Saturday, 29 October 2011

Day 1

October 13, 2011 (Australia Time)
9 am
Well it has already been an adventure down under! I am finally in Australia, just not my final destination.  I made it through my first three flights without a problem, even including the 14 hour flight to Brisbane! I sat in the middle of two very nice ladies, Kate and Bernadette. It was funny because I wasn’t paying attention to the numbers after I realized I was in 5, I thought I had gone the wrong way on the plane, because it was so big. I walk all the way to the back, realizing as I am walking, that I cannot be that far because those people had boarded before me due to their seat on the plane. I realized I had gone too far when I finally saw 76. I then had to turn around and walk back, where people were trying to get to their seat. There was an opening where the emergency exit was, so I was talking with the flight attendant, who was male and Australian, and he helped me figure out where I needed to be. I ended up having very nice seats, there were no people in front of us because we were starting the beginning of the economy class, it was very nice. Each person has their own individual TV, where I was able to watch Something Borrowed and Bridesamids. Both very good and entertaining. I received two meals: dinner when we first arrived (fish, bread, corn and lima beans, potatoes, and a delicious caramel cake for dessert! Very tastey! We also received our own blanket, headset, toothbrush & paste, and pillow. Throughout the flight we would received drinks and fruit and a little goody bag of water, pretzels, chocolate, and biscuits. It was a very long flight, but it “flew by.” I slept a lot, chatted with the ladies I sat next to, watched two movies, went to the bathroom (for the first time on an airplane), ate two meals, and read some of my book. The steward that was for our section was very attractive and of course Australian! I was able to relax a little and be my sarcastic self!

SO here we are 14 hours later, finally landed in Australia and the captain of the plane tells us we it is 7:10. Crap. My connecting flight is leaving at 820! Not realizing I had to go through customs AND get my luggage, I thought I would be alright. The lady who was going to a smaller city (something that started with a C and had ‘castle’ in the name) informed me we had to go through customs, as well as get out luggage. Great. Here I thought I was doing so well traveling for the first time on my own, and not to mention, out of the country! Oh well, all part of the experience. Well it didn’t take too long going through customs. It did, however, take FOREVR to get our baggage!! SO now I am nervous and sweating and flustered because I know I am not going to make my flight and have no idea where I am at or what I need to be doing. Thank goodness Bernadette did not really know what she was doing either and suggested that we stay together. Her flight was not leaving until a little after mine though. I also have no idea what time it is because there are no clocks around and my phone did not update to Aussie time. We finally have all of our luggage, have passed through customs, and are now waiting to find out if we can make our flights. The man working at the counter, gives Bernadette the relieving news that if she takes her luggage she will be able to make her flight, I however, am too late and will not have enough time to make my flight to Perth. She bids me farewell and tells me to email her as I sadly watch her leave…

Never fail with mates! I am in luck and there is another flight today to Perth. Only bad news is that I have to wait three hours! Kind of a long time when I have already been traveling since Tuesday and on a 14 hour flight, and still have another 5 hour flight to go! 5 hours of flying time, which means Perth is clear across the country of Australia. Again, all part of the experience, or so I keep telling myself! Anyway, I finally reach the counter and tell the lady working I missed my flight. She politely tells me so have almost everyone. Thank goodness for her kindness! I got my next flight booked at 11. Perfect. She explains what I need to do to get to my connecting fight and off I go! I walk outside to humid humid humid and absolute no breeze! Here I am already perspiring because I have been rushing and nervous about missing my flight and going through customs. Oh well. I finally get to the big orange bus transporting me to my final flight to PERTH! I walk on the bus and ask the guy if there is room for me and he replies: “We’d make some!” Followed by: “You have beautiful dimples! I like ‘em!” Made my day! Everyone has already been tremendously polite here! I love it!
Now I am to the terminal, it was a good 5-10 minute drive! Talk about huge airport! So I get off the bus and walk into the terminal, where I have no idea what to do! I have a hunch I am supposed to take gate 22, there is no gate number  just the number 22. I walk towards all of these cameras pointing to all of these men in yellow vests that clearly work at Quantas (the airport). Apparently, they are on strike and part of the reason why it took so dang long to get off our plane and why I missed my connecting flight. Lovely. So I walk passed them and through security. Make it through fine when I see one of the guys working security smile at me and walk towards me. I’m thinking he is just being polite and wanting to ask me where I am from. Oh no! He asks if I have ever heard of some liquid check. Clearly I have not because I hardly ever fly. He hands me a paper to read and I must agree to the test or I will not be allowed to fly to Perth. Well I see the words: “May be touched,”  and “Can be done in private.” Oh lord, what in the world am I going to have to go through! All he does is take this wand thing and touches my bags, my arms, back, and feet. Done. Well I did not know that was all he needed to check. He tells me I can put my things together, so I’m starting to get nervous, my face turning red thinking I am going to have to undergo something else. HE was just making small talk, asking where I was from and where I was going and what I was going to be doing there. Small talk. Really you could have said I was done being screened! But he was very nice, and of course cute with that Aussie accent! J
So here I sit, waiting by my gate that does not leave for another couple of hours and cannot even get online or use my phone to connect to the United States. But I am enjoying just sitting in the airport, listening to the beautiful accent, and just think about what an awesome adventure this is going to be! I mean look what I have already undergone so far! I’m already starting to become a world traveler! J

Sidenote: When we arrived in the airport, there was a sign saying: “G-day Mate!” I wanted to take a picture but I was in a hurry! L Maybe when I leave the country!