OK then. Like, barely 24 hours I arrived back from LAX, I was off to Paris. So some of you are asking why did I choose the longest ever possible way to get to Paris from Los Angeles? (LAX-TPE-SIN-CDG)
Firstly, being away from home for 10 weeks at a stretch is just too much for me. That 24 hours at home did make me feel a whole lot less homesick. Also, both my USA and Europe sectors were all redeemed using Krisflyer miles so pricing was not a problem since they were FREE!
SQ334 SIN-CDG ETD 2250
I did a phone checkin and was given seat 39D which is one of those seats in front of the wall where babies are usually put but THANKFULLY there were no babies on this flight! Got to the airport at 2200, dumped my luggage at checkin, said my goodbyes and hugs and i love yous and headed straight for gate E24.
I was one of the last people to board the aircraft 9V-SMR so I just headed straight for my seat without having to queue. Hot towels were served, our pushback was on schedule at 2255 and the safety video was screened. One of the leading stewardesses sat at the emergency exit seat which was diagonally across from where I was. We took off at 2310 just before the Air France 777 which was also headed for CDG. A Singaporean guy who looked my age and seated at 39C (opposite her) started making small talk with her and I had the feeling he was flirting with her.
Now this stewardess is not your average SIA stewardess. For the approximately 20 mins from the time before takeoff to the time the seatbelt sign was switched off I eavesdropped on their conversation. They talked about a whole range of stuff, from Singapore politics to why she disagreed with the new law that would award demerit points to drivers who fail to have their rear seat passengers buckled up to the World Cup...... Also, that guy said he was going to France to study.... so after the flirting stopped I asked him if he was from my university blah blah blah and it turned out that we were on the same programme. cool aye?
And yes, he was flirting with her.
Supper was served. OK I have to repeat this but it had an Asian selection or a Western selection and I chose the Asian selection. It was quite good, and the same went for breakfast so i shall NOT repeat details of breakfast later! What was newsworthy about the meal service on this flight was that it was served in new serviceware that looks much better than the ghastly old red ones they used to have.
There was a German guy seated next to me (I gathered that from the German edition of a Tom Clancy novel that he was reading) Halfway through dinner, he took 3 sleeping pills and fell into a deep sleep over his food, and looked hilarious. He was like slouched foward at first, after which he twisted towards me and leaned on me. I had to push him back to his seat. This cycle repeated itself about 5 times. And he was one hell of a heavy german man!
Anyway at the 6th time he was about to start the same old cycle, he somehow pushed his entire tray table onto the floor. The elderly Chinese couple next to him screamed in shock. I looked at him and was trying not to laugh because all the tea had (very nicely, mind you...) spilt into his shoe. And there he continued in his usual slouchy position (He did look dead, actually) like nothing was wrong.
I pressed the call button and this Indian stewardess (from India) came along. I was like "This guy here has spilt everything on the floor could you please do something about it?" And she decided to wake him up. "SIR.... SIR SIR SIR SIR SIR DO YOU STILL WANT YOUR DINNER?" followed by tapping his shoulders and the tapping turned into somewhat violent shaking. Now, it was highly obvious that this gentleman was not the least bit interested in his dinner. I mean, he shoved it onto the floor. And his tea was in his shoe.
"Sir, would you like to eat off the floor?"
or perhaps "Sir, would you like to drink your tea off your shoe?"
But she persevered till he actually woke up. If anything, we should award her a prize for actually managing to wake a person who has just taken what seemed like an overdose of sleeping pills. And he said NO and went back to sleep. She cleaned it up.
There were 2 members of the cabin crew who spoke French. Their accent sounded somewhat OK when they made the landing/take off and turbulence announcements. Didn't actually get a chance to conduct a real conversation with them in French, not that my French is all that good anyway!
Oh well that was all the excitement for the rest of the flight which was 12 hours 45 mins. I watched Marry a Rich Man starring Sammi Cheng whom I adore. Watched it twice actually. There was no French movie on Krisworld in June. After which I took some Melatonin but DID NOT manage to sleep at all! Every 15 mins or so one of the cabin crew would walk down the aisles offering all sorts of things to the passengers who were awake, who numbered very few.
2h45 mins before touchdown in CDG, somewhere over Eastern Europe, Breakfast was served. As promised I shall not dwell on the details of breakfast since they're the same as before. The guy seated across the aisle from me at 39C had apparently gone to the galley a couple of times during the flight to talk with the leading stewardess. Apparently he does it on all flights (according to him) Actually he had done a detailed analysis of every single female member of the cabin crew on our flight and he didn't hesitate to share it with me. So collectively we conducted our own joint detailed analysis of the female cabin crew on our flight. We both decided that the Indian one had a very big attitude problem since she didn't smile one bit throughout the flight.... And come on, waking the German man up was not worth the trouble!
The leading stewardess sat opposite him for landing again. This time both of us talked to her about everything under the sun. To the behaviour of the French to how the French lost to Senegal to the Louis Vuiton shop that all the SIA girls frequent at Champs Elysees.
And she had nice motherly parting words too. "You boys behave yourself and do what you're supposed to do and not do what you're not supposed to. It's very tempting when you have all the freedom in the world!"
Awwhhh wasn't that nice? And during disembarkation that guy had obviously fallen so in love with her he (and I as a result) waited and chatted with her till every single passenger had left the aircraft.
Paris CDG AEROGARE 1 is the most ugly airport I have ever been to in the developed world. AEROGARE 2 is so much better but of course Air France has the pleasure of that terminal all to itself. The immigration queue wasn't that long and French immigration officials hardly ever ask you any questions especially when you come from low risk countries like Singapore. Our baggage came out after a 20 min wait and we headed to the arrivals area to wait for our friends coming in on CX, TG and MH. SQ 334 is the first flight to arrive in from East Asia every morning at CDG.
I know none of you are train freaks but at 5 that evening I took the TGV from Gare de Lyon in Paris to Grenoble (a town 100km east of Lyon and 2 hours west of Geneva) where I spent the entire month of June with a French family and at French classes.
Once again thank you for reading. Sorry if i was boring! Merci et A Bientot!