Turns out I’m a side sleeper. Even on cold, hard, brightly lit, noisy places with people and baggage walking past. I can still sleep. I made a pillow out of my shoes, with a jumper on top and lay the arm of it over my face to block out some light. Aimi had the moderately softer upholstered bench thing above me, and we had enough sleep to get us through the day.
We woke up in Changi Airport, Singapore. I can see why its reputedly a destination of its own. Its built in a grand circle of 5 floors and 2 basement levels, all scattered with shops and restaurants. However, only 1 coffee shop stays open 24hrs so it was quite busy. But it did make a solid breakfast. Who knew chicken sausages and waffles with syrup went so well together?
With a coffee inside us, we sat in the central area beneath a huge floating dome roof of triangular glass facets. Probably the inspiration for the name of the shopping centre; Jewel. This dome droops in the centre to form a cone that abruptly stops at a circular edge. We were sitting and chatting for a couple hours waiting for the water to start. It flows down the roof, into the depression and then spills through the circular hole and drops 40m into a hole in the floor. It creates the world’s largest indoor waterfall. The hole it falls into is the shape of those curved cones you see at seasides. You put your coin in a slot and then watch it spiral into the centre getting faster and faster till it pings off at the bottom. Except here there is a big glassy lake and the water pours smoothly down into the hole with the waterfall. Its impressive, but I did think there would be more water than there was. I’ve seen videos where it’s thundering down, but maybe it was raining outside at the time which also feeds the waterfall?
In any case it’s very impressive, even more so when you go to the basement and see from the inside, the cone is made of a huge bit of perspex, seemingly unbroken. The water sheets down in a very pleasing pattern. We came down here to the food court and found a Sushi restaurant that had a conveyor, but also sped your special orders to you on a special conveyor. It must be reading RFID in the plates because when it gets to your table, a little arm hooks it off the conveyor and into your very own siding ready to eat!
After Sushi, we had dessert. I chose an apple sauce topped cinnamon roll and Aimi had a big chocolate donut. She must have been mesmerised by the water or something because she managed to get a big lump of chocolate on her new white t-shirt. Luckily she did this on a day when we are carrying our full wardrobe, so she could change.
We spent most of the day walking around, looking at shops and marvelling at the shopping centre itself. We don’t go shopping as a leisure sport, like some people, but we like looking at gardens. This shopping centre basically has a huge greenhouse covering an artificial garden valley at its centre. All the walls are stepped and planted with loads of greenery and trees, waterfalls and secret walkways. It’s very surreal to go from high fashion to tropical rainstorm in a couple steps. Especially with a giant Ironman statue and Thors Hammer laying around the place.
As soon as it was our check in time however, we made sure we were at the hotel. We were tired and wanted to get inside for a shower and space to relax. This is a pretty modern version of a hotel. I say version because the rooms are about as small as you could hope to make them and still contain a double bed and ensuite. There is no wardrobe or drawers, but there is a hanging rail that goes over the bed and space under it for your bags. Also, at the end of the corridor, there is a kitchenette with kettle and microwave etc for you to make food. The hotel lobby has a self serve, and pay, Starbucks machine and chilled food pantry. There is a full kitchen elsewhere in the building, a pool, a gym and work rooms with desks. Its effectively a really large houseshare with hotel style door keys.
But before we got too comfy we went out to we local shopping centre that has a food market to get stuff for breakfast. My gosh, chocolate is expensive here. Over £5 for a bag of chocolate buttons! That’s not what I got for breakfast, but it was interesting to compare prices.
That evening, which was still afternoon, we had food and watched half a film before falling asleep. Got to be fresh for a long day tomorrow!