...or "A Room With A...View(?)"
03.06.2012 - 03.06.2012 15 °C
As I sat in my seat, plane still at the gate, before takeoff, I posed the question to myself in my head: if I wanted to - right now - how could I get home? Not that for any second I would consider it, but I think just quickly going through the scenario in my head helped remove the finality of the situation, and this seemed to help with the nerves. Your first transcontinental flight is going to be a very trying and possibly even emotional experience - I don't care who you are.
Then we pulled away from the gate and took off. Once we were off the ground I settled down, letting everything sink in, as I watched the only thing I could see from my window seat - the reflection of the moon off the very large wing of the A380-800 that was taking me to Australia.
Soundtrack: actually, movie: "Black Death" with Sean Bean on the iPad. For those of you who haven't seen it - skip this paragraph! The movie was quite good, fantastic dialogue and period sets...but I can't help but think the movie may have actually spawned from a conversation that went something like this: Producer: we're making a movie about the Plague with Sean Bean as lead. Director: hmmm...tricky. Doesn't our lead die, and then aren't we pretty much ever other movie that stars Sean Bean? Producer: we've decided to something original and unpredictable. Director: he lives? Producer: no, we'll violently tear him to pieces. No movie has done that yet. Take that, GOT!
The long flight was filled with iPad HD movies and an uncomfortable, fitfull sleep. 20 minutes of trying to sleep, followed by those wierd half-awake dreams, followed by maybe 15 minutes of sort-of sleep. Wake up, do ankle exercises to combat the thrombosis, then re-adjust. Lather, rinse, repeat. Kind of like being riddled with a 'shitty sleep' machine gun for 7 hours.
Landed around 6:30am, pushed through customs, baggage, and quarantine. Sydney airport, at least at that time of the morning after that sort of ordeal, is really unpleasant - it felt dirty, unkempt, and lacked any real personality. I guess I ask too much from my airports. Caught the train from the airport ($16.20 for a 10 minute ride - ouch!) to downtown.
Soundtrack: A Current Obsession / Lacuna Coil - playing as the train emerged from underground and I caught my first view of Syndey in all it's 'cloudy-with-periods-of-heavy-rain' glory. The Epic was almost too much to handle.
The Radisson Hotel and Suites is a short walk from the train in the China/Asian town area(ish) - and the most wonderful thing happened. I walked in and asked them if they could store my bags until checkin (and was ready to start begging them to use some kind of showering facility - for everyone's sake) when the kind gentleman at the desk informed me that, although I had requested a room with "a balcony, a view, and on a high floor" (I've learned that, when making hotel reservations, simply ask for every possible desirable quality a room can have - if you get one or two of those, you win!), if I wanted he had a room available immediately if I was willing to forego the view. No brainer! And it isn't that the room didn't have a view...(see pic to follow in next post!)
All this, and really - I have done absolutely nothing in Sydney (one measley, but cool pic, of Sydney Tower to follow)! I wandered around a while, checked out Darling Harbour, admired the whole "kind of like Vancouver except with a lot more Asian influence and post-modern feel" aspect of the shopping district, and then went grocery shopping. Yep, grocery shopping. I sure know how to party abroad
Tonight I hope to catch some pics of the 'Vivid' festival (lights + music at the Circular Quay) in order to nurture some far more interesting travel-related posts in the near future. Good night all!