Travel

Continent #6: My (Slightly Painful) Journey to Australia

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flightmelbourne

Phase 1:

Shit. Why did I do this in phases? This is only likely going to be two phases which is totally boring. Fail.

Anyway, phase 1 was me getting to LAX, on WestJet. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. I received exceptional service on my flight down, and watched the first of the six movies I would be watching in the next 24 hours. ’Twas lovely.

But then there was LAX. I walked to the Tom Bradley International Terminal, enjoying the muggy heat of the outside, thinking to myself how it wouldn’t be too bad to get stuck here for a night if I absolutely had to (yay heat!). By the time I got up to the check in counter, however, I just couldn’t cool off and I had a problem on my hands. If anyone had been paying close attention, they would have thought I was standing there, peeing my pants. Beads of sweat trickled down the sides of my legs and into my booties to soak into my little blue socks. I was crazy overheated! And the sweater-like material of this particular skirt was apparently not helping. As the friendly check in agent took her sweet ass time, I started to panic, imagining everyone around me knew and could see just how wet my whole situation down there was. Why was this happening?! Don’t airports have air conditioning? How was this woman in front of my wearing a blazer?! Wasn’t she dying?? By the time she finally finished and sent me on my way, blank, seat-less ticket in hand, I bee-lined for the nearest washroom and to my dismay, when I flipped my booty toward the mirror, I found small but obvious crescent moons staining my burnt orange skirt.

Shit, shit, shit.

I applied deodorant to places it wasn’t designed to go, and frantically fanned my behind, but it just wasn’t drying fast enough. I rolled up the waist band to bring the stains up a level and begrudgingly put my butt-length jacket back on (not really helping my efforts to cool off) and began wandering the airport in search of a fan. No luck to report with the fan, so I head upstairs to security and actually quietly celebrated when I saw the long ass line up that was ahead of me. More time to get dry before they would force me to remove my external garments and reveal my embarrassing spots of shame. As I collected my things at security, ass fully exposed and head down so as not to make eye contact with anyone (I’m sure this didn’t alarm security at all…) I once again, bee-lined for the nearest washroom, rushed in and went straight for the mirror to check out my own ass in the mirror again.

HORRAY! It was dry and stain-free! Happiness washed over me.

That is, until a gentleman politely notified me I was in the wrong lavatory.

So that happened.

I then holed up in a little wine bar at the airport, and ordered a flight of “Fall Reds” with my phone a-charging, conveniently from the outlet located just beneath the bar in front of me (best feature I’ve ever seen in a bar!). I survived the swass incident relatively unscathed and there was wine in front of me. Good enough.

***

Phase 2:

Not as awesome. Well, I mean, it’s a good news story. I got a seat on an almost sold out flight—so heck yes! I brought chocolates for the lovely crew and they showed me to my middle seat where I spent the next 15 hours wildly uncomfortable, trying to sleep, failing miserably, watching movie after movie after movie. Crying. Not eating. Not drinking. No wine!! Can you imagine. Babies screaming. A man in front of me yelling randomly (what on earth?! I still don’t know what that even was… but it was terrifying and I was sure I was going to have to initiate First Aid). And the only food for the 11-hour stretch in the middle was a chocolate bar or a pizza. Needless to say I was staving by breakfast. And no—I didn’t get a mimosa. :(

SADNESS.

Movies watched:

Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
People Places Things
Paper Towns
Southpaw
Trainwreck
Magic Mike XXL

I cried during all of them. True story. My naturopath would be proud. (My homework from my last session was to cry more.)

Whatever… I got some work done, it wasn’t terrible and now I’m just about to land into Melbourne. HELLO AUSTRALIA—I’M HERE!

***

Phase 3:

Okay, so I lied. There totally was a phase three. When I landed… CHAOS. That airport was havoc. Just queues, queues and more queues. Perhaps because it’s the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, or maybe it’s just as one of my fellow impatient travelers remarked an hour into our wait to through customs—“this airport was built in the 80s and just can’t handle the amount of travelers it needs to today”. It took 1.5 hours from the time I deplaned until I had passed through customs (the customs agent didn’t even speak to me—asking no questions whatsoever, so that certainly wasn’t the hold up), got my luggage (which was twirling around the belt waiting for me when I got through) and then queued the entire length of the airport, back and forth, just to get out the “exit” doors. A woman tried (and succeeded—I only pushed so far) to cut in line and, my patience dwindling and exhaustion setting in, I told her she was what was wrong the world and “accidentally” rammed her with my suitcase. (Did I just actually admit that?) Then the phones to order the shuttle wouldn’t work. You know those annoying hotel dialling phones… well, there were six of them. None of them had dial tones. The girl working the information desk looked at me like I was insane when I said I couldn’t get through and encouraged me to “just try again”. The trick: hit the hang up button until you get a dial tone (on your 15-17th try it usually happens) then dial, then sit on the dead line for 60 seconds before something happens. Eventually it connects and someone speaks to you on the other end. So simple!

The shuttle was about a 20-minute drive into where I was heading (Carlston) and I had to pep talk myself out of my sphere of hatred when we pulled up to a smiling Krista waiting for me on the side of the road.

I was happy to see a friendly face and have someone to regale my travel woes to.

At last.

Oh but wait…

Phase 4:

We couldn’t check into our pimp ass apartment rental until 12:30 which meant we had just over two hours to kill still. Being that sleep wasn’t an option, we opted for alcohol. We wheeled our oversized suitcases up Lygon Street asking at each coffee shop/restaurant if they would serve us until we found one with Bellini’s on the menu, available for drinking! They also made a mean Baked Spanish Eggs dish which we both devoured. I’m happy to report the company had incredibly positive effects on my mood (and/or the booze) and we enjoyed that relaxing few hours before cabbing it over to our 16th floor flat for the next 5 days in Docklands… where I crashed.

Finally.

P.S. We stalked up on wine, so don’t worry (Krista’s Canadian accent even earned us an extra 5% discount making our total savings on the wine shop 35%—hells yeah) and our view is MENTAL. (Pictures to follow.) This is going to be good.

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