Friday, September 15, 2017

Short Social Fiction: Adventures of Tupi 9

Getting a free lift to the airport from a friend flying off on an earlier flight, Tupi arrived at the airport, about 3 hours before the flight but there was already a crowd at the ticketing counter. Strangely, there was only one flight out to Sri Lanka Airlines and everyone seemed to be early and eagerly waiting for the counter to open. Tupi decided to have breakfast and continue his research on places to visit.

An hour later, the line just opened and Tupi decided to sit nearby and chill. The line moved pretty fast and it seemed like everyone in like actually stood for more than 1 hour and waited for the line to open. After 30 mins when the crowd has cleared, Tupi brought his luggage and checked in.

"Window seats please." Tupi said and checking in his luggage was a breeze.

Tupi loved wandering around Changi Airport and checked out the little nooks and corners which always seemed to change every time he flies. Tupi walked passed his gate and saw the crowd waiting outside. "Wow, these people love to queue up more than Singaporeans..." Tupi chuckled.

Looking at the planes taking off and the browsing books in the bookstore, Tupi looked at his phone for the time and it was 50 minutes to his flight and Tupi proceeded to the gate and the gate has just opened and the crowd is slowly moving in. Tupi decided to use the restrooms as the crowd moves through the security gates.

Tupi returned and the line moved slowly. Tupi patiently moved through the line and now saw the crowd waiting at the entrance to the gates. "Wow, these people are impatient." Tupi thought to himself and saw the air hostess having a hard time getting the passengers to move aside and not crowd the boarding area.

As expected, things got worse. 30 minutes before departure, many passengers gathered and crowded near the entrance when the announcement was made that boarding was going to start. The air hostess tried to get the passengers to move aside to allow passengers from first and business class to enter, but the crowd seemed to ignore all instructions no matter what languages were spoken. No one seemed to even give way when a passenger on a wheelchair was allowed to board.

"Hey, move aside..." Tupi said and told some of the passengers near the boarding area to move but like the hostess, he was ignored. "This will not end well..." Tupi muttered as chaos continued. When first class and the passenger in the wheelchair boarded, the airlines requested the passengers sitting in the rear of the plane to board, however, the crowd seemed to charge through the boarding area like there was no tomorrow.

Tupi could not bother, he took out his phone and checked Facebook. "Hmmm. Should I check in at the airport?.. Take a selfie? Take a photo of the boarding pass?" Tupi muttered and instead he just checked the Facebook feeds. The chaos continued for the next 15 minutes before everyone boarded and Tupi strolled on the flight. "Ah, much better." Tupi said.

Sadly, Tupi found his seat taken and informed the passenger in his seat. "Hi, I think this is my seat." The man pointed at 2 seats behind, but the seat was also taken. "Look, I'm seating here, 11A" The man said. "I'm 13B, but my wife here..." Tupi looked at 13B and there was another passenger.

Tupi signaled the air hostess to come and she requested him to move and he seemed a little unhappy, but Tupi insisted as it was his first time going to Sri Lanka and he wanted to see it from the sky. The seat change started another nightmare as there was more than 10 passengers not seating in their seats.

After everyone has taken their seats, the plane started to moved, but as there was a slight delay, now the flight had a further delay as the runway was packed. "Oh great...." Tupi grumbled.


The plane finally took off. The flight was otherwise uneventful and Tupi decided to take a nap and not have any meals.

Tupi was woken up when the plane landed. "Damn it!" Tupi said as he looked out of the window to see Bandaranaike International Airport. Then the other passengers taking off their seatbelts and trying to get their bags while the plane was still moving. "Oh boy..." Tupi said and the air steward tried to get some of the passengers to sit down, but only some did. Then as the plane approached the terminal, it slowed down abruptly and a luggage fell on another passenger and the passengers started to quarrel.

The crowd started to move towards the front of the plane as the plane stopped and everyone crowded near the door and rushed out. The line stopped moving again and then became very slow. As Tupi exited the plane, he saw the passengers outside blocking the passage as they waited for their friends to come out. "Oh god... Why did you rush out to block at the exit?" Tupi asked a tall dark man and stared at him. The man ignored Tupi and Tupi quickly moved into the terminal.

"Oops, I think I did not take the immigration form... And wait... Do I need a visa?" Tupi said and quickly searched Google."Thank you Singtel for my international roaming plan to work... much better than the MRT.... Ok, no Visa needed, but I need to fill up an immigration form."

Tupi looked around. The airport was rather small and clean. "oh, over there.." Tupi said as he spotted some tables with some forms on top and took one and filled it up. Tupi then queued at the immigration area and went through without any problems. "Well, this was pretty good so far."

Tupi walked towards baggage claims and found his flight number and the belt. Tupi waited and decided to go to the restrooms again, and when he was back, he waited some more. "25 minutes, and nothing yet." Tupi said and saw the crowd moving in front of him to wait for their baggage. "Oh man, them again."

Tupi continued to wait. It was also starting to get hot and sweaty. Tupi walked around and there was nothing else to see. "Damn it..." Tupi grumbled and found a seat. Another 15 minutes went by and finally, the first luggage came out. It took another 15 minutes before Tupi's luggage came out and he grabbed it and exited the area. "This make me appreciate the Singapore airport so much."

Tupi texted Jenny and she has arranged for a driver to pick Tupi up. Tupi apologized that he was late due to the luggage, but Jenny informed him that it was expected and the driver was waiting. Tupi looked around and saw a short man with a sign that said "Tupi" on it and waved at him. Tupi thought he was easy to spot as he would be the only Capybara in the airport.

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