Changi and Budget Terminals

BradleyLife in Singapore, Travel0 Comments

We flew out of Changi International Airport in Singapore to Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Somehow, airport experiences never change. There’s always something that happens that really works your nerves. It wasn’t anything serious though. Well, not too serious. After the horrible experience we had at NAIA in Manila, nothing will ever seem that bad.

When we first walked into the airport we went straight to the check in line. We thought about relaxing for a while first, after running all over Singapore taking care of our cats and not getting much sleep the night before. We decided we could do that after we checked in though. That way we wouldn’t have anything to worry about. We made the right choice too! About ten minutes later a flood of people showed up and got in line behind us. So, we were good and happy with ourselves.

Unfortunately, the girl servicing our line was either new or bad at her job, because by the time we finished checking in, twice as many people 2nd line had gone through. Also, just before we got to the counter, a third line was opened and people that came in at least 30 minutes after us rushed to the front and were checked in ahead of us. On the upside, we were given the seats we selected when we booked the flight. A few months ago, on our last trip to the Philippines, we flew Cebu Pacific and when we got to the counter they refused to give us our seats. We wound up flying at opposite ends of the airplane. It was a really aggravating experience, and is the reason why we chose Tiger Airways over Cebu. In fact, we won’t be flying Cebu anymore, unless there’s just absolutely no other choice.

That’s right! We flew Tiger Airways out of the “Budget Terminal” at Changi. Every time I walk in there I feel like I’ve just walked into a Super Walmart or a Sam’s Club, but it’s very clean and the check-in process actually seems shorter there. There are a few downsides to flying out of the Budget Terminal, like a smaller selection of shops, no seats in the departure gate area, and having to walk across the tarmac and up a flight of stairs to get on the plane, but when it saves you 600 SGD, is it really that bad? On a flight that’s only 3 hours long, does it really matter how comfortable the airplane is? I’d rather have the extra money to spend. I wanted to take a few photos of the Budget Terminal but taking pictures at an airport seems to be one of those unspoken “no-no”s.

Our flight was fairly uneventful. We did have a group of idiots sitting in front of us though. In the row in front of us there were 3 guys. There were two more sitting to our right. They were all part of the same group and during the entire 3 hour flight they were laughing and giggling like a group of 10 year old boys that had just caught their first glimpse of boobs. At least one of them was drinking, and they were passing around a bag of free peanuts like it was a rare delicacy. I wonder if these guys had ever been on a plane before? They had to have been right? How else would they have gotten to Singapore? These guys were partying it up like they were flying first class on the best airline available. Oh well. At least they didn’t smell bad.

The noise they were making made it hard to get any rest during the flight so we were relieved when the plane finally started its descent at Clark Air Base.

The Day of the Flight

BradleyCats & Dogs0 Comments

Getting ready for our trip to the Philippines was a test in patience and stress management.

Our biggest concern was finding someone to watch our cats while we were away. We live in a condo in Singapore that we share with four other people. The place is big and the rent is high, so it’s a convenient arrangement, most of the time.

The last time we went on a trip someone in our condo watched our cats for us. This time, we initially assumed that we would use the same arrangement. It should be simple for someone who lives across the hall to take ten minutes out of their day to maintain our cats right? Somehow, everyone found a reason why it was going to be an impossible task for them. “Oh, I have allergies.” “Oh, I won’t be around.” “Oh, I’m scared of cats!”

Three days before our flight we finally landed on someone that would be able to help us. Previously, we had adopted two cats. One of them we still have, named Dapper, but the other, her sister Whitty, had a problem. She was paralyzed and required constant care. I had intended to have a job quite a while ago, and it would have been impossible for us to take care of her with both of us being gone all day, so we gave her away. The person who took her in is named Penny. She’s a great woman that lives in Yishun and spends a lot of her time, effort, and money on caring for cats.

When we initially got in touch with her, she was hesitant to agree. With the current financial problems in Singapore, a lot of people are packing up and heading home for good, and Penny was worried that we were going to take off and leave her stuck with our cats. We had to convince her that we were planning on coming back. Even still, I worried that she may have thought we were just telling her a story to get her to take them. I was worried she may have tried to adopt out our cats before we got back!

We arranged to drop the cats off at her place during the morning of the day of our flight. We weren’t able to sleep well the night before. It’s always that way for me, and my wife was really excited as well. She always gets that way before going home to see her family. We were up late talking, until about 4:30am I think, and when the alarm went off at 9am, we had to struggle to get out of bed.

We decided that it would probably be best to shower after dropping them off. Penny was doing us a favor and we wanted to get there on time. I’m pretty sure she had work that day and was taking time out of her schedule to help us out. So, we got our cats into a carrier and packed up their litter box, a container of food, and a bag of toys and went downstairs and caught a cab.

