Our adventure to Paris begins…
After days of packing, we were finally ready to set off on Friday midnight. It was a long 14 hours flight from Singapore to Paris. I was glad we travel at night and it was a super long night for us due to the time difference. Paris was 7 hours behind Singapore time.
Mal was super good throughout the flight. He ate, he slept, he watched a bit of Alvin and the Chipmunks (it was his first movie in Singapore, we watched it in a cinema sometime back) . The young Parisian lady who sat next to us commented on his good behaviour when we landed. I bet she must be pretty worried initially to find herself sitting next to a toddler!
Mal’s first meal on board the flight. It was supper with Poisson frit en sauce aigre-douce, petits legumes de saison et riz a la vapeur (fried fish with sweet and sour sauce, season vegetables and steam rice) Mal wasn’t very interested with the inflight entertainment. I did however finished the french course on board, due to practical reasons 🙂
Mal’s breakfast. This time he had the kids’ meal and they serve his favourite pancakes
We finally landed in Paris at 6.30 on a Saturday morning and a new day had just begun. The real adventure begins when we reached Paris airport.
Daddy did tell me that it wasn’t easy to find the way around Paris airport, but I kind of brush it aside, thinking that he might be over worried. I have always manage to find my way around airports, so long I read and follow the signs. As our plane lands and after my conversation with the Parisian lady that sat beside us, I started to get worried, cos even she herself got lost in the airport! To me it sounds ridiculous. Getting lost in one of the world’s principal aviation centres, France’s main international airport and the busiest airport in Europe when one is fully literate!
BUT navigating around the Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport was REALLY a nightmare. Not because of the language barrier, but because the signs were really confusing and they don’t show the right directions! I was cursing and swearing to myself as I lugged along 3 luggages, a thick fat coat and pushing Mal who was half asleep in his stroller trying to find the baggage claim area. It makes me wonder whether the French think before they put up those signs or they simply enjoys being different and enjoys building maze!
The airport was old, like many buildings in Paris. It was not child friendly, the travelator was too fast and it was sloped at a steep angle which could easily pose a danger to children standing on it. I had to ask Mal to get off his stroller and stand on his own as I was afraid that all the weight that I was pushing might cause everything to slide back onto us. The checkpoint was very inefficient. Imagine there were only 2 checkpoints opened and everyone, including those from other flights had to queue to get through the 2 checkpoints and what makes it worse was, Parisians don’t queue in an orderly manner. They just squeezed whenever they see gaps and children were not spared from the squeezing. I bet the handicaps weren’t too if not for some rules and regulations!
You will change your mind about Singaporeans being Kiasu after you had seen the Parisians! Many years ago, when I took a plane to the States and stopover at Hong Kong, I had concluded to myself that Singaporean Kiasuism is nothing compared to many others from the big cities. It is a worldwide disease especially in big cities and Singaporeans are just unlucky to be labeled, probably by some sheltered and pampered Singaporeans who have never stepped out of the country! This trip reaffirmed my conclusion.
[edited] Another scenario that proves that Singaporeans are not the only Kiasu around was when boarding the plane. The normal boarding sequence will go like this, First Class and Business Class, handicapped and passengers with children followed by the economy class passengers. During the first and business class boarding, there were already people with economy seating trying to board the plane and were rejected by the crew staff. Before the announcement was made for the handicapped and passengers with children to board, most of the passengers had already swarmed to the entrance of the queue trying to be the first in line. I was about to remind the crew staff to make the announcement which they eventually did, at the same time apologizing to the remaining passengers telling them they need to wait. As I board the plane I joked to the crew staff who was checking my boarding pass about who should be called Kiasu instead. He chuckled and nodded his head in agreement.
All this while, I was looking at the crowd with disbelief, a tight frown on my face with eyebrows locked. Boarding the plane has never been this stressful! and it should NEVER be this stressful especially when you are traveling with a top airliner and boarding from an airport which is known for its service excellence. I can’t imagine traveling elsewhere with these people! I do not comprehend the rush and hurry when everyone has already have their seats confirmed! This is Kiasu!
mg style=”display:block;text-align:center;cursor:pointer;margin:0 auto 10px;” src=”http://bp0.blogger.com/_m5LHPg7YgB4/R9ZHCy5xUHI/AAAAAAAADFg/S7l_6c9hpeQ/s320/queue.jpg” alt=”” border=”0″ />and more people coming from different directions!we finally found our luggages which had already been unloaded from the conveyor belt. In total, we had 2 big luggages, 2 pulling hand carry, 1 backpack, 1 carseat and a stroller.
and it costs us almost EUR40 more than SGD80 to take a cab from the airport to our place. The journey is only 1/2 hour drive!