I fought the jetlag, and the jetlag won!

Trip Start Jul 22, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Jenna and Dale's House

Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Friday, July 25, 2008

Right, you all need to stand on your heads as you read this because i am officially Down Under!

I think it's best if I give you a chronological account of the last couple of days (obviously using as many apostrophies as is appropriate, after comments from the Punctuation Police -whom i wouldn't have any other way)

The last time I wrote anything was in Singapore Airport, it was 5am local time, 27degrees and very muggy. I spent 3 and half hours perusing a rather spectacular building, with loads of shops, a cinema, which after watching 12 hours of films and TV on the first leg of my journey i declined to use; massage parlour, and lots and lots of sleeping people, of whom i was very jealous!

In total i spent around 29 hours in transit from door to door, and slept for about half of one of these hours. Hence my body clock is, well, not at its best. No doubt i'll be moaning more about this later!

My second flight, from Singapore to Melbourne was much shorter than the first, at 8 or so hours. Again i did quite well with fellow passengers,no fat sweaty talkative people next to me, and again a relatively calm journey. The food wasnt quite as good; i struggled a bit with noodles and spaghetti, two food types i do my best to avoid eating in public as there is absolutely no way of eating it without both slurping, and wearing more than you eat. I also didnt take full advantage of the free alcohol, as i was too scared of both a hangover at 30,000 feet and slurring my words at an Immigration Officer.

Arriving at Melbourne Airport, 7:30pm local time, the butterflies it seemed had taken far too many stimulants and were having an early 90s warehouse rave in my stomach, i felt ill and contemplated hiding in an overhead locker till the plane went back to Singapore. Yes, the plan needed a bit of work i'll admit. Id also spent the last half an hour being told via a video about how strict Australian quarantine laws are, and if i had any foodstuffs in my bag i could be liable for prison or a hefty fine, therefore was feeling rather paranoid about the two sachets of Horlicks i'd brought for Casey. I'd like to say I was proud of the fact that i was now an international contraband smuggler, that i was fighting against the system, but in reality I was just scared, and tired. Howard Marks i am not.

Getting off the plane and hitting Immigration was another wave of panic. Dont get me wrong, i had a passport,a visa, the right amount of money in my account, an address i was staying at and everything else they could ask for. I knew that i was not a criminal or a terrorist (well, except for the Horlicks smuggling)and therefore i had nothing to worry about,, however this didnt stop the mental pictures of lights shining in my face and the rubber glove treatment ("Sorry Mr Jones, we seem to have be fresh out of lubricant") However the result was a bit of an anticlimax. "Staying here for one year?" "Yes probably" "Thank-you"

That was it. All my stressing amounted to one question at the airport. Was i relieved or a little bit upset at being stripped of my opportunity to shine in an immgration interview? No, you're right, I was relieved.

Customs was the next hurdle but again, no internal examinations, and the sniffer dogs failed to catch smell of the malty goodness that was hidden in my suitcase, or the 500lb of heroin, 2kg of semtex, 3 endangered species' and bag of bloodstained knives. PS...this part isnt strictly true.

And then this was it, the big reunion with Casey, as the automatic door slid open and I as greeted by a throng of people with signs, balloons, smiles and tears. All of which had one thing in common; they were not my antipodean girlfriend. Oh dear

And then I saw her. I had come out of a different door to where she had been standing. It was such an amazing feeling knowing that after however long, id made it. To Australia. To Casey.

She was there with Dale, her sister's boyfriend and whose house im staying in. Was good to meet him and we had a chat over a pint of Carlton in the airport pub. An hours drive home, unfortunately in the dark, and i got to where im staying. It's a great 'little' house, in inverted commas as it's really not little, in Boronia, to the east of Melbourne city. And Dale has a 'ute' which made me very very happy.

Jenna (Casey's sister) arrived soon after us and after spending a bit of time getting to know each other, and a lot of time comparing the UK and Australia, i seccumbed to sleep.

And sleep i did, in the many hours I was gone, Casey had woken up, gone to work, done half a day and got back, and was still dead to the world, finally waking up at about 3:15pm. The plan was then to go for a walk to see Boronia, but, well, it just didnt happen. We sat on the Terrace for a bit, to enjoy the sunshine (it's a bit chilly at 10 degrees, but there isnt a cloud in the sky) and then it was too late to go out, as Casey's mum and other sister were coming to visit.

It was great to finally meet all of Casey's family after all this time. Everyone here seems really nice and welcoming of the Pom that has invaded their country and world, especially Dale and Jenna, who've given up their home to me, which is really really generous of them. Casey's mum bought me my first ever stubby-holder too, which for all my fellow poms reading this, is something you put your beer in to stop your hands warming it up! It's a Geelong Cats one, which is the AFL (Aussie rules football) team i'm apparently going to be supporting. My one concern about this, is that they are far too successful, being the top team in the league, and after a lifetime of supporting Stoke, i'm really not sure how to handle being a fan of a team that win more often then lose. I got a bit of an idea of this last season with Stoke, but I'm pretty sure that won't last for long.

Another early night and then im now seeing first hand exactly what jetlag is. I'm not going to lie, i've never had sympathy for flyers, thinking that I've gone for days without sleep through clubbing, and been perfectly fine, but no; it's not quite that easy it would seem. I was wide awake at 3am today, finally giving in and getting out of bed at 4 totry to avoid disturbing Casey, this is proving to be a bit irritating as im assuming this means by about 2pm I'll be exhausted again. I've been here for a day and a half, and thanks to the inappropriateness of my body clock ive not actually left the house.

And this is why this entry has been so epic. Ive had to find something to do for 4 hours that wont wake anybody else up. Yes, ive used you for your company. Thanks a million.

Promise i'll write more when i've seen more,and you wont get a huge essay of drivvle like this has been.


PS, a massive congratulations to Refugee Services on their fantastic news!! I was so happy when i read your email Antonia!! Shows that all our hard work hasnt been in vain!
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