Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Rainman was right, fly Qantas

A part of me thought that Australia would be a humongous Route 66, and that I would rent a vespa or something and have my way with it. But so far Sydney is just like any major city, commercial and congested with high real estate. Maybe the rest of Australia will be different. So yeah, I got here safely.

But let's catch up... The last few days before I left were crazy. One of my best friends was getting married, an hour before I was about to do my solo my guitar string popped in the trunk of my friend's hot car. (This will be the first time in 8 years that I will change a guitar string) I find out the DJ doesn't have a microphone stand, so I did my parody of Norah Jones "Come Away with Me to New Jersey" and Coldplay's "The Scientist" with no E string and a skinny kid as a makeshift mike stand. The husband and wife are both scientists and are moving to New Jersey (in case you are wondering why I picked those songs). Luckily it was an interfaith wedding so everyone was either gossiping or too tense to notice how much I sucked.

36 hours later I was supposed to be on my journey, but US Airways has gotten so ghetto they switched me to another flight that didn't take off till 4 hours later. The one perk about getting switched was that Heidi from the Apprentice (my old guilty pleasure) was on the same flight. I wanted to at least say hello and ask her about her experience on and since the show, but
she was on her cell phone the entire time mumbling something about NBC and Maxim. She had the mannerisms and accent of a total Philly girl. Yawn. So hours later, we are on the plane and they make an announcement that dinner is available for $7 and a snack for $3. Wait, why didn't anyone tell me this while I was waiting for 4 hours at the airport! I was hungry as hell and ready to shell out the $7, but when the flight attendant comes by he goes "Sorry, we are out of dinners, how about a bag of pretzels the size of your palm?" What?! A 6-hour flight with no food? That is totally unacceptable. I am adding US Airways to the list of planes I never fly again (along with Bangladesh Biman and British Airways.)

Luckily, the ride from L.A. to Sydney was a total delight. I was really excited about taking Qantas, which according to Rainman (one of Tom Cruise's good movies) is the only airline that never crashed. I kept repeating that to friends on my cell phone at the airport - so much that I worried I was jinxing myself. The attendants are so smiley and humorous that they can ease any tension one may have about flying over the Pacific Ocean. I finally saw Crash and this really good Australian film "Three Dollars" but the in-flight entertainment was certainly not indicative of what was about to come. Sydney is at least two years behind in pop culture. For example, people are just catching on to Sigur Ros and yesterday as I was changing currency at the
bank I saw at least 4 people in stone-washed jeans. Whenever I handle currency that's anything other than US dollars, I have to keep reminding myself that it is real and not monopoly money. More later.


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