Whoever said this was the golden age of travel clearly never flew from Denver to New York, sat in the airport for a bunch of hours and then flew to Singapore by way of Tokyo. In economy. It was on sale.
A few hours after landing in New York, I began my sojourn to southeast Asia, which I swear sounded like a totally reasonable idea at the time I booked it. And it was and is, but still.
Four hours to JFK, four hours sitting around, 14 hours in economy to Tokyo, two hours to shop and sweat indoors, 8 hours to Singapore. So that’s four airports in about 30 nonstop hours of flying, sitting, waiting – if you’re keeping score at home.
Then I arrived in Singapore, finally, around 1 am, roughly two days after I departed, what with the international date line and such. But also because it just felt like two full days. And I landed in the future, I know that much. Fan-tastic.
My first impression of Singapore was a great one: most best airport I have ever been to, and it wasn’t even the much-lauded Terminal 4. I was so impressed and in love, even at that hour, I could have moved in. Easily the nicest mall-airport-living room I’ve ever been in. It was an especially visceral shock given the airport I started in. But you know what really shook me to my core? Caused me to stop dead in my tracks and the breath to escape from my lungs?
McDonald’s delivers 24 hours. Ordering via app.
I know, it took me some time to process, too. I slept just about the entire flight from Tokyo and didn’t eat, which was fine as the airplane food isn’t exactly the sustenance I needed after being in the air for so many hours. I arrived at the hotel in the middle of the night, so nothing’s open. The girl at the front desk of the hotel told me to order McDonald’s. Who what now? Had I been in the states I’d sooner go to bed starving. But I love trying familiar foods in new places, even this qualifies. I ordered with the app, paid with credit card, and confirmed my order would arrive in 45 minutes. Either this is the freshest damn fast food I’ve ever had or locals like to party at McDs. That seemed like an eternity to wait for sweet and sour chicken on a black bun and some fries, but I was wide awake like I had slept for months so I was content to unpack and shower and wait.
At the 44-minute mark, I started to wonder. Seconds later, the phone rang and my delivery man arrived with my mysterious goods. I raced to the lobby at almost 3am, and met the kindly man on a motor scooter with an insulated zip bag perched upon the rear. He handed me my bag and it was so hot it almost burned me, then he disappeared into the darkness.
Overall the meal was meh, I didn’t love the sauce but the chicken was easily some of the freshest I’ve ever had. The bun felt like it was just baked and perhaps that was the reason I had to wait so long. It was soft and fluffy and black, as advertised. Go figure. The fries were also good but I skipped the seaweed shake seasoning because the lining in my stomach had to draw the line somewhere.
Overall, it was a huge score and I was glad to have it.
I did regret it some when I couldn’t seem to escape the smell of the grease that lingered in the air. I left the bag outside my door but I was haunted by the scent as I drifted off into my first Singapore Sleep™.