I heart SQ

21 08 2012

I always take photographs of the wing of the airplane I’m on. (Wing, Boeing 777-200 Twin Jet)

WHILE MOST of my Singaporean and Malaysian friends expressed concern about my family’s welfare when monsoon rains submerged 90% of Metro Manila, I had more pressing concerns in mind.  Mama had been ill – getting confined in the hospital twice in a couple of weeks, spaced less than 12 hours apart – and just like any child thousands of miles away, I knew I’d rather be home.

Fortunately for me, I always have a Singapore Airlines ticket ready for me when I am.

I was anxious the whole time during this trip.  But somehow, flying with Singapore Airlines felt like flying with family.  On the Singapore–Manila leg (SQ918), I got my favorite seat and almost instantly, I was already home, up in the air, 30,000 feet in the skies.

Since the flight wasn’t even half-full, I could be quick to charge the impeccable inflight service to be due to the low flight attendant-to-passenger ratio.  There was plenty of attention to be spread.  But having been a loyal Singapore Airlines passenger all these years, I know better that the service was just their usual – top notch and uncompromising.  Actually, the operative word here is “usual.”  Why?  It is because they have been consistent at this excellent service level that anybody will be quick to dismiss any new experience to be – there’s that word again – the usual.

But having my anxieties brushed away, even for the three and a half hours I was airborne, I couldn’t help but feel grateful to the inflight crew.  Hui Hui (I hope I got her name right) was especially helpful that I just had to write her a thank you note.

I realized I was wandering aimlessly when I reached Gate E20 and when I looked up my flight’s boarding gate, it was E8. I was way off! It was on the other end of the terminal. Hehe.

 

On the way to my gate, I had to take a snapshot of Gate E5. It’s my favorite letter and number.

 

Whenever I pass by a mirrored wall…

 

Finally, Gate E8!

 

Comfortably ensconced in my favorite seat, the first at this section.

 

My favorite seat

 

I can’t look at this emergency door – right beside a flight attendant’s takeoff/landing station – without having images of action movies in my head. Haha!

 

I get all the papers available by the plane door – Financial Times (FT) Weekend, The Business Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Straits Times.

 

The moment I get in my seat, I work on the disembarkation card and the customs declaration.

 

As you can see, I always have my favorite pens with me – the Parker from my good friend Jian Cheng and the Bic from Timothy.

 

Amidst turbulence, I had to write down a quote from the movie I was watching.

 

Tiger Woods was giving me the eye. “Finish your papers, eNTeNG!”

 

Time check!

 

All of my travel papers and stuff – passport, e-Ticket, boarding pass, EP – are organized in this Muji passport holder. This was one of the first things I ever bought in Singapore.

 

I always travel comfortably, which this time meant my red Zappi shoes and khaki Topman shorts. My top was my five-year-old custom fit Ralph Lauren piqué polo shirt.

 

After the movie “The Lucky One,” I caught up on an episode of one of my favorite TV shows Grey’s Anatomy. That’s one of my favorite characters, the feisty Dr. Cristina Yang.

 

Dinner has landed!

 

I had stir fried fish in dry chilli and Chinese wine, seasonal vegetables and fried rice. For starters, I munched on a pasta salad of marinated seafood and penne.

 

For dessert, it was tiramisu “Ais Krim”.

The Manila–Singapore leg (SQ921) was full.  Getting yet another one of my favored seats was just half of the pleasant flight.  The other half was taken care of by the attentive, thoughtful crew.  I took note of one name – Lynn.  Again, I hope I got it right (her last name starts with H).

While some of my fellow passengers opted to drown the occasional turbulence with gin and tonic or Johnny Walker Black with orange juice, I chose to wash everything away with my favorite Campbell’s Tomato Juice.

By the second refill I heard the most beautiful words, “Would you like a whole can?”  I heard that in both flights.  I heart Singapore Airlines.

Before I knew it, it was time to go back to the Lion City.

 

NAIA was full! There lines everywhere.

