After a few minutes of waiting we were on our way down to the airport. The flight going down was very exhilarating much like when we were going up. I was brimming with excitement that I didn’t notice that my grandma was so nervous already hahahaha..lol I’m a bad kid. So while I was controlling my excitement I consoled my grandma that it would be alright since we’re almost at the ground.
The thud of the airplane on the ground assured us that we have now safely landed and is on our way to the terminal. From the command of the airline crew we prepared our bags and started to line up to get out of the plane. My heart thudded so much as we near the exit of the plane while thanking the crew as we pass them by.
Holding our dear passport in our hands whilst carrying our baggage, we walk and walk until we reach the carpeted area where another AirAsia staff greeted us “Merry Christmas and welcome to Singapore”. We were then directed to go to the immigration counter right away. As we walk further away I looked around us and I did not see any immigration counter. I thought that once were off the plane the IO counter would be just a few blocks. Luckily an old lady that grandmama befriended saw us. Thank goodness I thought we would be lost for sure. Being a first timer sure was hell’a stressful I’m glad that my grandma is super friendly with strangers now we have someone who’s an expert in traveling to SG to help us. I was now able to relax and take it all in that finally we have arrived in Changi Airport. My gosh, if the help did not come I would not be able to appreciate where I was from all the stress and trying so hard not to show it to my grandma to not let her be panicky too. On our first night I already saw one of the grandeur that the Lion City has to offer, their super stunning, carpeted airport.
I was pretty much like a kid when we rode on the straight escalator as I’ve never rode on one. What made it even more gorgeous was the lighting because it was my fave color (see more on the travelvlog “How My 8 Days in SG Went”). As we go by, we passed a lot of duty free shops. I took all the courage not to ask my grandma if we could stop by because we can’t waste anymore time. It was already past 9 and we were hoping we could ride the train instead of taking the taxi or bus to our AirBNB as it is just near the train station. And train is more cost efficient as we were on a tight budget and fast.
We walk some more before we arrive to another escalator which is the normal one going down but what makes it different was that it was so looong. Going down, I surveyed the area and so the ceiling was so high and what was right in front of us was the IO counter. Since our new found friends was not able to fill up the immigration form we went on ahead of them to the immigration counter while they go to a corner were lots of immigration forms are found. Line was not that long but it was enough for me to survey my surroundings. I saw that beside the immigration counter there is a passport scanner for Singaporean citizen so they don’t need to pass by the immigration counter. I was able to observe the face of the Singaporean IO and the foreigners who were in front of them. I got nervous for a bit because their faces looked very scary not that I have something to be scared of but you know that feeling you get when you’re faced with something for the first time ever. There was also this guard woman who would tell a group to go to counters separately and not together. Now that scared the hell out of grandma cause she does not speak english and the problem would be if they asked something from her. When it was my turn I told her to wait for her turn but as hardheaded as she is she followed me only to be stopped by the officer. She kept telling her I’m her son, when I heard it I couldn’t keep myself from laughing (sorry mama) and told her to just wait for me there. When the counter beside me was empty she was directed there by the angry looking officer. I feel sorry for my mom, she keep looking at me with a scared face while the IO was looking at hear passport. I think the IO she was facing understood her and did not ask her any question unlike mine. Once her passport was given back to her she happily skipped towards me and we went on our way to look for the luggage counter. We asked the guard near the IO counter just so we could save time because it was nearly 10:00 pm and the train stops running at 11:30 PM (how I’d know about it???just research, research, research). We rushed our way to the luggage area and realized that it was very far as we past by lots of stores before we saw what we were looking for. If you’ve watched the video(you can watch it here) you might have seen me goofing around the luggage escalator thingy. Hahaha twas my first time having to wait for my luggage and I’ve been dying to try and ride the luggage escalator hahaha I was so happy no one in our flights had arrived yet cause they might scolded me or what. You see each flight have designated luggage escalator so when you’re there to find your baggage find first you flight no. before you stand there and wait for your luggage because you might be waiting for nothing and only to find out in the end your baggage was not their causing you to panic nga way hinungdan. After getting our luggage we went directly to the final checkup for our baggage and luggage scanner before we were allowed to get out of the arrival area.
After walking endlessly around the big terminal 1 we were finally able to find an ATM machine. I sneakily looked from the person who was there withdrawing to see if it is the same with our ATM machine here in PH. I know it’s bad but I need to do that (please don’t follow my bad example). The bad thing was it did not help because once it was my turn I inputted PHP amount meaning my card was rejected for insufficient balance so I had to do it again and resort to balance inquiry loosing much more money. I withdrew SG$200 first for our budget for 4 days, so we can buy a card for the train. When the machine said my transaction was successful my excitement rose to the highest level while waiting for my first Singaporean money to come out of the machine. And boy was it unbelievable, I thought the money in my hands were play money. As I observe it the money looked like plastic and the size where different from back home. It still feels so surreal and I gazed at it with wide eyes while looking at my grandma saying “Ma, naa nata kwarta” hahaha.
We ended our first night in SG with a bit of empty stomach and a craving for food back home coupled with the excitement of sleeping in a big bed with aircon and excitement of what we will do tomorrow.
PS. I wonder if we really did stop mid-air or I just heard it wrong 😕