My trip begins in the Singapore airport. After saying goodbye to my kitty and loved ones, I flew from Tucson, Arizona to Los Angeles. The same day, in fact, that the Laker basketball championship parade was happening in downtown L.A. It was a long flight from LAX to Tokyo, then to the fabulous Singapore airport.
I had a eight hour layover, after catching some sleep on the last flight. I was wide awake on landing and ran straight to the showers. I paid $8 and took a hot shower. It was sweet! I wandered the empty airport in the dead of the night, visited the muggy butterfly gardens, checked my Gmail and ate a delicious sandwich. I was anxious until 7am when the Charles and Keith shoe shop opened. I was told by my high school friend, Rani, to check it out. So I tried on some sexy heels. Trying on absolutely gorgeous shoes elevated my mood 200% and I was ready for my 7.5 hour flight to Sydney.
On my flight from Singapore to Sydney, I sat next to a woman from China, she spoke beautiful English and wore a white surgical face mask. The moment I sat next to her, she warned me she wasn't sick but was taking precautions because she travels several times a month. I respected her choice and was so exhausted I really couldn't care less, I just nodded and said, "Good for you." Recent events have changed the policy for entering Australia. I was required to fill out and sign a form saying I'm not sick and have not had contact with other people who are sick. There was a family with two small children in the row behind us. One of their two-year-olds had a fever, which caused a massive panic among the Singapore Airlines stewardesses. They had to contact Sydney airport so that an inspector would be ready to board the plane while we were at the gate. No big deal, I thought. Kids get fevers. It was the end of the flight and if I caught any flu, it was too late to worry. The Chinese woman beside me felt very differently. She panicked and she yelled. She was on the edge of her seat and kept repeating, "This is very bad, this is bad." I was getting very annoyed, after traveling for 30+ hours and just one short flight away from seeing my little brother, she was the last thing I wanted to deal with. The inspector released all of the passengers after only five minutes.
My 25 minute flight from Sydney to Canberra was just as dramatic. I sat in front of a 19-year-old who had a serious phobia of flying. Once we took off, I heard heaving breathing, crying and screams in the seat behind me. Apparently, this girl had had a rough flight when she was a child and was deathly afraid of flying. I felt horrible for her. A woman next to her, a complete stranger to the young girl, keep her calm and was constantly talking in order to keep her distracted. She got over it once the plane was smooth... all was well and I had arrived at my final destination: Canberra!