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SIN-PAD. And maybe a visit to the FCL...

SIN-PAD. And maybe a visit to the FCL...

Old Apr 24, 11, 9:11 am
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Near Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,454
SIN-PAD. And maybe a visit to the FCT...

I don't know about you, but I'm knackered. If you don't know what that means, look it up. I'm too tired to explain.

Actually, let me give it a go.

It's a wonderful Australian piece of slang. A word with multiple meanings. And a plethora of uses. For example, if you're tired, like the example above, you say to the person you're speaking to that "you're knackered".

Or if your car breaks down on the highway and you have to call the AA, when asked what's wrong with the vehicle in question, you simply say "it's knackered". I promise the person on the other end of the phone will know what you mean. Even if they are based in Bangalore.

Anyway, the last 4-weeks have been like Ground Hog day.

SIN-MNL-SIN. Once. Twice. Three times NOT a lady. More like an old man. SIN-MEL-SIN twice. Yep, that old man would be me. In MNL, I stayed at the Shangri-La Edsa twice, until I got bored. And then I moved back to the trusty old InterCon in Makati. Not quite as nice, but a better location. And to be honest, I needed the stay credits.

Then the first term school holidays arrived. I was sure the kids had just gone back to school, but apparently, when you pay school fees here in Singapore - they give you a lesson in "scarcity" marketing. Actually, it's more like shock and awe. Then scarcity.

It goes something like this.

The bill arrives in the mail. You open it. Then you say to yourself "No, this is not possible. There must be some sort of mistake. A simple explanation I'm sure". You reach for something to drink to help with the drama which is unfolding before your eyes. I don't even think I had time to mix the vodka with the tomato juice. I just drank straight from the bottle.

You call the school. Sadly, they confirm the amount. Twice - just for good measure.

You try and explain to them that you only have 2 children in attendance (not 10) and for the sort of money they are charging, were they including their college degree as well. Maybe they were going to throw in a small Japanese car at the end of the year. Or a date with Jessica Biel and a large jar of honey. But I digress. Yet again.

A nervous panic sets in. Then in desperation, you start googling "how much is a 44-year old kidney worth in Russia. Or Uzbekistan?". You start opening multiple accounts on eBay.

Or something like that.

So, that's the shock and awe part. The scarcity part is that the damn kids are hardly at school. They seem to have a holiday every week. It does my head in.

Anyway, in a moment of weakness, I made a deal with both my kids when we relocated to Singapore that we would fly home to Melbourne at the end of Term 1 each year so they could see their friends and cousins. And grandparents.

We told the kids a little while ago that we were going home again for the term holidays. The conversation went something like this

"But why do we have to stay at Grandmas?"
"Because we do. And besides, it's free" I say
"But we just saw them in Singapore. They stayed for ages" one of them pleads
"Don't you think I know that. Your mother hasn't forgiven me"
"And they smell" the Small One says
"All old people smell" I say to her reassuringly
"You don't smell"
"I'm not that old"
"Yes you are" she says rather defiantly
"Do you want a beating?" I threaten.

The small one changes direction.

"Will we be sitting in the big seats?" she quizzes
"Probably not" I say matter of factly
"Why not?" her brother says, and this time it's his turn to be indignant.
"Because your mother and I are still trying to work out how to pay for your education and we don't have any usable body parts left. We can only afford economy. And besides, you're lucky to be going to Australia at all"
"What's economy?" my son asks

"God help me I've created a monster", I say to myself.

So we drag the kids home to MEL. We appease the folks. We catch up with friends. And we find time to celebrate my wife's birthday. Her 40th yet again. Or so she tells me.

Actually, for her birthday, we stay at one of my all time favorite places with our best friends. A quaint little town called Daylesford. It's a cracker of a place. I'll tell you about it later.

In the middle of all of this - work commitments interrupt things and I have to head back to Singapore for a couple of days. In addition, my wife has to head to Sydney for her work. Just a quick overnighter she reassures me. As if I care. So we leave the kids with my folks, as well as a case of wine and as much cash as we could rustle together and both head to the airport at virtually the same time. I'm not sure if we even told the kids where we were going. Not that they cared.

We would collect them later. Or maybe not at all.

