Night take-offs are something else altogether. I think it is the lights that dot the landscape like so many Christmas lights.
It always amazes me how fast the ground leaves you the second you take off. One second you were looking at the runway lights, the ground solid beneath you, and the next the engines roar, making the ground tremble with their sheer power, and I am up above it all, pressed against the seat of the inclining plane. I can see the PIE, the palm trees forming a neat line along the bright highway. It is all so orderly, so obedient, so Singaporean.
Night take-offs are something else altogether. At night, you don’t see the blocks of buildings, the neat chequers of urban development, you see the lights that adorn it. I see clusters of light here and there, mostly yellow. I spot a place with white lighting, and wonder where that belongs to. The view is dark, needless to say. The sky, the horizon and the land come together, creating a single entity which swallows up all the darkness, dominating my view. It is impossible to tell where the three are apart, being inseparably intertwined like the arms and legs of lovers. The stars in the sky seem no more than an extension of the pinpricks of the light dotting the landscape. Lighting flashes, lighting up the sky dark purple for a split second, and I am reminded the sky is still there, that it has not been swallowed by the black entity.
The plane cruises over urban Singapore now, and I know it has to be, because now the light are strewn across the land like jewels, glinting, challenging the light from the heavens with their sheer brightness. I spot what seem like the city area – rather hard to miss, as it pulsed and glowed like a dense pendant made of a thousand gems, made for a very special bride. I see the heart of Singapore pumping its blood yellow, the slender golden lines winding away from the pulsating pendant.
We climb higher still, and I lose the view, surrounding by the pitch blackness of the night sky. A long while later, I look out the window again, and I see Singapore as a whole in all her bejewelled glory. It is her parting gift to me, a moment in time to be imprinted forever in my memory.
Night take-offs are something else altogether.