And I am back in Singapore. My train ride to CDG thankfully ended at one point in time (as I said, I really do not like those clunky trains they use and it did not help that once in a while I wondered whether I really sit in the right train (it would help if they had clear announcements or maybe a leaflet in the seat pocket – just saying).
But I did arrive at Charles de Gaulle.
I hauled my three suitcases onto the platform, got my bearings, found the elevator and made my way to the right check-in area. CDG has much improved since I’ve been there for the first time. Signage has improved and service is actually pretty great.
After I had passed through immigration and security, I had still lots of time to spare. And I wanted to buy something nice for Lamia: she was taking care of two kids while I was slacking off in Europe. And Thomas got sick the last few days, so a little appreciation clearly was in order.
So I went to Longchamp to buy a bag for her. This is hard, particularly because some bags that Lamia really likes look… well… not that great in my eyes, so I knew that the likelihood that I picked something she’d like was very low. I still wanted to give it a shot.
I found a model that I thought looked good, but I had trouble to decide on the color. Red and silver? Or black and gold?
I will spare you the absolute misery I went through to make this decision. Red felt too pedestrian to me, but the gold on the back bag is not what Lamia normally has. I will tell you that I wasted an hour, three shop assistants, WhatsApp messages to Alice and utter mental torture to make my choice. Alice only replied after I had made the purchase, but luckily she approved of the principle choice I made.
Alice: Black is safer.
The shop assistants were super nice. They even said that if I changed my mind before I board the plane, I could still swap out the bag. Very kind and a smart selling tactic as it takes some load of the shoulders of the undecided buyer, closes the sale and I guess also plays with the fact that most people will not come back to swap unless they feel really strong about it.
While making the decision I temporarily left the shop to buy a little Eiffel Tower for Aggie and 24 Macarons at Maison Ladurée for Lamia. With this the last bits of my European shopping list had been struck and I could get into the plane with peace of mind.
Premium Economy class was again great. This time the audio system worked properly and no careful balancing of the headphone jack had to be done. As it turns out, the seats can be put into a more comfortable sleeping position! – the seat on my flight to Germany just did not work right and the second button that did not seem to do anything back then did exactly what I thought it should be doing: flatten the whole seat into a more comfortable position to sleep. Oh well…
Flying without the kids is easy, so it did not feel very long and all of a sudden I was back in Singapore. I quickly bought some cosmetics stuff in duty free that Lamia had asked for and then picked up my three suitcases. I was worried that I might get stopped at customs (single guy, three big suitcases – doesn’t this look like a classic smuggler?), but could sail through without being delayed.
Finally home! I came through the door and got nearly thrown over by Oskar’s welcome. How wonderful to be a father. The yellow crane truck was a big hit and Oskar insisted to take it to bed when for the first time in 2 weeks or so I could put him to sleep.
Thomas gave me a heart warming smile, but seemed to be more distant – being away for such a long time clearly pushed me down the list of the persons he thinks he needs to navigate through the house. I do appreciate that his cold is apparently getting better already, so this might be a quiet night (after some pretty rough ones before, or so I hear).
And Lamia? – my gorgeous wife who has been taking care of everything was pretty as always and as I looked into her face I knew I was home.