Singapore is always going to be special in my scheme of things. It was my first tip abroad and it was to attend an academic conference at Nanyang Technological University. I was a Ph.D. student then! It was not only my first international trip, I was also flying for the first time in my life! It was a Sri Lankan Airlines Flight and it had a stop over at Colombo. I remember reading all those drug related warnings and feeling quite dazed.
I have written about this trip before (long back) but I decided not to look at it and write from memory. I think I remember many stray incidents but not much about Singapore Tourism.
As a part of the conference we visited the Singapore Airport and this photo was taken in that part of the airport where there is no common access. I remember listening to the talk given by a senior pilot and why we were required to switch cell phones off during a flight. As part of the conference program we also visited Tiger Beer factory and even though I was even less of a beer dinker then it was a fun experience.
I was staying with my school classmate’s elder sister and her family and was always escorted and never needed a Singapore Map. Thank god for it, I have always found maps the toughest puzzles to solve! Meenu didi was very kind and took me around the city. I remember her husband dropping me to the conference venue as well. I roamed around Orchid Road and saw an aquarium. They also took me to Mustafa”s and to Suntech City. I bought a Yashica camera which I used for quite sometime. If I dig deeper into my memories it seems I always liked photography but it took sometime to get really crazy about it! Digital of course made it more affordable.
I also remember my first experience of authentic Chinese food and how bland I found it! It was a blessing to come back to didi’s home in the evening and eat channa and rice and all the good home cooked food.
Another strange bit I remember from the trip is from my Delhi-Colombo flight. I had dozed off at some point and I woke up with a start because it felt as if a small explosion happened somewhere. It was the guy on the next seat opening a bottle (or can can’t remember which) of alcohol.
This post will be incomplete if I don’t remember the three kids (who must be teenagers now) of didi’s family! They were fun to be around and I wonder how it would be if I meet them know. I have still remained in touch with the family and of course my school friend. Also I still have a top left with me that I bought on this trip!
When I started writing this post I was not sure what I will remember but what fun it is to go down the memory lane!
So which was your first international trip? Did you write about it sometime? What do you remember?