As I write this, I am sitting at the airport in Perth waiting for my cousin Blossom to arrive so we can start our Western Australia adventure! Funny thing is she should be here any minute, at least her plane will be. Too bad she’s not on it. Apparently she confused her flight schedule and arrived at that airport too late to catch it. In a happy twist of fate, she’s been able to grab another flight today, and will be here in about four hours – which is lucky since Broome isn’t exactly a booming metropolis with a high volume of flights to Perth on a daily basis. I’ve managed to feed myself, watch some shows on my computer, and have now successfully hunted down free WiFi (an extreme rarity in this country) by sitting awkwardly close to Virgin Airlines’ ‘The Lounge’. I can easily while away the time and we’ll be off in a car and on our way to the smoke filled South West before we know it!
I’m also totally not in the position to be judging right now. I managed to catch my flight from Melbourne to Sydney last night by sheer luck, considering I arrived at the airport at 7:55pm for what I thought was a 9pm flight. Turns out it was an 8:30 flight – which I managed not to notice when I had checked in earlier, confirmed my seat, and printed out my boarding pass. I had 5 minutes to pay the cab and fly through the airport to check my bag before cut off. Rookie.
Now that I’ve safely arrived and Bloss is likely heading to the airport (fingers crossed this time), we have bigger concerns on our hands. The town our hotel is booked from tomorrow until wednesday was just declared a disaster zone because of the bush fires. Things come in threes right? But can natural disasters and stupidity/absentmindedness be counted on the same hand?
With the way this trip is starting off, it will be interesting to see how we survive! Off to the Wild West we go!
As I prepare to leave a particularly dreary looking Sydney for a bushfire plagued Western Australia – this marks my third time through a domestic terminal on my trip. You want to know what I haven’t been asked for on even one of the three trips? IDENTIFICATION!!!
WTF? Seriously, of all things I expect to be confirmed before boarding an aircraft is that I am who I say I am. In all three cases I’ve checked in online by clicking a button in an email (no further verification required online), and printed my boarding pass. I then have to drop my bags, go through security and then board the plane – all three occasions where they usually prompt you for ID. Not going to lie, by the time thy ask me for my passport when I’m boarding, it usually feels like overkill – but come on, they should probably ask at least at security!
I guess I’m not wildly surprised that the Aussie response to something is more laid back than usual and I should be comforted in knowing they took my precious little gold manicure scissors so that I don’t stab someone while on board.
Update: they also don’t require you to have a boarding pass to go through security. Ummm? What?
Australian Airport Security = just about as confusing as their love for Vegemite.
Enjoying a seriously well deserved beer in my hotel Lobby after a stubbornly difficult trek from the airport.
Why pay $6 bucks for a direct shuttle when you can pay $15 for a train that gets you close enough to drag yourself and your suitcase through the rain, with the worlds tiniest umbrella, in the very eerie dark?
The roaring Pride of a travel weary Leo, that’s why.
Better question though is which did I deserve more the beer I’m celebrating my heroic feat with or the punishment I suffered for being stubborn to begin with?
It’s the Beer – always, without question, the beer.
You know how you feel instant charisma emanating from people with amazing accents? Everyone seems to gravitate towards the sexy Brit in the bar, the charming Aussie, or the romantic Parisian. I often think, however, that the accent sometimes accounts for 100% of the allure, and have been guilty of actively chatting up people I would otherwise never have noticed if it had not been for the G’day I overheard. The funny thing is, I never thought it worked the other way around – like with Canadian accents (except for maybe Newfoundlander’s, but they are a whole different breed). I love listening to people with accents talk non stop, they can be so interesting to just listen too (and to mock relentlessly) – but I never thought that someone would think that about my accent.
I’ve noticed, however, since landing in Australia, that this whole phenomenon must work both ways – and it was a bit ignorant of me to think otherwise. Whether I’m at an airport bar, or just picking up a sandwich for lunch I’ve noticed that I seem to catch people’s attention – and hold it – very easily. Not to say that I don’t have the charm alone to reel in some fans, but it has taken shockingly few words out of my yap to garner someone’s full attention.
