Local Heart, Global Soul

March 17, 2018

Flight Mapping…

Filed under: NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I have a love / hate relationship with the flight maps on planes that track your progress as you fly.

I love maps and geography so that’s a plus, and it’s sort of nice to see which country or place you are flying over, but on the down side it’s not always wonderful to know that you have completed four hours of your flight but there are still ten more to go.

Often I prefer to loose track of time, to watch a movie, or four, be distracted as much as possible and then have the wonderful surprise of the message on the intercom telling us that we are beginning descent to our destination and to please prepare for landing.

I find that not knowing the time seems to make the time go faster, I feel like I’m getting to my destination, quicker.

Flying to New Zealand is a slight exception however, because I don’t want to know that we are still over Australia on one hand (the country is huge and sometimes it feels like it takes forever to cross) but I do want to know when we are getting close to the New Zealand coast. I also never cease to be shocked by the intense cold outside at this speed and altitude, or how high we are able to fly. We take so much technology for granted these days but it is still a wonder that I can be on the other side of the world in twenty-four hours flying time.

We might complain about how tiring such a trip can be, but then I think back to the fact that when my Father emigrated to New Zealand the only economically viable option was a six week trip by ship via the Panama Canal. Here am I travelling to New Zealand for a holiday with two flights, one of fourteen hours and the other of ten. Eventually the image coms up that I have been waiting since my last visit to see; the South Island of New Zealand map on the screen and the tell-tale ssigns of imminent landfall.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 15, 2018

An Airport And A Giant Slide…

Filed under: Changi Airport,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Changi airport in Singapore is huge, it can take twenty minutes to walk some sections, and even though there are already three terminals, the construction of a fourth is already well under way.

Everyone knows that with security checks and tight schedules that airlines have to keep to enable minimum profit, getting the customer checked in on time is essential.

But then you have the problem of what to do with your customer whilst they are “in holding” within the airport.

Of course there are the food and drink outlets but ideally you don’t want people spending too much time in bars, because they might become unruly on the plane.

Families with kids always have the problem of keeping them entertained, after all, sitting still in rows of chairs is as boring as it comes for young ones with boundless energy.

Changi has installed something ingenious; a giant slide. We didn’t have time to investigate it too closely, but the slide is like those found in swimming pools, naturally without the water. There is a queue at the top, and had we had more time I think both of our kid would have been interested in having a go. At 12 metres (4 storeys) in height this a definite way to have fun in an airport! Tickets for the ride are given per $10 spent at Changi Airport in a single same day receipt (with a couple of exceptions) so saving those food and drink, book and duty free receipts will be a ‘must do” from now on.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A YouTube video showing the making of the T3 Slide:

March 14, 2018

A First Step Into Swensens…

Filed under: Changi Airport,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes a place triggers memories of events, this restaurant in Singapore is one of those places.

Family Kiwidutch were first introduced to the Swensens chain of restaurants twelve years ago by our Singaporean friend “Velvetine”.

I remember it distinctly because this was the return stopover on our way to back to the Netherlands. I’d met Velvetine for the first time earlier, on the way to New Zealand, she being a long time internet friend that I had taken the plunge to meet in person.

She and her then husband met us for afternoon tea at our hotel, and hit it off immediately. Kiwi Daughter was four and a half and was exploring the entire seating area of the downstairs reception area. We kept her in sight of course but at least we only had one to watch. Little Mr preferred someone’s lap.

Suddenly in New Zealand just a few days later, in the living room of one of an Aunt and Uncle, Little Mr would take his first step.

His First birthday had already been two months previous and he showed no sign whatsoever of being interested in walking. He would stand happily hanging onto furniture but the second you tried to have him hold your hands or be released in any way, he would immediately start crying, a real distress call and would cling firmly like a frightened limpet as soon as he was in your arms.

There was no “cruising”: the hanging on to furniture for support and moving from one piece of furniture to another as his sister had done.

Cruising is usually the “test flight” of toddlers before they dare to venture across an open space. Little Mr was the toddler who didn’t even want to flap his wings.

Therefore he took everyone by surprise when he went from clinging to a large Lazy-boy style chair to taking his first free and unaided complete step across the free space between it and the sofa.

Two days later he was managing around a dozen steps unaided. It was a shock for Velvetine to see the contrast: the kid on the way to New Zealand who stood frozen, clinging to everyone and everything, to the kid who was constantly mobile and we suddenly needed all hands on deck to keep up with his squirming escapes. To celebrate this momentous event Velvetine took us to Swensens. Little Mr just had something simple, it was just vanilla or strawberry ice-cream with some whipped cream, but Kiwi Daughter had a “volcano” sundae, they put a little dry ice on her dessert and it spilled over in a soft airy cloud, easy but completely mesmerising adventure dessert for a kid. We have included a trip to Swensens every trip since… and since it was now around 8:30 p.m. and we still had hours to kill before we needed to be at the gate, some nibbles and ice-cream were the perfect way to finish our time with Velvetine.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://www.swensens.com.sg/
Swensens Restaurants  / Singapore

March 13, 2018

…When Things Escalate!

Filed under: Changi Airport,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Singapore’s Changi airport seems to be constantly changing and evolving because every time we visit there is a new route, a different method of doing things. On this occasion the space between our visits was extended, we have not been here for four and a half years.
The transformation of this part of the terminal is stunning from a design point of view. Giant escalators bring people between the floors. I of course had to use the Lift, so went over and took a look over the edge. Strangely enough I find this rather beautiful, (yes, weird I know) but there is something about them that just makes you look. If “make it Industrial, Practical but Captivating” had been on the list of requirements given to the architects, then the architects certainly filled the brief. We went from one terminal to the other, ate and then came back. I photographed this going both ways in order to get some of the best views.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 12, 2018

Phone Me…

Filed under: Changi Airport,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Changi airport always throws up a new and quirky sight. Some are quirkier than others, this one is purely functional and is just “part of the furniture”.

