Monday, 16 January 2012

Everything's back to "normal"

Here's today's sequence of events.

Left the family farm on time and without incident.

Travelled at a snail's pace over the gravel road because it is even worse than usual after heavy rain.  Imagine driving on the surface of the moon, but with gravity.

Arrive at Tamworth airport three hours before my flight on the advice of Qantas letting me know that I could check bags in three hours before my flight.  Of course, that may be true if you're in a big city, but isn't true of an airport in a large regional centre.  Even if it is the country music capital.

Have a very pleasant, if rushed, lunch so that I could arrive back at airport no later than 1pm to check in my baggage.

Nearly get knocked out when the boot of the car crashes onto my head as I am retrieving my bag.

Advised by check-in guy that the flight was delayed by at least ten minutes.

As the minutes tick by we quickly conclude it is in fact delayed by many more minutes.

Very bumpy flight to Sydney.

Flight attendants in a snit because tea and coffee service could not be conducted because of the bumps.  I really don't care because the flight is so short it would be better just to have a communal bowl with lots of straws for us to suck our share.

Pfafffff around on tarmac transferring everyone from plane to too-small-bus to transport us to the terminal.  It must have been at least 20 metres from the plane to the terminal but they drove around in a big circle to make it seem like all the pfaffffing was worth it.

On arrival in terminal discover my leisurely hour of coffee and wandering around the airport was not to be as my connecting flight in another terminal was already boarding.  Right leg chooses this moment to have a cramp and go into spasm.

Run like a  crippled maniac over moving walk ways and up escalators, unpack the laptop, take the sunglasses off my head and remove my very dangerous bangle only to be greeted by the world's slowest security staff enquiring about aerosols and umbrellas.

Go through screening without so much as a beep.  Quickly put everything together again willing the explosives screening guy not to pick me.  (I am the most screened woman in Australia, trust me.)

Make it onto flight which is boarding right near security.  YES!

Nap during flight.

Land in Melbourne.

Turn on mobile phone when instructed and receive a text message advising that my baggage has not arrived with me.  Excellent service - at least I don't have to stand at the carousel forlornly watching the same battered backpack go round three times before I draw the conclusion that my baggage has not arrived.

Very friendly and efficient woman at the baggage services desk.  She'd been paging me, but there was no aerobridge when we arrived, so I hadn't heard a thing.  Confirm delivery address and the fact the bag will arrive in Melbourne at 7:05pm and I should have my bag by 8pm.

Another reference number for my collection!

Wait two minutes for a cab.  The driver says three things to me, I have to ask him to repeat them all.  Twice.

Another text message comes through.  This time it's Metro Trains advising that the 6:30pm train I would have caught if I took the Skybus instead of a cab, had been cancelled.  A whole hour's notice!  Wow.  That's a big improvement even if the news is that they're still cancelling trains.

Taxi stops at red light.  Taxi driver starts screaming out the window to the driver in the cab next to him.  "Two dollars.  Two dollars." He's shaking something at the other driver.  I'm trying to convey to my mother that I have landed and am (safely) in a cab.

Arrive at home nauseous.  Driver has idiosyncratic driving style involving pressing his  foot on the accelerator and immediately taking it off and hitting the brakes.  Once he hit the freeway, he handled the steering wheel like vinyl on a turn table.  He'd touch it a little to the left, take his hands off, tug his seatbelt and then tug the wheel to the right and lean forward in his seat.  He went through this sequence repeatedly during the drive.

The car was very clean and his shirt was very white, but he could not drive!  I was on the verge of asking for a bucket.

Arrive home to discover my home phone is out of order.  Spend time talking to a call centre somewhere about this.

Go out for essential groceries.

Eat dinner.

Call baggage services at 8:30pm when there is no sign of bag.  Ben tells me it's in Melbourne and the next courier is leaving the airport at 9pm.  At precisely this moment, my out of order home phone miraculously rings.  It's baggage services asking if anyone will be home to take delivery of the bag no later than 10:30pm.

I suppose bags arriving 5 and a half hours after me is not too bad.

Although they're not here yet.

I had planned to let you know that normal transmission will be resumed today, but I don't think I can be sure of anything.

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