A long way from home….
Well that was a long way. Manchester to Singapore via Dubai. I left home at 11.30am on Saturday and got to my hotel at about 8am UK time on Sunday. I know it is Sunday because the carpet in the hotel lifts says Sunday. Surely they can’t re-carpet everyday? Well, we will soon find out.
I can’t complain though. The company relented on the stupid status-driven travel policy and allowed me to book business class. It was nothing to do with the fact that I had given up my weekend to be here in time for an important meeting. They may have been influenced by my not so veiled reference to “health and safety” but probably had more to do with the fact that I will be here together with my boss (assuming he does get here in the morning) and he needed me fresh for what could be a tricky negotiation.
And, again because I am with my boss, I get to stay in a thoroughly nice hotel – the Shangri La. The room was so nice that I felt forced to take photos, especially as I was being egged on to do so by colleagues on Facebook who do not often witness such luxury, at least not on the company dime. I am sure that those colleagues will feel only pleased for my good fortune, and will not in the slightest feel resentful or jealous…. If it makes you feel better guys, the boss is staying in a garden room suite so I am still slumming it….relatively.
The journey itself was uneventful. I was picked up on time and my driver regaled me with theories about the deaths of the Bin Laden family members in the plane crash at Balckbushe and other conspiracy stories surrounding the missing MH370. Just what you need to listen to as you prepare to fly half way round the planet…..
On the first leg I was sat next to an aged rocker – bald head and ponytail. He spent the journey drinking Chivas Regal, air drumming along to whatever music he was listening to – which was a tad annoying, and, getting increasingly irritated by the number of public announcements which interrupted his viewing and listening pleasure.
Dubai was Dubai – the usual mixture of Star Wars meets the Zombie Apocalypse, sponsored by Gucci.
On the last leg I was sat next to an elderly Australian couple who were both technologically challenged – failing to master either their reclining seats or touch screen entertainment – and professional whingers. They complained more often, and more loudly than any Pom I know. Which is many.
The flights were uneventful but in my sleepless state I concluded that it is impossible not to be distracted by what other passengers are watching. I made a schoolboy error and chose another Keanu Reeves movie – John Wick. Keanu Reeves is to acting as Katie Hopkins is to diplomacy. Bad.
Soon enough we were deposited in Singapore and through the efficient security and baggage control and whisked away in a limo courtesy of Emirates airline. The top of the range BMW was an Aladdin’s cave of gadgetry. The driver had multiple phones, GPS, toll OBUs and a heads up display. This limo driver had more technology at his disposal than Tom Cruise in Top Gun. But, he still seemed to find it hard to judge distances or stay in his lane. Squeaky bum….
At first glance Singapore is very reminiscent of old Blighty. Apart from the humidity. 30 degrees and damp. They drive on right here and they are prone to traffic jams. However, unlike home, this jam was a result of lanes closed for plant pruning. Singapore is highly manicured and lusciously green with familiar street names pointing to its colonial past. Disappointingly, however, they measure speed and distance in kilometres.
And now I find myself in yet another hotel room, lying on the bed, bemoaning the fact that you can’t access Netflix outside of the UK, and feeling a little more homesick than usual, bemoaning the loss of yet another weekend at home…..
And, I’m still bloody wide awake! Bring me sleep….
Entry filed under: middleman.