An evening at the airport

One of the charming and unexpected perks of living in the easternmost parts of Singapore is that we're so near to the airport, it seems like a perfectly acceptable suggestion when Little Miss Drinkalot messages to say let's go there to grab some Popeye's Fried Chicken tonight.

If not for this little expedition,we would not have known that parking at the outdoor, tree-lined parking lot at Terminal 1 costs $5 for 2½ hours. That works out to $2 per hour, people, during the airport's dead zone, when most of the departure check-in counters are unattended or passenger-free and half of the airport's cheap food outlets start closing for the night. $2 per hour --- what they charge for parking downtown in the day, when parking lots are hard to come by. Hmph, as Ondine would say (and no doubt did, when their car rang up similar charges).

Cowboy Caleb wanted to know why Popeye's didn't validate our parking so that we wouldn't have to pay for it. Uh, this isn't a wedding dinner in a hotel, boy. And most restaurants in town don't validate parking stubs anymore, either.

On our way out, we also learned that the reason you can't get taxis in Singapore at night is that they're all lined up outside the airport. As of 12:05 am, the line of cabs stretched from Terminal 1, down East Coast Parkway, all the way to the first Pan Island Expressway exit 280 metres away. 280 metres worth of empty cabs, waiting patiently for the line to inch forward so that they could earn a fare that they could multiply 1½ times (12:00-6:00 am surcharge) and tack on a $3 airport surcharge to.

Ladies and gentlemen, your world-class transportation system at work.

Tonight's dinner (supper?) conversation confirmed that Cowboy Caleb is not a dentist, nor am I an anatomy specialist, but LMD really knows her manicures. Four out of five people at the table had sore throats, but all of us were stuffing themselves with fried chicken, fries and biscuits anyway. Popeye's was as good as it's supposed to be. Only in Singapore, I think you will find, do people make the trek halfway across the island --- as in the case of Ondine and Packrat --- for fried chicken. It ain't The Chicken Shack, which was a stone's throw from where I lived one year in Evanston, but it's pretty darned good. Popeye's also has tastier coleslaw than the Kentucky Fried Chicken variety.

Terz is jealous that we did this while he was out of town, so maybe we will do Popeye's redux tomorrow?


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At 8/30/2005 1:24 am , Blogger louist said...


i've always wondered if other branches existed in singapore, but if people do half-island treks, i guess the answer is no.

At 8/30/2005 4:00 am , Blogger JellyGirl said...

mmmm you are making me hungry imagining Popeye's crispy chicken. I have heard so much about it but have never tried it before. Must rectify this soon!!

At 8/30/2005 12:00 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

um hallo...did you never partake in the Popeye's binges that ereng, pat, and I used to have on a Saturday evenings? with the 24 pack of Corona? You must've...if the north carolinian says that's good chicken, it must be good chicken.

At 8/30/2005 12:41 pm , Blogger Paperman said...

Regarding the long queue of taxis, doesn't the fact also imply that the drivers would rather endure a hours long wait for a single $20+ fare than traverse empty streets? It is not there are no cabs at night, just that they are concentrated in areas where they are more likely to be flagged down. Plus there is the competition from night rider.

Its tough being a cabby, y'know?

At 8/30/2005 2:10 pm , Blogger NARDAC said...

I'm going to have to put my foot down on this. Popeye's Fried Chicken!?! Gimme a break!

you guys really are deprived. :P

At 9/01/2005 11:39 am , Blogger Tym said...

Postmaster-General/Vandice --- So maybe the question is: why is the rental so high that cabs have to resort to waiting in line at the airport for these guaranteed big fares, rather than prowling the streets in a more diffused but perhaps somewhat less profitable pattern? Whatever the case is, it can't be that a "world-class transportation system" is one that causes the bunching of the only form of public transportation available after midnight at one location, right?

KK --- I joined you just the one time and I have pictures to prove it.

Fyi, everyone, besides Popeye's at Terminal 1, there's also Marrybrown Chicken from our northern neighbour at Terminal 2.

At 9/02/2005 12:35 am , Blogger Agagooga said...

Marybrown is in Tampines too, and it sucks. Worse than KFC, even.

If there're too many cabs at the airport it means there's an oversupply. The airport surcharge needs to be reduced, abolished or restricted only to times when more cabs are needed. Basic economics!


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