October 8

Landing in Shanghai today and hearing the Singapore Airlines announcement – “Welcome to Shanghai. Today is October 8 … ” – gave me a sense of déjà vu. A year ago, the announcement I heard on this very day, also on Singapore Airlines, would have sounded like this: “Welcome to New York”. Ahh! Wish I could time-trip back to October 8, 2010.

October 8 was also the day we moved into our current home in Singapore in 2005, one that we actually own and would never have to move out of unless we choose to (or of course, if the government wants us to). Gone were our hermits days, but just five years into it, I was not living in it most of the time anymore. Still, it’s nice to have a permanent home to go back to, so Happy 6th Anniversary of home ownership.

Of course, something remarkable must happen on October 8, 2011. Dressed in all my Japanese garb – a top I picked up in Harajuku last month, Uniqlo tights and a Baby-G watch I bought in Tokyo in 2009 – I was seated today next to a Japanese couple. The lady was super nice, she offered me some candies as we prepared to alight from the plane (okay, Mike would tease me about this being such a British way of saying “get off” but whatever … ). Plus, she asked if I was still in school. Geez, people should stop saying such niceties to me, sometimes I really forget just how old I really am 😦

For the first time in my travel life, I dropped things, not once, but twice, from my food tray. First, I dropped my fork. The nice Japanese lady asked the flight attendant for another set of cutlery for me. Then, I dropped the capsule after I emptied the milk into my coffee. Garrrhhh, what clumsiness!!! No wonder my friendly neighbor thought I was still in school, she probably thought it was the first time I flew. Sigh

Oh well. I guess this is the end of the mad travels, at least for a while. For the past three days, I was shuttling between my three homes – Melaka, Singapore and Shanghai. 5 hours each way on the coach between Melaka and Singapore, 5 hours flight between Singapore and Shanghai. I’m zapped.

Although this time I did not bungle up on my speech, I almost did the last time I landed in Shanghai from Tokyo on Delta Airlines. When I wanted to take over someone in front of me walking down the aerobridge, I froze for a moment. Should I say “sumimasen” (“sorry, excuse me” in Japanese), or “不好意思,请让让” (“sorry, please give way” in Chinese), or simply “Excuse Me”? I went with the last one, the lingua franca as far as I was concerned.

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About transez

Design researcher: curious about people, passionate about life.
This entry was posted in culture, language, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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