At first, we actually weren’t sure we were going to be able to find the place. I realized after we were already downstairs that I had forgotten to ask Penny what her address is. The last time we had gone there was six months previous. She didn’t answer our calls or texts either. Later we found out that was because she has problems with her phone, but at the time, riding in the cab, it was added stress to an already stressful situation. No one wants things to go wrong on the day of a flight! On top of that, we were still worried that she wasn’t going to take them. We wound up getting her address from someone else that knows her. Things seemed to work out for the best though. When the cab pulled up in the parking area, Penny was just walking up.

Once we dropped the cats off, everything else seemed easy. We went back to the house, ate a light meal, showered, weighed our luggage (who wants to pay overage fees at 15 SGD per kilogram?), and headed out the door. It was a short taxi ride to the terminal and we enjoyed a good smoke before going in.

Getting Your Kittens Adopted, Done Right

BradleyCats & Dogs0 Comments

This is the right way to get your kittens adopted.  You post an ad on your local board, with a link to something like this:

I saw this, got hooked on the music and wound up taking in both Cat2 and Cat3.  The tune is so catchy that you might find yourself humming it after a while.  I plan on setting it as the ringtone for when my wife calls.  She’s a big cat lover.  If you’re curious it’s called Meow Meow Meow by a Hong Kong group called At17.

Green Sign Cat Litter Is Horrible!

BradleyCats & Dogs0 Comments

I know it’s kind of odd to actually write a post about litter, but I just wanted to mention this to hopefully save someone else some hassle and wasted money.

I got this Green Sign litter at the local pet shop. I normally buy Fussy Cat, but I saw this sitting out on display so to speak with a sale tag on it. Normal price: 24 SGD. Sale price: 12 SGD. So, I thought, ‘Hey, it’s on sale! Something that normally costs 24 bucks has to be good right?‘ So I grabbed a bag and went up to the counter. I did ask the girl there if the litter was good, and she said that it’s supposed to be good for the environment. I told her that I’m not really interested in that. I just wanted to know if it was good for cats. She gave some ambiguous answer that I can’t remember at the moment and I proceeded to buy it.

In retrospect, my first thought shouldn’t have been, ‘It usually costs 24 bucks so it must be good.‘ My first thought should have been, ‘It’s on sale for more than half off. Why?

Well, I found out why.

1. My cats hated it. They actually refused to use the litterbox for over a day. I was getting worried they would crap or pee on the floor somewhere so I had to put them both in a cage with a litterbox full of this stuff until they used it. I later found out that cats get partial to their litter type and don’t like to switch up. So, that may have been part of it, but the whole time I had it I swear they ate less and went to the litterbox less. So, why didn’t I just dump it and get the regular litter? Well, litter isn’t cheap, and Fussy Cat isn’t light either. They just had to deal with it until it was time to get fresh litter.

2. The stuff is MESSY!

As you can see from this lovely image, it does clump… sort of. What actually happens is that it turns into a green gel like substance that adheres to the bottom of the litter box and has to be scraped off with your scooper. In fact… I still have to clean my scooper now that I think about it. (I just replaced the litter today.)

3. Cats play with the darndest things. These weird litter pellets seemed to fascinate them in ways I hadn’t anticipated. The cats were very quick to dip their paw into the box, pull out a few pieces, and then play kick with them all over the place. I’m sure I’ll be finding these litter pellets under and behind furniture for weeks. Fussy Cat (sand-type) litter isn’t much better, but at least it doesn’t give cats the notion that it’s a toy.

So, save yourself some time and bucks and avoid this fancy enviro-friendly junk. Just stick with your regular sand-type litter. Oh, and Fussy Cat is great! It really helps to reduce odor, and it clumps up very nicely.

“D” for what?

BradleyCool Stuff, Life in Singapore0 Comments

My wife related an interesting story to me the other day that I thought I’d share.

We’ve all had conversations on the phone where we’ve been asked to spell something out so the other person can make sure they’re copying it correctly. We say things like, “A as in Apple,” “B as in Boy,” and “C as in Cat.” Now… maybe it’s different where you’re from but I’ve always said “D as in Dog.” That’s what’s normal right?

Well, often times when you’re in another country you come across things that may be normal for that country, but they just sound odd, or even hilarious to you. This is one of those things.

My wife was on the phone with a local man, and the man was spelling something for her. Just to make sure she had heard correctly, she asked the man, “Is that ‘D’ as in Dog, sir?”

So….

So, what do they say in Singapore?

“No, ‘D’! D, for…

Donkey!”

Maybe Shrek wasn’t such a big film here, but in the US it’s well known to the point that almost everyone associates the word Donkey with the film. Apparently that’s the case in the Philippines as well, but not here! When my wife told me this story, I just couldn’t help but hear the phrase in my head, but with Shrek’s voice. “D for Donkey!”