Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Down Under Day 1

Hello people (Dad and Mackenzie), this is Alisa blogging from Australia. I'm back at my hostel, which is so fancy and nice, thinking that 7:30 is a little too early to go to bed no matter how tired I am. Therefore, I will recount the excitement of the day (which started on Sunday at 3:30 PM--it's now Tuesday at 7:30 PM). Also, I didn't bring my little thing that gets the pictures of my camera so now is the time to dust off that old imagination and work with me here.

Yes, it has been a long day. A long day of sitting. I left SFO on Sunday. I hate HATE airports. I've always had rather bad flying/air travel luck to the extent that I am on the TSA watch list for my terrorist tendancies. Plus, the airport is so boring. I'm not fancy with billions of miles so I have to gold member suite to chill out in. I'm forced to mingle with the commoners in uncomfortable chairs. Well, my flight was an international flight sort of. I was flying to LAX then on to Melbourne. They say to be there at two hours early for international flights because of customs and what not. Well, I followed this advice and sat at the airport for two hours bored to death. I played solitaire and wore out the battery on my phone.

After my first Virgin America flight I have come to two conclusions. #1: I am not "hip" enough to hang with Richard Branson. #2 I saw nothing that made it better than any other airline, why do they charge so much?

Luckily my winning smile got me a free upgrade to an exit row (wouldn't have minded first class, but I enjoyed the leg room for my giant long legs) for the 15 hour+ flight to Melbourne. I took some Tylenol PM and put in a movie. I think I slept for about 3 hours, not bad! At one point in the night, while I wasn't sleeping, one of the flight attendants (who was a huge meat head with his shirt barely containing his arm muscle bulge in a gross way) reached across me to close the window and then turned off my tv. My eyes were open the whole time and I just looked at him with this confused expression. Then he asked if I was watching that....um, yes, seriously, what else would I be doing? The flight was fairly anti-climatic. However, I did request the vegetarian meal when I booked the flight. This means that you get your meal before everyone else because they deliver the special meals first. It was great. The poor schmucks sitting next to me had to wait forever to get both of their meals while I happily ate mine in front of them. Plus, they were really good. (well, mostly good). Must remember this though.

Now, I'm here in Australia. It is summer time. The weather in NYC right now is 21 degrees farenheit. The weather here is like 60 degrees or something celsius (I have no idea but it is hot and there is no snow on the ground!)

I made it through customs, bought an Australian cell phone, got some Australian cash and jumped in my rental car. In case you didn't know, the driver's seat is on the wrong side of the car because they drive on the wrong side of the road. This is a HUGE adjustment and require a lot of mental repetition: left side, left side, left side. It is especially problematic when turning onto a new road because I get so confused. Fortunately, I quickly drove out of the city into the sticks and haven't had to deal with traffic which would cause me more confusion I'm sure. I fully plan on being an expert on left side of the road driving before heading back to Melbourne. I was also fortunate to have a reminder from the man checking me out of the rental car place that the blinker was where the windshield wipers would be (everything is backwards except the pedals).

Things I have seen today:
Kangaroos jumping across the road: 0 (but I really want that to happen)
Road kill that possibly could have been a kangaroo: 1
A car coming up the wrong side of the street toward me while I was on the left side (correct) of the road: 1
Eucalyptus trees: about a million
Eucalyptus trees with koala bears in them: 0 (I'm beginning to think that Australia doesn't have cool animals like everyone has been telling us for years)