My father was cursing like a sailor as we drove out of their driveway. My mother was already necking the chardonnay bottle. I remember smiling and waving to my old man as we drove off. He gave me the bird. With both hands.

A few days later, my wife brings the kids home to SIN on her own. No sooner do we all get home from MEL - one of my clients insists that I jump on a plane again and head back downunder.

The same client then tells me he needs me to head to Germany this coming weekend. Which is the whole point of this post and one I should probably get to. Before I am moderated into FT's wilderness. Or banned forever. Whichever comes first.

So I've booked a SIN-PAD-SIN round trip on LH. I haven't been on LH for 10-years, but I thought I would give it a bash as I want to see if I can redeem a UA SWU to go from J to F. I don't really care about the hard product onboard. But that FCL in Frankfurt! That looks something else. I'm going to spend as much time in there as I can as I've never had the good fortune of visiting the FCL before. I've purposely left a long-layover between my domestic flight (ie FRA-PAD) so I can take it all in.

I even called the 1K desk in the US and blow me down with a feather, but they Fedexed 2 paper certs to me within 3-days of my call. Didn't cost me a penny.

But back to the purpose of the trip. The LH FCL. But who are we kidding here? Bugger the ambience of the lounge. I'm heading straight to the bar. Even if it is 7am in the morning. As the famous Jimmy Buffet says in that great old song, it has to be 5 o'clock somewhere. Did I get that right?

Then, when I get to Paderborn, I'm going to rent the fastest car Hertz will rent me and see if, in fact, the cars' speed limiter is working as I hoof it up the Autobahn. I expect to get arrested. Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll even make the local German news.

It should be an interesting week…

All I know is that I need a good lie down. And a decent drink. Talk with you in a little bit...

Last edited by eightblack; Apr 26, 11 at 11:07 am Reason: typos
eightblack is offline  
Old Apr 24, 11, 10:01 am
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Hooray, eb's back with a brand new invention!

Certainly looking forward to this.
muzthe42nd is offline  
Old Apr 24, 11, 10:29 am
Join Date: Sep 2005
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I think I'll celebrate the start if this TR with a drink.
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Old Apr 24, 11, 11:07 am
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Originally Posted by view View Post
I think I'll celebrate the start if this TR with a drink.
I've already had two, and - Montreal time - we are far away from 5 pm. He meant pm, din't he?

The TR, or rather a short story, is so entertaining that I can see some commercial value in it. Have it published and make some money, save your kidney for later! Yes, I know, it will get older. You can counter that by saying that your kidney is like good red wine, it gets better and better with each passing year. I have no doubt that you will find an effective literary way how to make it part of your future TRs. Bravo and thanks! ^
Vaclav is offline  
Old Apr 24, 11, 2:05 pm
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Sounds like a great TR coming up... ^
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Old Apr 24, 11, 3:19 pm
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Looking forward to the tr already!
Buster CT1K is online now  
Old Apr 24, 11, 4:28 pm
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges and Carbon Conscious Travel
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Sod the Royal Wedding! I'll be tuning in here all week
Prospero is offline  
Old Apr 24, 11, 5:53 pm
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Oh thank goodness, another eightblack TR. I think I was going into withdrawal.
BrewerSEA is offline  
Old Apr 24, 11, 6:57 pm
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It will be great if he will actually finish one of these. He does seem to have a very short attention span.
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Old Apr 24, 11, 7:04 pm
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Originally Posted by Paint Horse View Post
It will be great if he will actually finish one of these. He does seem to have a very short attention span.
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Old Apr 24, 11, 7:42 pm
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can't wait for more!!!
JumboJetLA is offline  
Old Apr 25, 11, 12:55 am
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Keep it coming eightblack ^
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Old Apr 25, 11, 10:19 am
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If you going through FRA - I highly recommend the FCT over the FCL... After a 13 hour flight SIN-FRA the 5-8 minute walk through fresh air (well relatively fresh) will be good and the experience of being driven to the plane, is really something else...
avm2806 is offline  
Old Apr 25, 11, 2:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Paint Horse View Post
It will be great if he will actually finish one of these. He does seem to have a very short attention span.
Weean is offline  
Old Apr 26, 11, 4:17 am
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I'd put forward a motion to create an "eightblack ramblings" subforum or the like, something I'd certainly have @ #1 on my subscriptions list.
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