Local Heart, Global Soul

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
Tags: , ,

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)

November 23, 2012

A Car, An Aeroplane and Streaky Coloured Lights…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In this page of our retrospective travel diary we are in the process of leaving  Singapore and flying back to The Netherlands. It’s past eight p.m. when we head to the airport, it’s dark and we have a long long night ahead of us.

Little Mr. is already cuddling up in the minibus… we hope that the excitement of the airport will wake him up and keep him awake at least until we get through the security checks and with any luck, until we board the plane and then he can sleep for the full 14 hour flight if he wants.

I try to photograph the Singapore Flyer from our moving vehicle in the dark… the giant wheel has lights on it that change colour constantly so is beautiful to look at at night, buildings flash by, most of them in a blur and we arrive at the airport before we know it.

The control tower is also lit, busy presiding over constant flights arriving and departing. As our bags are unloaded I’m reminded that whilst it’s still roughly 30 C  (86 F) here, it most certainly won’t be once we land at the other end.

There’s a surprise coming later that neither kid knows about, but more on that tomorrow…

Since Singapore’s Changi Airport consists of multiple terminals over a seemingly endless area we have already figured out that I will never be able to cover the distances on crutches, so organised wheelchair assistance when we booked out flights and after checking in our large suitcases we sit to wait for the wheelchair to arrive.

Every time we visit Singapore, Changi Airport  has a different display for us to marvel over… this time there’s a massive mechanical fan in the departure hall,  it looks like half-fan half-flower and it tips and tilts in different directions. There’s also a massive Mer Lion and other decorations to admire on our way to the gate.

We board the plane and at roughly five minutes to midnight push off from the gate and begin the long taxi to the end of one of the runways. I try to take photographs of the airport, other planes and  the landing lights and mostly end up with abstract arty displays of wobbly coloured streaks…  art form airport style. One especially “fluid” photo is actually us rushing past the airport and control tower during take-off, even though I’m not really a fan of abstracts I kind of liked it because it’s recognisable if you know what it is and probably not if you don’t… unintentional surrealist photography.

When we get a good view of Singapore below us I keep taking photos but only one of the pictures turns out recognisable in any shape or form… it’s my last glimpse of one of my favourite cities and I can’t wait to be back here again.

(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)

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