Day 47 – Monday, 5th June, 2006

We were not particularly looking forward to our stay at the Excelsior after the last time. However, Mum and I (still feeling poorly) went to the reception desk and proffered our reservation coupon. This time we specifically made sure to request non-smoking. The young lady said she would try to oblige us. I then insisted that we had to have non-smoking. I think she could see I meant it, and that I would complain if we didn’t get it because she upgraded us to the Peninsula Tower of the hotel and put both of us on a non-smoking floor.

We thanked her very much and again shouldered back packs and advanced to the lifts. In this section of the hotel you require your room key card to activate the lift above the Lobby level – keeping in mind that the Lobby is actually on the 5th floor, and there are shops and restaurants to street level below that.

We arranged to meet mum and dad at 8:00am the next morning to go down to breakfast, and then retired to our respective rooms. Russ and I unpacked and prepared for the next day, as we had to check out by 1:00 pm. Our flight home tomorrow is much earlier than our original flight to London, so we will not need the extra night’s accommodation.

We ordered a very light meal from Room Service and then collapsed into bed. I could not see any of us making the effort the next day to do the shopping that I had left for Singapore, so while Russ showered I investigated what was available on the Internet. I found a site that sells saris, and will be quite happy to buy off them when I get home.

I also took the opportunity to check out the Chico’s website that Connie had spoken to me about. This company sells from the internet and has a range of clothes specifically made for travel that can be rolled up without crushing. I liked what I saw there, as well, and will be still doing retail therapy when we get home.

Russ and I woke with the alarm the next morning, and dragged ourselves out of bed. When we were ready to go down to breakfast, we gave Mum and Dad’s room a call. It was just as well. Mum had not wound her watch, and Dad had not bothered to set his alarm, so that we actually woke them up. Half an hour later we all went down to the bedlam in Coleman’s Café, and had some breakfast. It was decided that we would all take the opportunity of going back to bed as soon as we had finished – which we did.

We checked out of our room just prior to 1:00 pm, and had sat down comfortable in the lounge area with our luggage. Russ then asked if I had the coupon for the bus shuttle back to the airport, and pandemonium broke loose.

I requested that I be allowed to go back to our room to check the bin, and they graciously provided me with a new key card. I did not find anything, so sat down to check all the pockets of my back pack. Still found nothing!

Russ then requested he be allowed to go back to check our room, and when he returned he had the stub with him. I had forgotten that it was attached to a sheet of paper, and had only been searching for the small stub.

Then Dad realised that when he had put his old toiletry bag into the bin, he had also left behind his letter from the doctor which provided a list of his prescription medicines. He requested a new key card, and returned to their room to get it.

Mum had spent most of this time reclining on the lounge seat trying to get ready to face the next part of our journey. She had managed to eat something for breakfast, and said she felt marginally better than yesterday.

Russ went down to the other section of the lounge where he could plug in the computer and recharge the battery. I decided that we could all do with a nice cold drink and went across to the bar.

Shock and horror – 2 diet cokes and 2 lemonades cost me $30.30 Singaporean. We all made sure that we even drank the melted ice cubes before we let the glasses leave our possessions. Mum and I then went for a walk around the lower levels. Most of these shops appear to be focused at the Singaporean people, and definitely not for tourists, but it was exercise.

Finally, the clock rolled around to 5:00pm and we went down to the entrance to await the shuttle.

The shuttle dropped us off in front of the Singapore Airlines door this time, and we went through the process of check-in once again. James in London had done us proud and we got an exit row, with Mum and Dad sitting behind us.

It was most unusual but we actually had a boarding gate posted already, so we headed off to the very end of the terminal in E section, and put all our luggage together. Mum and Dad were quite happy to sit with the luggage whilst Russ and I returned to the shopping area for the last two souvenirs.

It was as we were returning to Mum and Dad that Russ glanced at the Departure Board and discovered that our boarding gate had been changed. We now had to go to the other end of the terminal in F section.

Mum hates travelators and insists on walking the whole way. Each section of travelator is about 100 metres long, and there were five of them in the E section, and 4 of them in the F section. As I was trying to organise a ride for Mum from one section to the other, Russ called me to say that they had placed the luggage onto two trolleys, and were waiting for us. Needless to say, mum insisted on walking the rest of the way to the new boarding gate.

We always made a point of mentioning that Immigration is a serious business just before we go through that section of a country. Mum has got very touchy/feely as she has gotten older and ended up joking with the young Immigration policeman. She was requested for her passport, and as she was about to hand it across she realised she actually had Dad’s passport. Being Mum, she apologised and said she had her husband’s passport, to which he replied, “You bought him with you?”

As these things do she quickly quipped something else and then lightly punched him on the arm. Talk about instant mortification! (She is a red head, you remember.) They were all still laughing (herself included) when she got around to taking a seat in the departure lounge.

By the time the announcement was made for boarding, Russ had convinced Mum and Dad to use one of the few advantages of being old, and they boarded the plane first with the families and other older people.

We left on time at 8:40 pm and had a great flight home with Singapore Airlines. Once we had boarded I set my clock at Australian time – 10:40 pm – and we went through the usual rituals, before settling down to sleep.