I just made it in to Singapore. I'm on a stop-over on my way to Montana for Christmas. My flight departed at 7:30 in the morning so Tom woke me up bright and early with coffee. Thanks Tom! :-)
Getting to the airport (thanks to Rika's husband), checking in, landing and taking off all went smoothly. However, when I arrived at Changi airport I had forgotten to declare the kris that was packed in one of my suitcases. Now, I know this sounds like a really stupid thing to do, but to be fair I was never given a slip of paper with which to make such a declaration. So, my luggage was going through screening and one of the airport workers suspiciously asked me if I had anything to declare. In my ignorance I assumed he was talking about the Orang Tua I had in my bag, so I said yes. However, when I opened the bag I was surprised that he was actually looking for a knife!
Before I was taken over to the customs office I had to wait while they searched the man's luggage who was behind me. This man was a little flake of a thing, American I think, and he was completely rude. I told him I was sorry because they thought he was with me, and I thought that was why they were searching his things too. His response was, "yeah, you don't bring a f**king knife the size of your arm into an airport." Now, I thought this was very rude, and it turned out that they were searching his bag because he had some sort of large piece of metal in it that was showing up on the screen.
Once at the customs office I noticed there was a Dutch guy there and an Australian guy there. It turned out they were there for the same reason, illegally smuggling swords into Singapore. It was a big ordeal and they asked 10 million questions and threatened to seize the sword, but once the police were called in things were sorted pretty quickly and to my astonishment I was allowed to keep the kris! So, you had better really appreciate it, Bren.
I also met this lovely woman on the MRT when leaving the airport. Her name is Marylynn and she is from Sussex. She helped me with my luggage and I accompanied her to the market to buy some mincemeat pies for Christmas. She helped me all the way to Little India and even bought me lunch. We have plans to meet and walk around the Botanical Gardens when I come back through Singapore in January.
I'll be enjoying some delicious Indian food later and I'm staying at Footprints Hostel again, so I should be able to get a good sleep before heading to the airport at 4:00 am!