Friday, 13 December 2013

The End

Well.  What an incredible six weeks. Let me give you a run down of the past few days.

I never got my laptop back.  I phoned both taxi companies and they asked their drivers if they'd seen it, and I also phoned the furniture warehouse I had stopped at on my way home.  No one saw it apparently - either someone is lying, or the next passenger in the cab took it. I have my theory that the first taxi driver took it - I noticed he had a long fingernail on his pinky finger so I developed a theory he's a drug lord and makes extra money from stealing passenger's forgotten goods.  No one at work had heard of the pinky finger drug association and I had to google it to prove I wasn't making it up. But apparently in Singapore, a lot of guys have a long finger nail because it's a good luck thing - the longer the fingernail on your pinky finger, the luckier you will be (especially if the nail is so long it goes past your next finger).

I also found out that apparently in Chinese superstition, if you wear shoes belonging to another then it is thought you will inherit all their bad luck, and so Chinese people will only wear their own shoes. Just some fun trivia for you there!

On Tuesday night I had booked a table at Wild Oats restaurant in Punggol Park, at Peter's suggestion.  We wanted to take the team out as a welcome/christmas celebration, and a farewell to me and my colleague celebration.  The restaurant was lovely - good choice of western and local dishes, and we had a table right by the lake. Unfortunately we got moved because other guests were complaining about mosquitos, so we ended up inside.

We had such a lovely time.  We have got a really really great team there - I am very impressed with their work ethic they've displayed so far, and how willing they are to help each other, the client and us.  They all made me feel so welcome and this sounds so cheesy but working with them every day was just a joy.  I was most worried about not getting on with my colleagues when I arrived, because I have learnt that no matter how shit a job is, it's always made bearable if you get on well with the people you work with, and vice versa - a job can be made really shit if you work with idiots you can't stand.  I was incredibly lucky that not only was the job really challenging (in a mostly enjoyable way), it was made all the more easier with the fantastic people we've recruited. I have high hopes for the contract because they're all so willing to learn and help others and the team has gelled so well in the short time they've known each other.

The meal was really good fun - lots of banter and laughs to be had.  We were right beneath the flight path for the air base which led to jokes about how when the jet planes take off, they have to land two minutes later because they've reached the end of their airspace. I can only presume they share airspace with their neighbouring countries!  Amusingly all the non locals ordered local food, and the locals ordered the Western food.  We also ordered two 'towers' of Heineken as it worked out cheaper than ordering pints, I really want one of these at home:

mmm my mumma said, good value for money!

Wednesday was my last day and the contract support came in for her last training session with me.  The day (in fact the last three days) was very busy and I didn't finish until 6.  One of the guys we have employed, Bernard, had brought in some Chinese sweets for us to try before we left, and he also brought a load of souvenirs for us to take back to the guys at Head Office.  He wanted to say thank you to every one back in London who'd helped with the contract too, and to say hello from Singapore. Isn't that lovely!

When I said goodbye to Peter and Bernard I actually had a tear in my eye which was a bit embarrassing - I had spent the most time with these two and they're so lovely. Peter is hilarious - such a great sense of humour and always happy and cracking jokes. Bernard is also a cheeky character but in a slightly more reserved way, and he was the one who took me to the doctor and waited for me.  I've got plans to go back to Singapore and cycle round the island with Bernard :-)

When I got back to the hotel I had about 4 hours before I got picked up for my flight.  I went and did my laundry, had dinner, then came back and finished off my packing.  In the laundrette I made the mistake of giving a cute little boy my money to put into the washing machine - he selected the most expensive cycle and I had to give him more money.

This is embarrassing to admit but I actually cried a little bit when I said bye to the hotel staff and got the cab to the airport, I really didn't want to go home!! I had spent the last six weeks blissfully happy nearly every day because the weather was good, the people were lovely and I was having an amazing time.  I knew I was coming back to a freezing house that's falling down,   dark mornings and evenings and a temperature of about 4 degrees. Sigh.

At the airport I wandered around the duty free for a bit.  I bought some perfume (which  I just compared prices with online and I didn't get it much cheaper, pants) then sat in the lounge until I was called.  Had a glass of wine just cuz I could, then regretted it when it made me feel a bit ill.

On the first flight I slept all the way through - the flight left at 1.20am so I was tired by this point.  At Dubai I had three hours to kill before the next flight, so wandered about the duty free again.  I bought the most gorgeous watch - I have been looking for one I liked for ages, and had my eye on a DKNY one but couldn't find it anywhere in Singapore.   I think I prefer the one I bought, and I got it for £67 when it retails at £95 in the UK - bargain :-)

I managed to lose my ring twice - once in the airport, and once on the plane - I got a really nice ring in Singapore and have been taking it off to wash my hands, and forgot it in the toilets both times. Luckily it got handed in both times, phew!  Though I did manage to lose another ring down the seat of the airplane - luckily it only cost me £3 but that was still a bit annoying.

My flight from Dubai to Heathrow was AMAZING.  I found myself wishing the flight was longer than 8 hours because I was enjoying my time so much on the plane.  It was the Airbus A380 which I have been so excited by the prospect of going on.  It's the double decker plane, where all first class and business class are on the top deck.  The seats are staggered so you end up with your own little booth, and I had done my research  before picking my seat and chose a window seat.  It was amazing.  The seat was really comfortable, you get a storage area to the right side of you so I didn't have to put anything in the overhead holder, and to the left you have your own mini bar and side panel to put stuff on.  The seat goes down all the way flat and you get an 'extension' for your legs under the seat in front of you.  I used up my mini bar really  quickly and put everything I didn't drink in my bag (such a pikey).  I then settled down to a movie marathon, watching World War Z (OK but the same as every other zombie movie I've ever watched), White House Down (really enjoyed it, I am in love with Channing Tatum) and Monsters University (not as good as the first but still funny).  The last two movies were funny and I was laughing out loud, forgetting that I had headphones on and my laughs were probably extra loud.  The last hour of the flight I went and sat at the bar for a bit (yes, there's a bloody bar at the back of the plane!!!!) and snoozed in my seat.

apparently this is Algeria

Flying over London was incredible.  You could see the Shard, Canary Wharf and the buildings in the City peeking through the fog.  I really love flying - it's magical at night time when you can see all of the stars from the horizon to the top of the sky.

the shard

When I landed in the UK it wasn't as cold as I thought it was going to be. For some reason my driver took a really long way home - he was using the built in sat nav in his merc and it took us an hour and a half to get from Heathrow to South London.  When we came back from Sri Lanka in May, the taxi took half an hour and that was with a stop off in Putney!  Ah well.

When I got home, I unpacked, had a snooze then headed out again to meet Amy and Cesca in Brixton.  It was great to see them again and we had a nice catch up.

If my company ever decide to open an office in Singapore, I will be the first on the plane :-)

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