Walking into Singapore's Changi airport on Tuesday I wondered if my Australian mobile carrier would be up to the task ... did they correctly set up global roaming for me? Would my phone work?
I needn't have worried.
I was waiting in the line to show a friendly customs officer my passport, when my phone started buzzing. "Someone misses me!" I thought. My friends know I'm all alone in a foreign land and are attempting to make me feel at home.
Then I heard a series of beeps from all around me, and realised I wasn't special ... everyone had friends.
Flipping open my handset I was shocked to discover my friend was actually a mega-corporation ... Optus parent Singapore Telecommunications.
I had made the mistake of roaming onto their network and was now being spammed:
"The Great Singapore Sale is on till 23 Jul! For info, call TouristLine at 1800 736 2000 or visit Singapore Visitors Centres. Info brought to you by Singapore Tourism Board."
Several other messages followed in quick succession -- and were quickly deleted.
Later on, during a walk through Singapore's stunning city centre, I looked up from my shopping on Orchard Road to catch a glimpse of SingTel's spotless office tower.
While not all travellers may feel the same way, I couldn't help thinking SingTel could do a better job of welcoming visitors to their fair land. Not everyone wants their phone invaded by spam the minute they step off the plane.