I’m writing this from the improbably clean and tidy Singapore International Airport. I’ve just gotten off a 13 hour flight from Manchester, and I’m feeling surprisingly okay; Singapore Airline is pretty good. The plane had a very impressive entertainment system with the usual complement of movies and TV shows, but more importantly, they had about fifty or so albums on their system that you could listen to and queue up songs from. Given that I have an iPod, this isn’t that amazing but it’s another small step in in-flight entertainment.
Movies I watched:
Bulletproof Monk – not as bad as some claim. In fact, I thought it was pretty funny; if you take it seriously then it’s your own fault that you don’t enjoy it.
The Core – again, not that bad. While I will not comment on the science issues of the movie, I did think that the whole ‘pigeon strike’ scene was hilarious. Surely that must’ve gotten cinema audiences laughing?
Legally Blonde – one of my friends has been trying to make me watch this for months. With the lack of anything else to do on the plane (I watched the above two movies, and rewatched parts of Shanghai Knights and Tomb Raider) I checked it out. Funny in the Clueless sort of way, although I have real difficulty watching cringeworthy films.
Only a few minutes in Singapore Airport were required to give me a strong ‘I’m not in Kansas any more’ feeling. Maybe it was the thermal imager on the way in, or the fact that several of the jewellry boutiques I passed turned out to be digital camera stores. Then again, it might just have been the four soldier walking around the lounges toting assault rifles. It’s enough to make a person break out in sweat (and probably get arrested for having SARS).
I can see why this airport was recently voted one of the most traveller-friendly airports in the world. It has practically everything – a supermarket, massage areas, an enormous concourse and free wifi, ethernet and infrared Internet access. They even lend out network adaptors and powercord for free. Alas, their generosity does not extend to giving people free web terminal access outside of the hours of 11pm to 6am, so I am having to pay a couple of USD for this. Luckily, they do have cripped web terminals that offer access to a few selected websites, including BBC News.
But the lack of a keyboard and address bar has never stopped me from finding the websites I want. From the BBC News site, I clicked on a link to a Big Brother fansite, and then to Blogrolling, and then I could basically go anywhere I wanted; Slashdot, MetaFilter, pretty much every weblog out there, and thus every interesting linked website. If the admins were really keen on preventing this sort of access, they could simply have restricted browsing to a select number of IPs, which is what they do in a lot of museums in the US (I have tried this tactic elsewhere, as you may have guessed). But they didn’t, so life is good.
It’s a shame I’m only in this place for three hours, it would’ve been an interesting city to have a look around. Mind you, the assault rifles have me spooked – I don’t think I’d like to live here.