UP up and away

After minor delays, the flight took off, it’s kind of weird, Micaela is a floor above, in the A380, she’s flying business class, and I’m in economy. After an initial meet and greet with the lovely couple sitting next to me. The plane took off without a hitch. Fairly excited, as this has been the first overseas flight for me since my trip when I was at university, back in my twenties. Back then it was a little different, flying with a group of uni students to the Netherlands and Italy. At the time I was about 22 and it was exciting times. The purpose of that trip was for a Design Tour… Back then I was an Industrial Design Student, studying at RMIT Melbourne, in my final years of the Bachelor of Arts, in Design…

The flight 14 hours or so long, was how you’d expect. Cramped, and cosy, saw necks, stiff legs, and sore ears from the headphones pushing hard against my head. About 3 or 4 hours into the trip, our attention was drawn to a lady screaming for help, as her elderly sister, had become unresponsive, and she feared the worst. Quickly two different passengers, (doctors) came to her aid, as well as hostesses with Oxygen. The passenger came too with a little bit of attention and was assisted up the back where there was more room to breath (literally). Oh and did i say I was sharing my cabin with a school sports tour, of 14-18yo girls, and teachers. So loud constant chatter, laughter, and screams, at different bits throughout the trip.

Landing at LA was an experience to say the least. Don’t worry I’ll cover it. So our flight was redirected to another runway which meant an additional 20 minutes of flying time, which made our already tight flight even tighter. The Esta which I’d done, only fully works when this is your second time to America. If it’s your first you still have to que up and go through the manual customs process. When you think of queues in Melbourne Airport, take the longest one you’ve seen and times that by 4. Very long…. Processing was as you’d expected, Passport, why are you here, what’s your job title. look into this camera, your right hand, and thumb, your left hand and thumb, all put on the system. Through this, (about 30 minutes) I thought phew this is over, only to go round the corner to pick up our bags, and have to go through quarantine. I declared carrying seeds, aka my vegemite sandwich i had forgotten to eaten. The man said is it PPnJ, i said no, vegemite, he cringed, and said, go, waved us on. Didn’t want to know about it.

Now through this bit, we were routed to another area to drop off our bags for the connecting flight, kind of wierd, because no one checks these, you have to hope that the labels you got put on your bag are still working, and being tracked right. A guy just loaded them all on a conveyor belt and they got whisked away. Through this door, we got told, to head out through an elevator, and through the main concourse to get back in another long queue, and wait in a slow line for security for the next flight. Items scanned, and Body scanners. A slow bag search because an item was flagged. One well kept copy of the bible the cause, and then we jogged, to our flight gate, where we got on our flight. Micaela again, upstairs in Business, and me economy. They had been waiting for us, and about 25 other passengers, leaving only three behind, when we took off from LA.

This second flight, I had two Melbourne young adults next to me. Both funny enough from the northern suburbs. From here a four and a half hour flight, got us into New York. Where it was a chilli 1 deg c. And raining. A driver had been arranged to pick us up from NewYork airport which was good, and warm, I fell asleep a few times on the way. Having had little chunks of sleep, I was fairly jet lagged.

After settling into the hotel, Micaela and I, rugged up and went out to the streets to explore. We are staying at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. So it is a short 50 m, to hundreds of people and bright lights. Possible the worst time to arrive in any city is at night, it’s hard to get your bearings, and relied a bit on my google maps, which had issues with the gps, at times. But we made it, and you can see us here standing in the centre of times square. The clock tower advertising board behind us. After covering just a few blocks down town, plus one block towards 8th avenue. We found a place for pizza, and ordered a 14” Hawaian (the smallest size they had), a 10” would have been good which they sold, but not in this flavour, which is Micaela’s favourite. Yep we were very full at this point, and it was freezing. But luckily no rain. Getting used to the tipping thing as well, makes for a stressful, introduction to New York. Made it through though. It’s a lot easier traveling as a couple, because you have two extra ears, eyes and one brain, helping make the descions, and figuering out the correct tip etc. Also glad I downloaded some tiping apps, which has helped, give the correct tip.

Well that’s it for today, time to try and get the body clock in the right order.

Chris La Nauze