I’m sitting in the United Airlines executive lounge in Sydney, Australia now, awaiting a connecting flight to Melbourne, where I’ll be spending the first few days of my trip. It’s now 8:30 AM on Sunday the 17th, after having left Vancouver at 6:30-ish PM on Friday the 15th. Travelling across the Date Line is odd.
It started pretty eventfully. When I got to the airport, I wasn’t allowed to check in, as the plane ‘was in suspension’. Apparently that’s the term for when there’s something wrong with the intended plane, and they have to get another one. So instead of an airbus, I flew out on a 767. Worse, while sitting at the gate, there was a further delay, as the pilot ‘wasn’t happy with the condition of the plane’. Eventually, however, we all boarded, and I settled into a comfy business class seat for the trip to Hawaii. It’s quite the difference: getting on the plane, I’m immediately offered a choice of champagne, water or orange juice (I chose juice: I don’t like to drink while flying, I dehydrate enough as it is). The saeat is large, although I’m annoyed that the footrest is slightly too short, meaning my ankles and feet dangle off the edge. Also, this being an old-ish plane, we don’t each have little individual tv sets, just the big ones in the middle, both of which are having some serious color issues. But anyhoo. The flight, some 6 hours, passed uneventfully. I watched parts of The Bourne Identity, which I’d seen before, played some Civ 3 for a while, then settled down to read my book (Rick Moody’s Demonology, which so far, has proven excellent), listening to some music.
Arriving in Honolulu, I had to clear US customs for some reason, seeing as I was going to be there all of 1.75 hours. I was to meet my dad here, and did so, while waiting in line to get into the gate for our flight on to Sydney. Honolulu’s airport is a little creepy: it’s open air. It’s also feels like the set of a 1970’s surf movie, with weird wood panelling everywhere, and super laid-back staff. Also disturbingly, there was a sign as we were going through the little x-ray area that the FTAA has determined that the security here is not up to snuff, so procede at your own risk (I paraphrase here).
The next leg was a 10-hour flight, which fortunately, is long enough that one can get a good 6-8 hours sleep, and read your book, which I did (they gave out those nice little travel cleaning kits, with eye-covers and earplugs, which really help too). So that flight, despite it’s length, actually passed pretty quickly (the being in business class with excellent room helped).
I’m being called to board my next flight on to Melbourne, so I’m outta here for now.