapore inventions, like the world-famous Tiger Balm ointment and now common-place thumb-drives. As I walked by one shop, a peculiar product offering caught my eye.

It was a display of the latest in restorative skin care, Crocodile Oil Cream.

Intrigued, I’d stopped to read the packaging. The shop attendant rushed over to give me her sales spiel. 

The product, she said was excellent for softer, smoother skin. With a critical eye, she tut-tutted at my complexion and added that it was especially good for removing wrinkles and giving a lighter and brighter complexion. 

My wrinkly, sun-dried face must have shown my scepticism. Personally, I’ve never admired crocodile skin, so I expressed some doubt.

“Yes! Yes!” She assured me “It is 100% ORGANIC. Pure and Natural! You Should TRY!”

Suffice to say, I did not buy the Crocodile Oil cream. I did have some fun with the idea though.

40 Comments

  1. Wow! I love the thought of you staying at the airport for 2 months! I did do a double take until I realised you were in the airport hotel! which looks very nice, which I’ve visited several times to dine in the restaurants there.

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    1. I know the restaurants well 🙂 It became a bit repetitive after a while. It was easy to pop over to the food court for something tasty & cheap 🙂

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      1. I hear you – the wing where the food court is has so many other restaurants as well. But for the length of time you were there, I’m sure you were hankering after home-cooking!

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  2. My comment has vanished into cyberspace again (it does this when I use the phone). Changi is the place to stay if you can lay prone or in some way horizontal. I did love the sunflower garden. I still have sunglasses I bought on a trip there 7 years ago! My favourite!
    Loved the complimentary city trip too.

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      1. I wasn’t aware of Japanese airports having that option, but it is definitely a good one. I probably don’t spend too long at Japanese airports, but Singapore, oh yes, it was a good way to spend a few hours. The night trip was sold out – that would have been better and it took quite a while to get out of the airport. The reason being was that there were more than a handful of Chinese citizens in the group and they had to process them and take away their passports for the duration of the trip – I guess as surety that they would return once we were let off the bus at the sightseeing points! I think we visited about three locations where we could take photos and buy a drink/souvenir etc. Then a tour of various areas and back to the airport. (I fell asleep on the way back from fatigue and the heat, even though I desperately tried to stay awake).
        Frankfurt airport would be another one that would benefit from keeping travellers occupied, as would most of the larger ones. Schiphol and of course Kastrup – less chance of dropping my backpack then! Lol.

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        1. I am actually quite stressed at airports. I’ve had some horrible experiences with line-ups (to check-in/get thru security/customs) where I thought I’d miss my boarding times. For this reason I’m always leery of leaving the airport in between flights.

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          1. I don’t think I could ever consider leaving the airport in between flights – I, too, am very stressed until all the checkins are done, and I waiting at the gate. I am also a generally anxious traveller, so leaving to sightsee is not even a consideration.

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          2. I hear you, Sandy but with 18 hours to spare, I had oddles of time. Schiphol airport refused to let me visit their in house museum/art gallery as they said I didn’t have enough time before my flight…

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  3. I’ve always wanted to visit Changi! It’s like a destination of its own!
    Your croc cream story reminds me of the time I bought an unknown sort of beauty cream from China, without being able to read the texts, and it didn’t end well… (I’m still alive though)

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    1. You are a trusting shopper! Most of the cosmetic creams I’ve seen in China & South East Asia promise whiter skin. I’ve always been a little dubious about anything that offered to bleach my skin or burn off my epidermis to expose fresher, younger selves. Hmm. No. 🙂

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    1. Tiger Balm was a constant in my childhood. It was the nicer and friendlier alternative to Vicks Vapor Rub.
      Crocodile Oil is an oddity. Apparently, it’s an by-product of the croocodiles used for steak – another product which I wouldn’t want to try!

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        1. Not chicken?!
          In Singapore, I”d see this in the frozen meats section of the supermarket. I never had the nerve to try. Memories of eating grenouille came to mind. I used to enjoy dining on frog-legs until that one time when it tasted more toady than froggie. Ever since, no.

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          1. It was a bit more dense than chicken which is why I thought of pork but perhaps more accurately it’s sort of halfway between the two. I had frogs legs once, years ago – I didn’t mind the taste but they were just too fiddly. Then we came across them again on the street food stall in Phnom Penh where we were supposed to eat the whole things, including the bones. Yuck 🤢 But I don’t know that I’d recognise the difference between frog and toad flavours 😆

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          1. I hear you – I’ve never tried it either. An old Irish de la Salle Brother told us that’s what he used to do when he lived in Singapore.

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    1. He he Neil. What about Crocodile Ice Cream? Apparently it’s available in the Philippines. They make it from crocodile eggs which are rich in egg yolks. Yum. A refreshing reptilian creamy delight!

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