May 5, 2013: Travel Day 2, Changi

Singapore to Kathmandu We landed in Singapore about midnight their time. The flight, including the technical stop in Korea, was 19 hours, 30 minutes. It was technically May 6th as we had crossed the date line, but I'm calling it May 5th for blog purposes since I was in layover limbo land. May 6th begins Active Adventures awesomeness. I was wide awake despite having only slept fitfully maybe 20 minutes at a time the entire trip over. We followed the sun so it never really got dark, plus airplane seats seemed to be designed to make some part of your anatomy go numb when you don't shift position after 20 minutes. It was around 10 am California time and my biological clock had not reset. I deplaned, walked forever to find an empty chair, sat down and checked for WiFi. It existed, was free, and worked great. From the convenience of my iPhone I found my next terminal and directions to get there.  I got to take another monorail. I made my way over to my terminal, which was completely deserted, and settled in to my new home for the next 8 hours. Changi Airport appeared to live up to its awards for being one of the world's best airports. Right off the bat I was impressed with all of the real plants. The restrooms were clean, and when I left I got to tap a touch-screen of smiley faces depicting different levels of potty glee to rate my experience. I gave it one step down from sheer bliss. It is just a toilet after all. On my way home, I rated them sheer bliss. Your perspective changes after weeks of urinating behind rocks or negotiating Asian style composting toilets. In what felt like a scene from a Tom Hanks movie I began to pick up subtle nuances of airport night life. Those people-mover sidewalks, "travellators," are motion activated much like automated doors. If no one's around they shut down, as do the lights, making the terminal a cross between a eerie and peaceful place for a snooze. Alas, my body still thought it was noon. I caught up on some Facebook news, sent some email, and began the trip blog. While I was puttering around on my phone, a group of security guards approached me and asked to see my papers (passport and ticket). Hmmm, interesting. Maybe I did look like a creeper hanging out in a deserted terminal late at night. Not long after there was a page about a lost boy. I hoped that was the reason for the added inquiry, not that I looked like a terrorist after only a day of travel. At 6 am their time I became suspicious that my gate was still mostly deserted. Sure enough, a quick check on the phone informed me there had been a gate change. The new gate was a 20 minute walk to the opposite end of the terminal. Well, I wouldn't mind the exercise and a tour of more of the airport. As I walked I learned that Changi is a really cool place... in the daytime. If you have a long layover during normal business hours, you can watch a movie, take a tour of the city, or check out the garden. Plus there's always the usual shopping or dining. Continued on May 6th...