Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Deja Vu All Over Again

After spending the day in the British Airways lounge, we finally reboarded the plane. It was somewhat chaotic - none of the, "Rows 36 - 28" kind of thing - it was, "Get on the plane. Same seats as yesterday."

Business class in BA is comprised of individual pods where a pair of passengers are separated by a low wall with a retractable window in the center. My traveling partner was an interesting British gentleman who was extremely widely traveled, particularly throughout developing countries. He knew the crew by name and they made it a point to share the real story of our previous situation with him. It turned out that immediately after take-off, some of the landing gear would not return to the undercarriage of the plane. Nor, would the rest of the landing gear go down. The plane could not continue as it was and the decision was made to do a belly landing with limited gear at Heathrow.

Apparently, when the pilot summoned the entire crew to the cockpit and they went running through the plane, that was the signal that something was seriously wrong. Having never experienced that before, I didn't think much of it and continued to read my book (thanks for the good read, Anne.) My pod partner said he was impressed with my calmness - ignorance is bliss! It finally dawned on me later that a little girl sitting a few rows away had been crying inconsolably. All I could think of at the time was, "What does she have to be crying about?
Who wastes a business class seat on a kid?" Clearly, she was much more aware than I was.

All's well that ends well, and 24 hours later, with a new plane, we landed in Singapore. I haven't seen much aside from the Long Bar at Raffles, home to the Singapore Sling (the Brits sure do know how to colonize a country and I quickly fell into my Kenyan G+T habit) and the inside of my hotel. The little that I have experienced has been clean, modern and very humid, but it's a welcome change from snow. Hopefully, I'll have a little time Thursday to explore before I go to Bangkok.

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