 

As an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), I had to fall in line to get my papers validated.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the King of Pop!… “I’m starting with the man in the mirror…”

 

This flight was a bit delayed, but nothing disappointing. We were kept posted on the progress. By the way, it was raining when we took off.

 

For inflight reading, I brought a book from my bookshelf at home, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Dana Thomas.

 

This show “Cupcake Wars” caught my attention.

 

Of the many movie choices, I decided on the 80’s classic Ghostbusters starring, among many others, the very beautiful Sigourney Weaver. I remember seeing this movie as a kid.

 

A young Bill Murray. I still think he should’ve gotten the Oscar for “Lost in Translation.”

 

Finally the food has arrived!

 

I had couple of these warmed rolls!

 

Dinner is served! – pork spare ribs with preserved soya beans (rendered like a most sumptuous sauce), chicken rice (yum!), and steamed seasonal vegetables (though the menu did say Chinese mushroom).

 

The spare ribs were actually served boneless. The meat was really tender, moist and flavorful. Having watched enough Top Chef, I know exactly the exacting skill needed to dish out such a scrumptious meal.

 

I fell in love with this smoked duck and green mango salad. I have to say, I was mesmerized by the tangy dressing.

 

I must’ve gone through three of these. I lost count. I wouldn’t be surprised if the flight attendant would decide to start charging me. Hahaha!

 

Back in Singapura! This was my first time landing at Terminal 3. The place is just breathtakingly beautiful!

 

The place is huge!

 

I turn into a kid in a candy store whenever I’m faced by this Visitor Information rack. I have to say, I get my fill of the latest. Hahaha!

 

Please proceed to Belt 41 to claim your baggage.

 

I said I had fragile stuff inside. Little did I know, my luggage would get this treatment. Haha!

 

My excel spreadsheets at work are always colorful. So I love looking at this flight indicator board.

 

I love taking the last flight out of Manila all the time. Because I arrive in Singapore to a taxi queue that looks like this.

 

This was the lightest I have ever traveled in years. But still I managed to pack in some stuff for some special people back at my second home.

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

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Pen and muncher

7 01 2012

Parker pen and Ferrero Rocher

I JUST love how most, if not all, of the gifts I received for this past holiday season were “so me,” so eNTeNG in a way.  When the gift-giver gets you, that in itself is the gift already.

On the morning of the last working day of 2011 (30th of December), I was so surprised to find on my desk the gift of a Parker pen and Ferrero Rocher chocolate.  Nice, I said to myself.  This person knows exactly that I’m my own crusader to keep the art of handwriting alive, and that I enjoy popping into my mouth one or a couple of spherical chocolate sweets that ensconce in its center a whole roasted hazelnut enveloped in hazelnut cream, then encased in wafer, before being smothered in milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts.

It wasn’t easy to figure out who the giver was, and I was reduced to asking my cubicle mates if they saw who left the gift.  Good thing that as I scrolled down through my swamped inbox, there it was, the shy gift giver’s e-Mail one of them had predicted.

I had to immediately reply, especially since I couldn’t wait to let the giver know that just a couple of days back, I found myself fixing the Parker pen display at Popular Book Store with a longing, almost unwilling-to-let-go stare, as in my head ensued the debate whether to buy or not to buy.  I didn’t buy because, as it is the case, I penny-pinch when it comes to me.  Hahaha!  Well, except when it comes to timepieces.  Hahaha!

I love a handwritten element to a gift, be it a short note or just my name in the giver's penmanship.

I must’ve sounded so over-the-moon in my reply, even mentioning how the pen will go perfectly with my Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarers Rare Print in white.  How couldn’t I?  It’s the one thing at the moment that I knew I really wanted.  The giver said it was a token to express both friendship and gratitude.  And one more thing – that it may somehow help delay being forgotten.

My Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarers Rare Print in white

Which is not a problem with me.  For I don’t forget.  I never forget.  And for this gift and many others, I’m quite thankful.

My new, lovely Parker pen in white. I used it for the first time the following day, filling out and signing all my travel forms on my flight back to Manila.

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved