Sleepless in Changi


It’s been a while since I roamed around an airport like a zombie. In the haste to make this trip happen, I bought a 0110 hr flight, thinking it’s one that departs at 1.10pm.


I refuse to use the 24 hour clock.


Changi Airport boarding area is bustling with people: chatting, browsing, drinking. Are these well-worn travellers who simply no longer have any body clock? Apart from the sky lit area, under the soft but sufficient lighting, with carpeted floors absorbing the din and retail displays that beckon ever so enticingly, the Airport looks no different than it does during the day.


Massive drilling sounds from renovation works at a retail space. I want my quiet spot back please.


Suddenly, the cafe I’m at gets very crowded. Across from me, non-stop drilling and hammering by the Bangladeshi workers. So much activity, when usually by this time I’d already be getting ready for bed.

I want my bed.


Still too early to board the plane. Yet, there’s too little time to make lying on those nice recliners worth it. Yes, Changi Airport actually has recliner chairs in the public area to cater to travellers who want to sleep. And it’s quite a considerate design: they are located at a quiet corner, screened by potted plants, facing the windows looking out on to the tarmac.

Nonetheless, it would be pointless for me to go camp there. It’d be a joke if I overslept and missed the flight.


The drilling doesn’t sound like it’s going to stop any time soon. And just when I was wondering whether these retail shops actually open all night long, across from me Discover Singapore is pulling its shutters.


I’m dozing off. I need to walk off the sleep, if there’s such a thing. And I refuse to drink coffee, even though I’m sitting in a cafe.


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