Its been almost a year since my last trip out of Singapore. Clearing out my drawers for Chinese new year, I found a stash of foreign currencies. This is because I have a habit of keeping extra currencies after trips in the hope of another trip when I can use it! Sometimes when family or friends travel, I provide an exchange service or make a gift of spending money in these currencies.

Heres a short list of what’s in stock…

  • Hong Kong dollar coins
  • Chinese renminbi
  • Aussie dollars
  • Japan yen
  • Korean won
  • Indian rupees
  • Nepali rupee
  • Pounds Sterling
  • Euro dollar
  • US dollar
  • Malaysian ringgit

There would be a few more if I’d not given them away – Indonesian rupiah, Vietnamese dong, Israeli shekels, Thai baht.

So until my next trip or trips, or until someone i know travels, this stash stays with me.

Look back

What a strange year it has been. I’m sure nobody is going to ask me what I mean by that!

The latest big news in Singapore is about a Covid scare that cut short a cruise to nowhere. An 83-year-old man had fallen sick on board and tested positive. However, on return to mainland, his latest test results, by a proper lab presumably, have been negative. It might turn out to be a false alarm after all. In any case, over 1600 holidaymakers had their trip cut short. The good news is that they might not have been exposed to a real case.

Still, better safe than sorry, as they say. Another cruise that was supposed to depart today was cancelled in response to the false alarm. I guess crew and passengers alike need a bit more time to calm down after the excitement.

Checking through my phone pictures, on this day one year ago, I was on a tour in a desert. Two years ago, I was on a business trip overseas.Three years ago, I was at home. So in the past, I’d often travelled in December. Now I don’t even know if there’s going to be any trips in 2021…

What a strange year it has been. I had a premonition this year would be a year of change for me but I had not anticipated that it would affect everyone as well.

The planes are back, maybe

Lately when I am outdoors, I’ve noticed something new – the sound of airplanes flying overhead. Until I noticed them I hadn’t even realised they’d been missing.

With the closure of borders, flights have been sharply reduced, and planes put into storage. I checked out of curiosity once and found Changi Airport had only 23 departing passenger flights over a 24-hour period. Surely there were at least 20 flights per hour in pre-covid times!

There are expectations that travel will pick up soon and perhaps airlines have scheduled more flights, and this is what I’m hearing in the skies. Or maybe more passengers are flying through Singapore on their way somewhere else.

I dream of travelling again, for leisure. If only they would lift the travel advisory against “non-essential” travel. There’s been talk of a travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong for leisure travellers but details haven’t been confirmed.

The school holidays start next month. I wonder how many people will travel when the travel advisory is lifted. Not many places to go, though. Maybe Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea… so far these remain theoretical possibilities as none have been officially approved.