Killing time – and not each other – at Singapore Airport

Eight hours. Eight freaking hours.

That’s 480 minutes. That’s 28,800 seconds. That’s too god damn long for me to wander around shops without buying anything.

But with my backpack already nudging the 20 limit and my carry-on practically bulging at the seams, there is nowhere to put anything. Besides, as A reminds me the second we step off the plane, what could I possibly need?

Well, how about a Dior travel essentials makeup kit? Or perhaps the Lancome one? It makes sense, when you think about it, because it’s so compact and it has all the makeup I will need on this trip. And with it being duty-free, the price actually becomes very reasonable.

“We are going to Central America. To Mexico. To Nicaragua. To Guatemala. Where do you think you will be wearing makeup?”

“Well I’m sure there will be nice bars and restaurants….”

While A is laughing at this response, I do a mental checklist of the contents of my backpack. I decide not to mention the black silk jumpsuit or the cropped tuxedo jacket.

So how do you occupy eight hours at the airport. Here’s a suggested timeline…

  • Eat
  • Check Email
  • Check facebook
  • Visit butterfly enclosure (which is really really cool)
  • Try out the free back and foot massage chairs

This usually take up to 1.5 hours. Only 6.5 hours more to go…

  • Wander aimlessly around dutyfree sampling perfume and eyeshadows

Actually this is where girls have an airport advantage. Done at the right pace, with the correct amount of agonising over eye shadows and lip gloss you know you will not buy, this can kill an hour or more. By the time I finished the backs of both of my hands looked like the artwork produced by my one-year-old niece. Another hour down….5.5 hours to go.

  • Get tea, sip very slowly
  • Wander other shoe shops, clothes shops, souvenir shops and pay unhealthy attention to a tiny stuffed panda that would make excellent practical joke for father
  • Read
  • Check email
  • Check facebook
  • Start whinging

And we’re down to 4.5 hours. Point six is inevitable. And I feel can be quite a healthy way of letting off frustration. It doesn’t have to be about the eight hour wait. It can in fact be about anything…including why, hypothetically, your boyfriend isn’t entertaining you. Which not only kills an hour, but also segueways nicely into that other outstanding way to kill time at an airport – the “discussion”. Please note, this is not an argument. An argument involves yelling, and of course, we are adults and do not yell in airports. We have a discussion. In very nice but firm voices.

The discussion can go on for quite a length of time. Aim for at least half an hour though. It can be about anything, but its usually best to pick things that are quite minor. If you like, molehills that with the right amount of whining can be easily be massaged into a mountain. For example, the fact that your boyfriend forgot about having dinner with your cousin in London after you had specifically mentioned it several times is an excellent candidate.

Of course at the end of this discussion comes the “stalk-off-in-huff”. That also kills about 5 minutes because you then have to decide where to go and options are thin on ground.

  • Return to beauty section of duty free. Cover hands in more eyeshadow that you will not buy.
  • Go back to reconsider Panda.
  • Check email.
  • Check facebook.

Excellent. If you’ve down this part correctly, you’re under three hours. Not long to go now.

  • Eat.
  • Find boyfriend. Put on the “You hurt my feelings and now I’m sad” face. If he doesn’t understand this face, try saying this: “You hurt my feelings and now I’m sad”. Have normal discussion.
  • Do one last lap of dutyfree shops. Apply eyeshadow to wrists – no space on hands now.
  • Have one last pre-flight massage on the chairs
  • Check email
  • Check facebook.

Into the home straight…down to 1 hour. And from this point it’s fairly easy. You’ve got passport control, finding the gate, last minute loo stops, and boarding to take up time.

All up, it’s very easy to kill time at Singapore Airport.

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