Arriving in Singapore was preceded with the kind of chaos one would usually associate with an individual cursed with Murphy’s Law. After logging in to check-in to my flight online the night before, I discovered my flight had been cancelled – and the website was not processing changes and the call centres were either closed or not connecting and OMG WHAT AM I DOING MAYBE THIS IS A SIGN DON’T MAKE ME GO.
Obviously, I sorted it out because here I am in Singapore (despite the engines on the plane having difficulty starting … *ahem*)! My mother deserves a medal and my nerves would appreciate if I never flew British Airways again.
Arrivals are funny things. I’m used to travelling on my own and arriving in new places without any idea of what’s going on. I manage to get a bus or taxi to wherever I may or may not have made a reservation, and it works itself out. Being met by someone with a placard is fun and I have a very fond memory of a man in Lima who took me to my hotel. He barely spoke English and I barely spoke Spanish, but we managed a wonderful conversation! He told me all about how much he loves his country and how he’s so pleased I’ve chosen to visit Peru. He taught me to count to twenty, some basic conversation phrases, and gave me a hug when he left me at the counter of the hotel (after insisting on walking me into the hotel to make sure I had a reservation and was safe).
Arriving in Singapore I was met by a man with a camera who snapped a photo as my eyes widened in astonishment (and, I admit, self-conscious concern for my appearance), planted a big kiss on my cheek, and then said: “You must be Stephanie! Welcome to Singapore!” This is my new boss. I was welcomed like family within the first few minutes of stepping from the gate!
Being met by family is better than anything, though. Hugs seem that much better when you’ve just arrived somewhere! My mum’s hug at the arrival gate when I returned from Europe last year is one of the best hugs I’ve ever experienced; I can understand why people like to watch arrivals at airports.
Arrivals are preceded by departures. There is a beautiful duality to all things in life; departing and arriving means things are simultaneously sad and happy. I am excited by the new opportunities that await me in Singapore and yet departing from my comfort zone made me anxious and shell-shocked for days before my flight. I had to depart before I could arrive – and now that I’ve arrived, I’m excited for what is waiting beyond the terminal gate.