What I think makes it quirky is that it’s a sight we don’t see too much these days. Public telephones.

I assume that these are mostly used by people wanting to make a telephone call (assumedly not a local call) but also wanting to spare themselves telephone roaming charges, or phone battery life.

I also assume that these would be in constant use if there was some sort of long delay or “incident” at the airport, be that man-made or weather generated.

We were making our way to Swensens Restaurant in the other terminal so saw several different sets of these.

In times when younger and younger kids have mobile telephones, and almost every adult does too, it almost seemed like the “old fashioned’ phone box phone is a thing of the past. I think that it’s great idea to provide these. After all, even if there are no roaming charges and your phone’s battery is 100% full, reception in large buildings can be a total nightmare. I also think that “progress” does not necessarily always equal “better”. Therefore kudos to Changi for ringing back a real customer service.


(photograph © Kiwidutch)


(photograph © Kiwidutch)


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 11, 2018

A Speedy Drive By Changi Christmas Spirit…

Filed under: Changi Airport,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Singapore’s Changi airport is massive. We’ve arrived with our friend “Velvetine” and got though check-in quickly because Singapore airlines have a special check-in desk for disabled travellers.

My chair gets it’s own boarding stickers and ticket and I can stay in it until we get into the plane.

Having my own wheels is an advantage because when you get one from the airline, they often have someone assigned to take you to the gate.

That is all well and good if that’s what you want but it doesn’t allow for a browse in a bookshop, a stop to buy my duty free perfume or some time out for a meal.

The only downside is that when Himself wheels me, he walks fast because he’s still in “get to the gate mode” and he doesn’t stop very much. Therefore almost all photographs are taken when moving at more than optimum speed.

We always check in very early because we always prefer to be killing time in the airport until the last minute, rather than at the hotel.

Himself gets into his familiar “travelling mood” It’s a sort of itchy and antsy mood, wanting everyone to be ready to walk to the taxi three hours before pick-up, or preferably twenty-four hours before pickup, it’s a worry of missing connections, forgetting things, unexpected delays. He gets grumpy and flustered, but that’s also coupled with a methodical organisation in packing, all the paperwork has been checked, rechecked and then checked again. It’s a mood the whole family is familiar with and I’m sure he’s not the only one to have these “travel moods”. We let him do this thing, he’s like a shepherd herding sheep, even if the sheep do already know what to do and where to go.

Most of the orders and constant reminders are superfluous, but on occasion he’s reminded me of something I really needed so it’s an “ok, here goes his travel mood again, let him do his stuff and it will pass” time. We all have our quirks, this one belongs wholeheartly to Himself. He is right of course, getting to the airport does mean no frantic panics if the taxi doesn’t turn up, there is a traffic jam, or any other unexpected delay. It was a week before Christmas so the decorations were out in all their glory and had attracted small crowds of people who were admiring the display.
I joined them (in a fashion) as Himself in “hurry mode” whisked me past…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 10, 2018

Manhole Covers Singapore Style…

Filed under: ART,Manhole covers / Street grates / Bollards,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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I’m adding to my collection of Manhole covers and street grates, these are from our journeys around Singapore…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 9, 2018

Heading Out Of Town…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

We are about to leave Singapore so I have a roundup of various photographs taken around the city. Here is a small montage…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This bus stop advertisement caught our eye because it was for a New Zealand product: abalone.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You know that you are close to the airport when the road passes directly at the end of one of the runways.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 8, 2018

Dinner, And A Refined Style Of Cheese…

Filed under: Cuisine: Singaporean,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our flight out of Singapore leaves at five to midnight so Family Kiwidutch have opted to spend the afternoon at the Swiss Club Hotel: we can pack, take a nap, swim and eat at the restaurant although not necessarily in that order.

The kids are making the most of the pool and after a group of three little girls come and go, they have the entire pool to themselves.

Eventually they are hungry and we install ourselves in the more casual of the Club’s two restaurants.

Dinner is excellent as usual and I observe that Little Mr is executing his best table manners.

We have ordered his “usual”: plain pasta with no sauce, just a request for cheese that can be added on top.

The meal arrives with the cheese contained in a shot sized glass and a small spoon to distribute it with.

We all know that all of the cheese is going in, this is without doubt, but Little Mr chooses to add it genteelly in small portions, mixing it carefully a tiny bit with the pasta each time, instead of just dumping at all in at the beginning.

This is definitely a decent level of refined. Well done kid, we can take you out and know that your manners will not let you down.  Then everyone moves on to thoughts of dessert. The Swiss Club would not be worth it’s name if it did not feature ice-cream, so Mövenpick, it’s national and international flagship brand is a most excellent end to the meal. We have eaten early as not to rush, I have already packed so have time for a second siesta whist the kids pack in one last swim. Soon we head out in the company of our friend “Velvetine” to the airport.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 7, 2018

Hump Ahead…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Sights,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

I love how different countries have amazingly different names for the same thing.  Ok, Dutch is not English so there is no direct translation, but what might be called a “speed bump” in English is here called a “drempel”. I have heard that apparently these things laid into the road to reduce traffic speed are called in England: Sleeping Policemen. In New Zealand if you have a very raised and narrow one of these, they called them “judder bars” (although usually judder bars are placed on public driveways and off the main roads: think car park entrances into hospitals, schools etc.) I was amused to see the letters on the road leading towards the Swiss Club: “Hump Ahead”! Ah ha, another name to add to my collection of quirky names for these. “Traffic speed reducer” is obviously far too long a name to write on the road and be legible, but if you had to make up a name for these, or know an excellent one, then I would be delighted to know what it is.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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