Bonjour, for want of a better title!

Well here I am, finally in Paris!  The journey was a long one and not without its complications but here I am, suitcases and all!  It is a surprising 12 degrees but sunny so I hope it warms up a bit again soon!

A few things happened on my journey over here, not surprising I suppose considering the number of hours I have been awake for! Here goes:

Firstly, my faith has been completely  restored in Jetstar.  Over the years I have developed a few judging criteria for flights and airlines that seems to me to be pretty comprehensive and my Jetstar flight to Singapore ticked all the boxes; Check-in was fine, take-off and landing were textbook smooth, we arrived at the right destination at the right time and my bags were at the baggage terminal to meet me – what more can you ask for?  Well, I’ll tell you – 2 seats to myself next to the window, fantastic selection of inflight movies (I watched ‘The Green Hornet’, ‘I am Number 4’ and ‘Gnomeo and Juliet’ and the meals were quite tasty.  Getting off to a good start!

I had 2 hours to explore Singapore Changi airport so once I went out through customs and checked back in again I ditched the hiking boots and flight socks, donned my Teeva sandals and set off in search of a watch and the butterfly house.  I decided on the flight over that a watch with a countdown alarm was kinda necessary as my 3-hour dosing of medication was not going to remember itself and using the alarm on my phone might get me into trouble.  I didn’t have to look for long before I found the perfect watch – it not only has a countdown alarm but also counts calories, times laps for exercise and measures heart rate, nice!  And all for $69 SGD.

After that I went exploring opting to walk rather than take the skybus – this turns out to be a mistake as Changi airport is massive and it takes around 20 minutes to walk from the middle of one terminal to the middle of the next!  I saw the cactus garden first which was quite nice but undergoing refurbishment.  Next was the butterfly garden where I played an interesting form of ‘spot the butterfly at twilight’ which is harder than it sounds and headed off to find the fern garden.  After walking for a further 15 minutes I discovered that the fern garden had actually been quite close to the butterfly garden so I ditched that Idea, jumped on the skybus and made my way full circle back to my terminal visiting the orchid garden on the way which was gorgeous – filled with many bright colours surrounding a koi pond full of massive and rather slow-moving carp.  I got back to the terminal with sore, blistered feet and ready for a nap just to have my water confiscated at the gate.

My Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur taught me a thing or two – Trying new things can be good but sometimes it pays to stick with what you know and there are more categories for judging an airline than I previously realised!  The plane was dirty – crumbs and grained in food on the carpet and seats and sticky soft drink remnants on the tables.  The seats were designed for small Asian people and I think the plane had survived from the 80’s.  Luckily I had 3 seats to myself so could stretch out, just in time for dinner and then landing at KL 45 minutes later.

Let me tell you a little about KL airport; If you have the option of not stopping over for a few hours on your way- DON’T.  I hear the airport itself is pretty big and while it isn’t as impressive as Changi it has a few things on offer.  Well I think the good stuff was undergoing refurbishment or my source had not spent time in the transit lounge because let me tell you it was neither big nor nice and there certainly wasn’t much to do but sit in the rows of chairs listening to the loud and monotonous drone of the announcer with the partly busted PA system.

After what seemed an eternity we boarded the flight to Orly and my fears were realised – the seats on the airbus were also ridiculously small and the flight was completely full.  Now I am not the smallest person ever but I have never had trouble fitting into an airline seat before so it was a new, uncomfortable and rather embarrassing experience for me.  I was lucky to be near the back of the plane so in a row of only 2 and thankfully the delightful French girl sitting next to me had the figure of a 12 year old boy so I know it could have been worse…

Well that’s all I can write for now, the world currently feels like I’m on a boat because of my exhaustion so I might go do something that doesn’t involve thinking, concentrating or trying to type on a French keyboard!

Au revoir for now!

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