At Saigon airport. In distance, it’s walkable from the centre – 5k or so from where I was staying – but I let myself get a taxi, first one of the trip. He got a tip, but it might have been bigger if he hadn’t, as we drove in to the airport, asked “you have Vietnamese dong?” Well yes, but you reminding me I can’t spend them elsewhere is a chancer’s approach.
Some people do travel in some wild clothes. The ones that pick tracksuit bottoms end up looking like retired athletes, having one last go at whatever made them famous. The baggy multi-coloured trousers, though – wow. Maybe the need to carry ‘travelling clothes’ contributes to the outside baggage people are encumbered by.
Connecting in Singapore was a pleasure – the staff member couldn’t quite believe I didn’t have any baggage to collect, asking, confirming, checking a third time. But no. Beijing wasn’t too bad – on the way out there was a long queue and it is all a bit of a mess. This time the queue was much shorter, at least, though the same mess – the one wide queue is turned into two side by side ones, for instance, which needs marshalling and reminders periodically to make it function. Changi is just a huge pleasure, cosy and lots to do, with outside gardens to prevent it feeling like an hermetically sealed spot. Beijing is all high arched ceilings, which they either can’t or don’t heat, a disadvantage when it’s minus 3 outside. But still, just some waiting then I’m off. Next time perhaps I’ll pay the extra for a direct flight.