While I was ordering the aforementioned sandwich today in Melbourne, all three strapping young men working at the little cafe were hanging on my every word as soon as I said ‘I’ll have the Porchetta, please’ and seeming to put great effort into keeping me talking. I’d happily spend all day talking to these (or any) good looking boys, and it was hilarious listening to them try to guess the Capital city of Canada – ‘Alberta’ was the first guess, really? It wouldn’t be a complete shock at home to get this kind of attention, but in scenario (a busy cafe at lunch, with a line forming behind me) and in my school-marm work outfit (knee-length dress, glasses, hair in a bun) the fascination seemed hysterical to me.
Guess I have a sexy foreign accent after all, who knew?
I’ve had my share of confused conversations – most of which tend to occur at the office. Remember when a Senior Vice President called me a Drug Mule (sort of) in a meeting?
Well, now that I’m in the Land Down Under, I have some phrases I need to translate and store in my memory bank to prevent my tilted head, deer in the headlights look of confusion. They may speak English, but we certainly don’t use words in the same way!
- I’ve got to nut it out. Does not mean anything to do with male genitalia, seems to be a variant of ‘sort it out’ or ‘figure it out’. I’ve heard this one at least five times in just over a week.
- Cuppa. Ok, that one is pretty easy – ‘Cup of Tea/Coffee’ – but when someone looks at me and just says Cuppa it doesn’t ring any bells yet.
- Skinny Flat White. Another coffee reference, coffee with foamed skim milk. Not a latte, haven’t figured out the difference yet but one appears to be served in clear glass mugs. The first time I ordered a coffee at breakfast, the lady said ‘What kind?’ I’ve been confused ever since.
- Schooner. Pint of beer! This one was incredibly valuable for me to learn, as I’d been making strange hand gestures at bartenders for a week until someone enlightened me. Also good to know, apparently they’ll just give you a pint size unless you specifically ask for smaller. I love this country.
So far, the Aussie’s pretty much speak English so it hasn’t been too difficult to fake my way through – and they mostly seem to speak at the same breakneck pace as I do, which works in my favour. One comment, however, left me with a very telling look on my face that made everyone in the room stop and think about what I thought had been said.
Change Manager: We don’t want you feeling like a SHAG ON A ROCK
Nancy: *slightlyhorrifiedandsimultaneouslyconfusedlook* ?
Everyone: Awkward laughter
Shag on a Rock
Blush, apparently it means something akin to ‘Bump on a Log’…. not… well, you know.
That would be my 7 year old self in the pink sweater, paying no attention to the camera
It really doesn’t matter how far you remove Nancy from her usual environment, some things never really change. I’m definitely a creature of habit, predictable – mostly – is my middle name.
Shopping. Who cares if I packed enough clothes to get me through a year, if there is shopping to be had – Nancy participates with vigour. Apparently the Australian economy is going through some rough times, I’m just doing my part.
Recent Fitting Room Conquest
Beer. Pretty much end of story, but regardless of time, place or occasion – I want a beer, no questions asked. Happily working my way through all the Australian varieties at my fingertips on this trip. Had a Hahn Extra Dry and an XXXX Gold with lunch, but my favourite so far is Little Creatures.
Paparazzi. At least its somewhat expected to be a picture whore when you’re in somewhere like Australia, but the sheer volume of self portraits I’m taking makes me concerned about my vanity.
Orchid Complex. My sister Sandy likes to make the comparison between the two of us that she is like a Giant Oak and I am like an Orchid. I like to think that she is insinuating that I’m a pretty and unique creature – but I’m pretty sure she just means I’m fragile and difficult. Every since I’ve landed in the land down under I’ve had sinus issues, and my skin is starting to look scaly. Of all the traits I’d like to lose….
I am, however, really enjoying getting to be a woman of more than my actual means though – staying in an high end hotel definitely rubs me the right way 🙂
I could get used to this kind of legroom!
• Comfortable sleep in
• Fabulous Cappuccino
• Afternoon drive through the Hunter Valley wine region
• Refreshing workout
• This heavenly bath:
Consider Nancy recharged.