Here’s the first view of our new homeland:
Of course, having made it this far, we thought we were nearly there. Little did we realise that we still had approximately 5 hours’ flight over an empty and barren wilderness to go. We had already spent 12 interminable hours strapped in a plane playing Bejewelled and watching Water for Elephants during the first leg of the flight.
Upon arrival at Singapore’s Changi airport, 15 and Husband made for the free Wifi lounge, whilst 12 and I headed straight for the deluxe showers at $8 dollars a pop. 12 complained of a headache and nausea but I assured him, against my better judgement, that after a good warm shower and some decent food he would feel a lot better. Why didn’t I just take heed of the small dissenting voice inside my head…
Once ensconced in our respective beautifully clean and shiny cubicles with designer tiles and gleaming white sinks, I realised, upon hearing 12 coughing through the walls, that I should finish showering and get out as quickly as possible. Forget the long, hot soak under a steaming jet of water – things were getting nasty next door. Taps were off, underwear rolling up as it was hurriedly dragged on over still-wet skin and the door unbolted as I yelled at 12 to come in my cubicle whilst I finished dressing. Too late as the poor boy ran in and simultaneously vommed Niagara-like directly into the polished-like-a-mirror basin, leaving long slithery clumps of Singapore noodles and chicken draped over the taps and filled the sink with a heinous-smelling brown liquid that had nowhere to go due to the undigested lumps clogging up the drain hole. It was vile in the extreme and there was nothing we could do about it except tell the lady in charge, say ‘sorry about that’ and run away as fast as we could. I haven’t felt so ashamed in a long time.
Not to worry – once we got back to the techno-nerds, 15 decided she wanted to visit the new airport butterfly enclosure, which the two of us did, whilst we left Vom-boy sleeping curled up in a chair, watched over by his Daddy.
It was very hot and humid in there but well worth it to behold sights such as this:
Four hours after docking at Changi, we were on our way again, racing through the skies towards Melbourne, where we landed another 8 hours later.
Ah, after 20 hours in the air and approximately a full 24 hours after the first take-off, we finally made it! The excitement was bubbling just under the surface but we had to run the customs gauntlet first. Just as I never believe that any aeroplane on which I am travelling will ever actually make it to its destination without falling out of the sky, I really did not believe that we could just turn up at Aussie immigration, passports in hand and say “Hi, please let us in. We’ve come to live here.” What if they turned us away? We would have no option other than to fly back to Holland where we had no home, no car, no school and no jobs left!
As it happened, immigration was no problem at all; not even a single eyebrow hair was raised. Customs, however, was not such a pushover. Due to Husband having confessed to carrying prescription medication in his suitcase, the four of us were hauled out of the suitcase queue and lined up against a wall, our baggages arranged neatly in front of us whilst the most cute and enthusiastic hound sniffed excitedly around our bags. Everything declared up front and nothing further discovered by the olfactory organ on a lead, we were very politely invited to enter Australia.
And so, here we are, about to embark on our biggest adventure in years. More later!