Possibly the best flight we have ever been on

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

After meeting Cheryl and Siong again we obviously had a few beers which we called a halt to at about 00:45, at this point Siong wanted to open a 75 bottle of wine, but we had to bail (extremely nice thought though). We must have got to sleep at about 1:00am and the alarm went on at 6:15 (although we put the aircon on for an hour on timer when we went to bed and forgot to put the fan on so I woke at about 04:45 in the heat of the Singapore night). The total amount of sleep for the last three nights is probably about 12 hours so we are feeling a bit like we are falling apart at the seams. Never mind the prospect of a 10 bed dorm in Sydney in the cheapest place we could find for almost 10 a night was an even bigger put off.

After another efficient and easy Singapore Subway journey to the airport we checked in at the Qantas desk and after walking off were a bit annoyed to find that myself and the lady were not even sat together (hence the title of the blog ..... only joking). We spent a little time doing a spreadsheet of cost per ml of each type of alcohol to make sure we reached our full entitlement in case the rumours of booze prices in Oz are true. Oddly we couldn't take it to gate and had to collect it from a place inside the gate. After getting to the gate we sat down with a bit of free wifi and sent out a few overdue e-mails. Looking out to the plane.... well it was a bit posh. A big jumbo jet with lots of different floors and things. We got on and the staff were lovely we found our seats then heard that the plane was nowhere near full so we had a choice of seats. We took up a bank of three between us and therefore had three televisions. Menus were distributed which contained..... cheese boards, selections of red wine, white wine and sparkelling whites and roses, it was all a bit too much after six months of a diet that has revolved mainly around rice, noodles and lager.

Well we started watching a film (LEAP Year) and after being offered water we asked if the wine was free and hey presto instead of water we got a sparkling white and a sparkling rose. Well after the first chick flick I for one may have had four small bottles of the white and quite frankly was so drunk I fell asleep (yes on a plane) dribbling all over the pillow and blanket I had been given. Erica started on the next film (Chloe) and we were joined by a Papaya Salad followed by beef, mash and veg, along with puddings, more wine, coffee and toblerone. We were in a bit of a spin by this stage and having sobered up I started reminiscing watching food programmes from Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia etc, amongst which some were Rick Steins and some Australian chefs, of course I enjoyed myself that much I ordered more wine 2 bottles at a time. When we eventually landed at 19:30 I had sobered and slept again, but my word we wish the flight had gone on for a few days. As part of our total flight package this probably only cost about 250 if not less, the plane was brand new, the staff superb. I would apologise before ordering and the chief flight attendant would say "in your shoes I would want to kick back and watch a film with something cold and sparkling, would you like some pretzels or nuts with that?" When we got off the plane everyone else got “thank you good bye”, I got “See ya Andrew enjoy the rest of your trip and congratulations on the engagement again”, wow alcohol and altitude does get you talking to strangers.

We felt extremely nervous approaching Aussie customs after the horror stories from my parents and Rories and Emers descriptions I ended up declaring all our medication, the consequence of this was that we didn’t even face the sniffer dogs or scanners just got waved off down a side channel. That was fortunate as for a laugh I had planted 8 KG of crack cocaine and 1Kg of Crystal Meth in Erica’s bag.

After paying $15 Aussie Dollars each for a 10 minute train ride (about 9) we realised this is a real change in lifestyle that we will have to undertake here. When Rorie says our budget is officially dead he isn’t wrong.

We eventually found our hostel at about 21:00 and couldn’t get in but when we checked at a local bar they had an envelope for 'Andrew’. Erica has been paranoid for days, we have been having a few crises as Erica is convinced she is going bald as she is losing clumps of hair out of her head and ‘thinning extremely quickly’ in her opinion. As someone else was asleep in the dorm she couldn’t straighten it there and she wouldn’t lower herself to doing it in the well lit corridor (I suggest she would rather go bald than sit on the floor of a corridor..... the life and times of the Lady hey).

We couldn’t even afford a packet of noodles from the 7-11 which were priced at about $5 so I ended up having a KFC snack box for about $2.50. Wow I think our weight loss has ended, I suppose when we get the van we can find local markets and supermarkets. The apples in the 7 – 11 were over 1 each and a box of cereal about 4.50. It’s a scandal coming from Asia to this!! I’m starting to wish I had worked here again to get a good bit of local currency. UK wages must be a joke here (as they are in Ireland, all other Euro countries, Singapore, Hong Kong etc etc etc). A real eye opener.

We went to bed early and so paranoid about our 4.5 Litres of import strength gin (now assessed each litre of gin has been bought for about the price of 2 beers it’s even more important to safeguard) it was put away in a locker while everything else was left out.

The window was wide open, it was raining, and we both needed sheets and blankets, with ear plugs drowning out the noise of the central district below I fell straight asleep and it was lovely lovely lovely to be cold and inhaling cold non air conditioned air, not that it has been common to have aircon (saying that I think it was still above 20 degrees C but that might as well be about -5 for us at the moment).
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