Monday, May 27, 2013

Universal Studios and Food Republic


After leaving Universal Studios, we had just enough time for one last snack at Food Republic in Vivo City, which is connected to Sentosa Island via a monorail.

 Food Republic is a massive food court which has a retro Singapore theme. The stalls and setting evoke a nostalgic atmosphere, taking you back the Singapore of the past.
 Don't you love the old Chinese lanterns and bird cages? I want some for my lounge room at home.

 There is a wide selection of Singaporean food, as well as various other Asian cuisines. One food I can't get enough of is a deep fried bread dough (it has a particular name, but can't think of it) Oh so bad, but tastes so good, especially dipped in curry. After out snack, we caught the MRT back to the airport to collect our luggage, and have one last coffee at Starbucks. We also claimed back our GST as a tourist on our various purchases. We had enough cash from this for some final purchases at the airport shops. I found a gorgeous ring I had been searching for all over the island, but could never find it in my size.
Now, to recount our hell trip back to Australia..... My son has diabetes, which makes travelling in itself a massive undertaking, with all the medical supplies he requires on a daily basis to be carted around wherever we go. As the plane began transiting slowly on the tarmac, my son began having a hypo (low blood sugar) which requires immediate ingestion of sugar, or else he can pass out and go into a coma. I had some sweets in my handbag which was in the overhead locker, so I tried to get out of my seat to quickly grab it. The flight attendant forced me to sit down again, saying I wasn't allowed out of my seat under any circumstances. I tried to explain my situation, that my son could pass out, and I guess I should have been more forceful, but instead, I sat back in my seat and cried and cried.  A very nice man across the aisle saw what was happening and had some sweets in his pocket, which he very kindly gave to my son to eat, thus avoiding a potentially dangerous situation.  Not long after, my son began feeling nauseous ( he had food poisoning two days before) and this sounds really disgusting, started vomiting uncontrollably in to a sick bag which my husband was holding. He virtually filled the entire bag, which my husband accidentally DROPPED, which caused vomit filled bag to hit the ground and rebound, covering us all from head to toe in vomit. Nice. My son and I were crying hysterically, dripping in vomit. Even his cuddly toy from the Universal Studios gift shop was covered in it. This time, the flight crew were most helpful, trying to clean up the vomit and getting my son drinks. I could not get my son to stop howling. In the end, I had to cuddle him and sing baby songs to him, which thankfully put him to sleep. My daughter gets very airsick, but she was out cold from the medication we gave her. Technically, my son is supposed to be immediately admitted to hospital if he vomits more than once, as he can become dehydrated. All I wanted to do, was be back home in my safe, comfortable bed. It was a very looong flight.

Once we landed, the hell trip was not over. We landed at our home town airport, Coolangatta, which is just a small airport (it used to be no more than a tin shed years ago) Several years ago, it started accepting international flights (previously only domestic flights) and so some extensions were made to the terminal building. However, the airport now accepts a large volume of international flights, and the terminal is in no way nearly big enough to accommodate this. It seemed to me an international flight was arriving every 20 minutes, and the queue to get to passport control took forever, with everyone squished into a very small area. Then, as soon as you get through the tiny passport control, the baggage carousel is literally straight in front of you, with no room to move at all, let alone get a luggage trolley, which of course are stored way over the other side of the room. But it is almost impossible due to the volume of people to actually walk to where the trolleys are. And if you are lucky enough to get one, you then have to try and push it close enough to the carousel to try and grab  your suitcase. In amongst this seething mass of humanity is the end of the queue for quarantine and customs check. In fact, there were so many people, no one really knew where the queue ended, as it merged with people coming out of passport control and baggage collection. All the while, more planes are landing so more and more passengers are trying to squeeze into the building. And with only three x-ray machines at customs, it felt as if we would never get out of there. Plus my kids were both feeling queasy again, and threatening to throw up. So when we finally made it out of the terminal and into the sunshine, I felt IMMENSE relief. And getting home and back into my bed never felt so good.
Thankfully, my son felt much better after a long sleep at home, so hospitalization was not necessary.

So, if you plan on flying into the Gold Coast, be prepared for a long, long wait to get out of the airport. It cannot be compared to any of the overseas airports I have arrived at, where we have always just grabbed our bags and had to wait only a minute or so to get our passports stamped. Who ever designed the airport extensions, didn't do their sums very well!  And please remember, Australia does not permit any food stuffs to be brought into the country, and they are very strict about this. There always seems to be someone who tries to carry though some weird packets of food from their homeland. But beware, as we have some very cute little sniffer Beagle dogs who will find the food in a second. This only holds up the queue to get out even longer. Rant over.

I'll show you my Singapore shopping haul next post. But for now, that will be our last overseas trip for a long time, as travelling with diabetes is very challenging and too worrisome for me. I have been so lucky to have travelled to my favourite countries, and I have lots of happy memories and photos to remind me of my visits. I'm very blessed. But the vomit I can do without!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about the hard trip home, I can imagine the relief you found when everyone could rest. How is your son doing now?