Flight to Santiago – flying over the Andes

(Post-trip me thinks: This looks incredibly amazing (and fake), did I really see this???)

So absolutely enthralled by my surroundings
To be this close to the Andes, that’s my dream! To have the mountain chain by my side, that felt amazing
It’s funny though, because I feel this way especially because I’ve spent years seeing the Andes in books and stuff, so to see it in person is like… Seeing a celebrity

 

 

 

 

like a painting

 

 

 

FLIGHT FROM BA TO SANTIAGO
Got into a van with 4 other people
I alighted and drivers approached me, much like Bali which threw up all guards
I tried to figure out if they were in cahoots to rob me but within this van this man was watching a video with squeals coming from it, like some cartoon, and the other girl about my age was asleep gracefully. The other lady flicked through her iPhone casually. I don’t think I’m that rich and rob-able compared to them, to be frank. Hence I relaxed as the van I was on drove away from Santiago airport towards the city.

Buenos aires airport (international)- worst place to sleep in autumn. I was absolutely freezing, even with my felt blanket. Had wifi at least.

 

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Until we meet again, Vietnam!

On my last day in HCM, I chose to sleep overnight at the airport instead of staying in the hostel for a night and then cabbing to the airport. This was because I had a morning flight at 7am. The alternative would be to wake up at 3.30am, cab to airport at 4am and to reach at 5am for check-in. Me being me, I chose to sleep over because, well, if you remember, I am quite intrigued by airport-overnightings. http://www.sleepinginairports.net/ – The Guide to Sleeping in Airports – a website I first snorted aloud when I chanced upon the existence of it (people actually review sleeping in airports??) has become an eager site I scroll through when I have an early flight.
In any case, I feel some sort of regret not reviewing the other airports I’ve slept in (!! i can hardly remember the experiences) so I’ll note this one down.


Tan Son Nhat International Airport

I can only comment on 1. Wifi 2. Plugs 3. Temperature 4. Seats
Here, I slept at domestic airport terminal. I couldn’t enter the departure hall – it would only be open at 4am, the security guard said, so I had to choose a seat at the outer areas. There was an automatic door about 500m away, occasional traffic honkings can be heard, so the earplugs came in handy.

1. Wifi! – works! Connect to the airport wifi, just have to click some agreement button and it worked. Not sure if there’s a time limit but it was pretty fast and was working well during the time I had my laptop.

2. Plugs – Some 300m away I spotted a plug. When my laptop was dying I excitedly sat myself on the floor and plugged in, turned on the switch but it didnt work. Sadly watched my laptop switch off at 0% – in good time anyway, it was midnight by then and I should sleep. So plugs – NOPE, DIDNT WORK. On a brighter note, people-watch and sleep, you.

3. Temperature – not freezing, no particular blasts of cold air. Normal, night-time temperature. Neither exceedingly cold nor warm. GREAT.

4. Seats – No ‘sofa seats’ – i took the red ones at the back, if you can see. I stretched my legs on the whole row, feet dangling out a little bit (but I took off my shoes and curled in), hugging my valuables (day pack) close to me, covered with my outerwear, while sleeping on my backpack. Is it comfy? Well, depends on your personal expectations and definition of comfy. As an experienced sofa sleeper that prefers the sofa to my bed, I found it pretty decent and caught some reasonable sleep, only waking up 10 minutes to 5am. No pokey bits, just a row of chairs that were ‘flat’ enough to lie upon. Decent.

Oh, around that time I woke up because I could hear some buzz around me. There were many Viets sitting around me at 4+++ near 5am (there’s a clock on the right, big red numbers that allows you to know the time) and they were chatting. That woke me up. Just as well. Earplugs or opt for a quieter seat elsewhere.

Additional note: WOKE UP WITH MOSQUITO BITES. Ugh, they would try biting every bit of exposed skin – even up to my feet. Covered my feet with some clothes in my bag and covered other parts of my skin. Also wore my insect repellant band. Because this annoyed me the most, I would advice others to avoid this seat. Mosquitoes were present probably because it was accessible from the open-air exit.

I realise the next morning that I was in the domestic terminal, and that I have to go to the international one. I guess my future self (ever? when im older and richer, probably not) would opt for an area away from an open-air exit, and be less lazy in my search.

Still, it was an experience. Another airport to my collection (?) !

Bye bye Vietnam, this must have been one of my favourite trips. A mixture of gorgeous sceneries, nature, culture, good deep long conversations, heightened awareness of thought-provoking global issues, favourite exhilarating moment(s), KNOWLEDGE AND HISTORY, couchsurfing, local ways of life, introspective time and GOOD COMPANY. Sigh, the ideal mix indeed. If I could choose, I’d love to have all my trips like this.

Then again, such chanced encounters and complementary events are what makes this one special and memorable. Thank you!

Budapest, Hungary!

School has started, and I know that once I am engulfed in the crashing waves of NUS workload the sinking begins. So here I go, spamming all the random bits I weaved in my head over the month while I still get the freedom of doing what I want without THAT nagging guilt or reasons for procrastination.

Budapest was definitely much more beautiful than I had expected it to be.

I landed in Hungary at 1130pm, having lost an hour from the UK. The metro lines weren’t working by then so I decided to sleep over at the airport. Here’s me, in my airport-overnighting-gear.


(HAHAHA embarrassing…. but dont care wanna keep here) (make small small)

May I add that I think I secretly enjoy sleeping over at airports? There is something pleasingly peaceful about airport-overnighting, I feel like it’s the one night where I get a whole lot of time and space for myself. Finding plugs and plotting myself on the ground, brushing my teeth and washing my face in the toilet, finding a comfortable bench, earplugs in, shades out, bags hugged close. It gives me some sort of pleasing independence I suppose. I’ve slept in at least 4 airports now, I should write some sort of review. Budapest airport is one of the best though with its unlimited wifi hehehe and I had the whole bench to myself

Made my way to 11th Hour Hostel the next morning, which turned out lovely and solved my printing woes. Woohoo! Budapest’s hostels have pretty high ratings in general and this hostel was pretty good.

I was happy to see Cher again, WHEEEEEEEEEEEE
In beautiful places it’s really nice to share that moment with someone and to have the both of us in Europe in the same semester, together with Lyn and Zong Chels etc Andersonians is such a rare thing. To be able to travel with people you’ve known for ages, and to take pictures in beautiful places because you want to take beautiful pictures with the person instead of the place, it’s a privilege and I’m lucky that way. 🙂
 

WAAAAAAH

dont try to steal hor

 
The thermal baths were intensely relaxing (juxtaposition) and I can almost picture myself back there, eyes closed and soaking in the warmth of the water. Damn, it feels good. All swimming pools should be this warm! I’ll soak in here forever ~~~
 
Went into the sauna and then dipped in the icy pool – okay I hate this part IT’S TORTURE but then Lokky said something like it opens and closes the pore and then the dirt would be squeezed out or something and when I think about the dirt being squeezed out of my pores it gives me huge motivation to dip myself into the icy pool BE SQUEEZED OUT, DIRT, BE SQUEEZED
but I don’t know if thats real
 
Freaked out mildly by the male masseur, i was slightly tense and ready to slam the adam apple in case of any inappropriate gestures but all was professional, hehehe and i chided myself slightly for perhaps being overparanoid. maybe it wasn’t ‘overparanoid’ but it would be easier to have faith that people are just doing their jobs, and life would be easier to not make a big deal of such things.  i d k