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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Kangaroo in the Headlights

It was nice that our trans-Pacific flight left at a reasonable hour. We had plenty of time for breakfast, and a leisurely re-pack. Flusher does not like panic-packing.

Where two weeks ago we'd been 'kangaroo in the headlights' agog at everything and wondering which way to turn, now we were old pros.

The snappy luggage-eating entry gates of death would claim no travelers this day.

Either this is a weird Australian haberdashery tradition or this man has a raw pie crust on his head. And hell, maybe both!
Security was a bit busy so we lined up like all the other sheep, but it was only 15 minutes or so, and we got spit out into the shops. One question on our mind... should we bother loading up with shitty sandwiches, or would American Airlines have gotten their catering issues sorted out.

We gambled on sorted. Hey, that's what we do.

Did I mention the meat pie thing? Oz loves meat pies. And sausage rolls. In Gosford, we'd found a little shop and grabbed a pre-train snack.

They were quite good - we enjoyed them waiting on the platform, while I took some carefully studied photos of the People of Gosford.

This image by famed savvy traveller Royal Flusher captures the hustle, bustle, and sausage-roll face-slam of the modern Australian train passenger.
Enough of that excursion, and back to the trans-Pacific flight. Boy how I love saying that!

As we waited to board, we took a look out the window.

"Hey," I said, "there's Qantas' Spirit of Australia..."

My voice trailed off as the sick, sordid truth of it started to sink in. I'd stumbled upon a scam, one with global implications.

"There's another Qantas plane... and another... and another... all named the Spirit of Australia? BASTARDS!!! I don't know what kind of game their playing, but constantly renaming planes to be the one Spirit of Australia... that's not fair dinkum!"

"You international idiot," said the Quad Queen. "Spirit of Australia is a trademark. It's not the name of a plane. It's not like... the Spirit of St. Louis or something."

"I think I see one of them named the Spirit of St. Louis! Vexing Australian Airline Bastards!"

It was good to be heading back to familiar territory - Las Vegas is like home to us. There was only one niggling detail that I was worried about. With the two stays we'd booked, there were two sets of limo rides. My host is kind of... not so good at details. I figured if I tried to book everything at once, her brain would overload.

So I withheld the second limo details until maybe 8 days before we would arrive. I'd emailed. I'd waited 4 days. I emailed a 'did you get my email email'. I waited another couple of days. I emailed again. Hmmmm.

I'd sent all the info with each email, but as I sat on the Dreamliner that would fly us home, I suddenly remembered that no, I'd never heard back. Shit!.

Long story short. I texted to no avail. We started to push back from the terminal - we were on our way. And then I phoned the Cal. Engines started. I got put on hold. Taxiied out toward the runway. Then the call got dropped. In line for takeoff. Shit shit! I called back and managed to get the host on duty. As we were literally on our takeoff roll I was shouting out the arrival information. I'd worry about the return trip later. The phone went dead and I had no idea if she'd been able to get it.

And thus began yet another exercise in frustration - on board wifi. Fuck it, it's awful. I paid for the whole flight and spent a couple of hours, on and off, desperately trying to do so much as send an email.

The flight was okay, you know? It was long, but it didn't seem to bad. And the food was great! I got treated the way I thought my $2000 ticket should get me treated. Drinks flowed as we needed them, and we had some pretty good meals.

This is teriyaki chicken. It doesn't photograph well - but it was good. Really tasty.

Later on we got served another meal. There was smoked salmon with lemon butter. And goddamit, it was good.

Interesting colors, brought on by the Dreamliner Night Canopy lighting.
We interrupt this post to bring you food photos from two days prior.

I just came across a cache of photos from the Cameron camera (knock-off of the Canon G16 that Jimmy Poon got me) and it shows some vital food pictures from the flight from Cairns to Sydney.

Behold, the meat pie.

And guess what? A tomato sauce (aka ketchup) packet that won't leave you looking like an extra in Kill Bill - i.e. one I actually know how to open without any spray-painting of my body.

Good ole Big Red, eh?!

Folks, circumstances are mitigating, and this is what I've got for now. I promise next post we'll get to where we really want to go - and we'll walk in the sun.

Special Flushiepants shout-out to my friend B., who loves dogs and has read my entire blog from beginning to end.

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