Trip: Saigon to London

Again, the flight was OK, with the obligatory stop in Singapore. On the plane we were given a Singapore paper to read. There was no need to read Vietnam guidebooks any more, so it was a great way to pass the time. It struck me how much good news there is in Singapore (except for the occasional bad neighbor who goes to jail). I was particularly lucky, because in this edition, there was an entire section on the prime minister. He's a multi-faceted man – politician, grandfather, tennis player – who's beginning to get a good deal of recognition on the world stage. "Did you know?" said the box on the lower right corner of the page, "The prime minister's first car was a Mini." Now that's a factoid.

We walked around the airport looking for things of interest. We noted that you can't smoke at the bar, and you can't bring your drinks outside, which was an admirable segregation of vices. It's amazing what sort of things you think of when all of a sudden, you have a lot of time. My whole stay in Vietnam I couldn't find any antiseptic spray for my poor Timberland shoes that were flooded in Huế. Not only could I reflect on this, but I found myself in a land with varieties of antiseptic. 

I took my time making the choice and was about to pay, when one of the shop attendants started chasing me down the aisle. "Sir!" he said. "That's the wrong spray – that's a ladies' spray." I told him I didn't mind because my shoes were neither male nor female, but he had some definite opinions. He explained it all to me. I did end up buying the male spray, and had a very pleasant conversation with the shop attendant, who turned out to be fairly well-traveled. I told him that he should really make the time to visit Vietnam.

Clearly worried about the airline food, we made our way to a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant, had a respectable dinner, and then got on the plane to London. It had been a long trip and we were tired. We slept all the way.