31 Jul – Flight to Boston

For full entry, read the original posting at www.indrani.net

I woke up at 3am, anxious about the flight. I ran everything through over and over again, making sure that I didn’t forget anything. I was all set to go at 4.30, but waited for Masindi to get prepared until 5.00. However, big stormy rain poured in at 4.50 and didn’t stop until 5.15. I thought I was really destined to not go this time, considering all the hindrance and disruption that I have been experiencing, from ticketing problems and visa etc. Nevertheless, we decided to call a cab at 5.20 and braved ourselves through the rain. Once we were in taxi, the rain stopped! We were really cursed!

We arrived at Changi airport just in time for check in. We have to go through layers of security checks, like all the flights going to the US. So much of paranoia, that even affects mothers with babies (but then again, they argued that you could never profile terrorists). The security lady checked my luggage and asked me with ceremonial questions such as “do you pack your bags yourself?”, then she checked our US visas, and ushered us to the check in counter.

The check in lady told us that we couldn’t get bulkhead seats in the flights. Worse, we got middle seat in the 12-13 hours flight from Tokyo to Chicago. I just pray for miracle.
We then say goodbay to Indi, and enter the immigration checkpoint. From then on, I’m alone with Noe in unfamiliar places. Inside I was totally nervous. This was Noe’s first time in long-haul flight, and my first time traveling with Noe and without Indi.

The first thing I needed to do is to buy sanitary pads in the airport pharmacy, but I was so nervous of letting Noe run around while I’m doing my thing, so I ended up throwing the money for payment to the pharmacist. Then I put Noe into the stroller and walked towards the Delifrance bakery before going into the boarding area.

In the boarding area, Noe was running around, excited with the new place. A very friendly pregnant lady responded to Noe with a smile. Then we boarded the plane.

WHEN YOU ENTER A PLANE WITH A TODDLER AT HAND, YOU COULD SEE MANY NERVOUS EYES LOOKING AT YOU, PRAYING THAT YOU WOULD NOT BE SEATED NEXT TO THEM.

From Singapore to Tokyo, we were lucky to get an aisle seat with an empty adjacent seat. A lady who was supposed to sit in the next seat across the aisle asked for a different seat, probably because she’s afraid that Noe would make a lot of noise and disturb her beauty sleep. Good, more empty seats!

Turned out that Meng, my french classmate, was in the same flight as me, and she was seated behind me. It’s so funny, because she also has a daughter of the same age as Noe.
Noe was really excited during the flight. I was also physically well prepared and not tired yet, so we really enjoyed being on board. We had spinach omelette for breakfast, then Noe spend the rest of the six hours on the plane roaming around the aisle and playing with the flight attendants. They were really friendly and playful with Noe. Most of them are Singaporeans or Malaysian.

 
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