Lim: Sojourn

Wide awake

LAST weekend, the golden girls and I went on our annual sojourn—this time to the lion city.

A few months back, when I tell my father about this trip, he remarks, “Haven’t you been there already?” I forget. My father has this rule: If you’ve done it already, you don’t do it again. I guess it applies to places too. If you’ve been there already, you don’t go again.

But these are HIS rules, not MINE.

When the girls and I get together, it’s not really the destination that matters, it’s the company. Each year, some circumstance always magically directs us to our next travel destination. This year, it was the opening of Jewel Changi Airport on April 17.

Twenty minutes to touchdown at Changi, the flight attendant approaches our row and asks, “Do any of you need wheelchair assistance?” Our jaws drop.

Six years ago, we’d been asked at Narita during check-in if any one of us was pregnant. Whether or not it was in reference to our not-so-flat bellies, I convinced the girls that this was a compliment to be considered even a tad, possibly child-bearing.

But how the mighty have fallen—from possibly pregnant to possibly debilitated.

Wheelchairs? Reeling from shock, I start to rant. This woman clearly needs an eye test, a psychological evaluation, re-training or all of the above. I recommend all of the above.

Weeks before the trip, I tried to mitigate the effects of my absence at home by telling my father I’d be back before he knew it. “I fly out Thursday and by Sunday, I’m back.” “But what can you do in four days?” he asks.

He thought we were mad. Well, we’re not. Just very ambitious. Eight golden girls trying to pull a major stunt in the lion city. Our itinerary was packed—from morning till midnight. But you should have seen the original draft.

Violent reactions on first read. At Chinatown by seven in the morning to queue for Michelin-starred eats. What time are we getting up for this? We’re not prepping for surgery. We’re on vacation. The itinerary was tweaked.

Day 1: 6:30pm arrival at Changi. Jewel till 10:30 in the evening. Hotel check-in by midnight.

Day 2: Full day of sightseeing. 22,000 steps accomplished! Stepping into the Flower Dome at the end of the day, one of the girls asks, “Are there seats here?” I pointed to the benches nearby. “I mean seats with wheels,” she said.

I burst out laughing. We need wheelchair assistance, after all.

Day 3: Full day of sightseeing and shopping at Chinatown and Orchard. 14,000 steps achieved with shopping bags to boot.

Day 4: 3:30pm arrival at Mactan. Back to the work. Back to reality.

“It was fun,” says one of the girls. “But maybe we could also do a trip that doesn’t average 18,000 steps a day next time.” Laughing emojis burst like fireworks on our screens.

Life is good when you have someone to laugh with. #goldengirlstories


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