As you’ll read shortly, my family and I are currently in Singapore visiting my father. I decided I’m going to write about the trip, both to tell our friends and relatives how the trip is going and to give us another way to remember the trip after it’s done. I haven’t quite decided yet what the frequency of posts will be, but I’ll try to put up a few while we’re here and then maybe there will be some more afterward. Enjoy!
I’ve always been interested in the whole concept of time. The idea that it just keeps going, on and on, forever, is one of those things that tends to give me a headache if I let myself think about it too long. It’s a dangerous rabbit hole, sort of like when I start wondering about the size of the universe and how incredibly miniscule we are and whether or not we really have a purpose in our lives. Once I let myself start thinking about that kind of thing, I usually have to distract myself fairly quickly or my thoughts start snowballing and I have to go looking for Tylenol.
Anyway, the reason why I’m thinking about such heady stuff is because Trudy, Eitan and I are currently sitting in a gigantic metal box that is flying literally to the other side of the planet. We’re on the second leg of our trip from New York to Singapore to visit my father, who is living in Singapore for work for two years, and, at this point, we’re about two-thirds of the way there. We’ve been inside this airplane for about sixteen of the past seventeen hours: we boarded at around 8:00 PM on Wednesday evening, waited through a two-hour delay while engineers fixed an air valve, took the seven-hour flight from New York to Frankfurt, spent an hour wandering through the Frankfurt airport,1 then got back on the plane to finish the trip to Singapore.
It was around noon when we disembarked in Germany, even though it felt like 6:00 AM to us. And not your usual 6:00 AM where you get up, shower and start getting ready for work, by the way. This was the 6:00 AM you saw once in a while in college when you and your friends partied really late into the night and you can’t really remember everything that went down. All you know is that your muscles ache, the armchair you tried to sleep in definitely wasn’t big enough, everyone sort of smells a little and you’re pretty sure someone in your group slept in the bathtub. Oh, and instead of being lazy and wandering through the hallways while you get your bearings, you’re navigating the crowds of people who speak a different langauge and are all wide awake because it’s actually noon and they’ve been up for hours.
Look, truthfully, the trip hasn’t been that bad. I know some of you are cringing at the idea of ending that much time on a plane with a two-year-old – and believe me, so did we – but, all things considered, Eitan has been great. He slept through about half of the first flight, and he’s sleeping now too. Even when he’s been awake, he’s played with the Kindle, watched some kids shows on the airplane television, and, of course, became great friends with the flight attendants.2 But even with Eitan being on his best behavior through 90% of the trip so far, time is still messing with us and is a bit difficult to adjust to. Trudy and I keep having to do math to figure out what time it “really is” and it’s been tough to keep track of how much sleep we’ve gotten. Plus, we also realized the hard way that everything really is relative: when we got on the plane for the second flight, Trudy and I were both pretty excited to see an estimated travel time of eleven and a half hours, since we had been expecting 14 or 15 hours. That excitement faded quickly, though, when Eitan hit his second wave of “OhmyGodIwanttotoucheverythingandIjustcan’tstopmovingbecauseI’msoovertired” about two hours in and Trudy and I each came to the dreaded realization that we still had nine more hours to go. But he did eventually get to sleep, so we’re doing all right. Honestly, the only real significant issue with the trip has been the four-year-old in the row in front of us who keeps looking over the top of the seats at us and coughing into our row and using Trudy’s armrest for balance while he jumps in the aisle. I can think of a few friends in Forest Hills who would love to have the chance to teach this kid a lesson.
The flight map says six more hours…
1. The feelings Trudy and I were having during our first time in Germany, even if it was just the airport, may turn into its own blog post too. I haven’t decided yet.↩
2. Quick shout-out to the Singapore Airlines staff – everyone has been unbelievable, from the grounds crews to the flight attendants all the way through. They’ve been attentive and helpful and on top of everything.↩