I’m at Changi airport, waiting for my flight to Penang. I love Changi: it’s got to be the cleanest, most efficient gigantic airport I know. It’s Frankfurt but friendly, Heathrow but better-run (my luggage wasn’t lost).
I’ve been on the road just over 24 hours, though I did manage to get some awkward, not very deep sleep on the plane. And after several drinks and stops at water fountains to rehydrate (Singapore Airlines seems to think that its passengers will get too heavy if they get entire cans of soda), and a double espresso, I feel pretty good. I should crash later on this evening, and expect to sleep very well tonight; but otherwise I’m good.
I’m going to Malaysia to do a set of workshops on the future of science, technology and innovation as part of the X2 project. I’ll first be at USM in Penang, then at UiTM in Shah Alah; I’ll also swing by Cyberjaya and Biopolis, to continue my love affairs with science cities, and also visit informally with some people at National University of Singapore.
As I was at the Amex currency exchange getting some Malaysian money, I took up an offer to buy a Singaporean SIM card. I popped it in, fiddled with it for a bit, then called home. I don’t know I’ll really need to call the States very much from here, but it’s nice to know that I’m reachable. And the calls seems to be pretty cheap.
After walking from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2, I realized I didn’t have any Singaporean money, so I stopped by an ATM and got some. Having grown up in a travel world in which you had to stand in long lines to change money and international calls were scare and expensive, I’ll never cease to be amazed when things like this are actually easy. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be, I keep thinking.
The one thing I haven’t been able to do is get online: they still charge for wifi here, and I haven’t felt like paying for it. The existence of many free terminals also provides something of a disincentive– I’d have already paid if I couldn’t get online for 15 minutes for free.
[To the tune of Amy Winehouse, “You Know I’m No Good,” from the album “Back to Black”.]