On our way to Australia and New Zealand…

So our vacation has begun. A 3 week trip around Australia and New Zealand. My lovely wife and I can hardly believe that the time to leave has come.
The last few hours were a little frantic, they always are in our household, but we got ourselves sorted in time to make our first flight from Modesto.

We flew down to LA and where we were given a 5 hour opportunity to heighten the sense of anticipation. Then we boarded Qantas 108 to Sydney, Australia.

14 and a half hours. I just kept thinking that I am glad I am not flying from London – which is a 20 hour flight.

Now, we had heard a lot of good comments about Qantas, but I have to say neither my lovely wife nor myself were not that impressed. First of all, the leg room was terrible. It was not terrible in the normal way, in that when you first get on the flight you think you have lots of room, but 10 hours later you are feeling like a sardine in a tin can. It was more terrible in the way that my first impression was of a sardine politely being asked to downsize from that extravagant tin can into something more befitting something the size of a small plankton.

I commented to my lovely wife about his, and she just smiled politely told me I was too used to business or economy plus, and to shut up sit down, and get on with it.

Of course, being the man I am, I would like to say I argued my point with my lovely wife, spoke to the head stewardess and then got a free upgrade to first class! But, I can’t. I just grumbled a bit and sat down, and shut up.

The good news was that the Qantas flight had On Demand entertainment, so we did not have to crane to see a TV screen 6 rows away. We got to watch what we wanted when we wanted. I got to enjoy “The Simpons Movie” (Spider-Pig hee hee), and a 4 hour BBC special on the Space Race (Very good even though it only said it was 45 minutes long).

As soon as we had left the ground, the gentlemen sat in front of me saw his opportunity, and downsized my living space for the next 15 hours more by reclining his seat fully. I could actually have my tongue touch the back of his seat with my head firm against the head rest (Although I do not recommend you try this experiment). So I had to follow suit and crush the little guy behind me, and so on and so forth, until the whole flight had reclined. It was quite the affair…

When the food was served and I chose the Chicken. When the choice is Chicken or Pasta, always choose the chicken. The Pasta is usually the consistency of an old leather boot, with the taste somewhat similar. The chicken is usually at least chicken like in consistency and taste. As I said, always choose the chicken, UNLESS you are flying Qantas, in which case it would be better to lick the seat in front of you. Seriously, it was terrible. The worst piece of gristle I have ever eaten (There was no meat). I eat anything, and usually do, but I left the chicken – I never leave food.

The hours flew by, and so did a day. We left on Sunday evening, and eventually landed on Tuesday morning. Thanks to our crossing of the international dateline we skipped a day. Monday 19th November 2007 was not a day that we experienced, so please fill me in on anything I missed.

Once we had landed it was announced that one of the flight crew had actually just missed her birthday – the 19th November. I am not sure what happens in these circumstances. Do you just stay the same age? Either way, she got a lovely round of applause from the passengers – who were happy as pie at this point as they could see the end of the ordeal on the horizon.

When it came time to leave the plane, we had stand up in unison lest we topple each other like dominos due to our proximity. On our way out the pilot asked us to look back at his “lovely red plane, we are very proud of it”. I didn’t realize it but the whole plane was painted red, with some aborigine style markings all over it. The Aussies are proud to show off their uniqueness, and it was fitting that this pride was evident in the pilot’s love for his plane.

We had arrived in Sydney, Australia. Our adventure had just begun.

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