Arriving in Australia

Trip Start Jul 20, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Japanese are funny.  There are so many people who live in Tokyo that at a local sushi bar, you must not relax and enjoy your meal, instead it needs to be eaten 'production style' for efficiency.  The food travels around on a conveyor belt, and you must select seven plates and have no more than 20 minutes to complete your meal.  Well, we ate our seven plates in just under twenty minutes and decided that we didn't want to hang around to find out what happened to the unfortunate people who did not eat their dinner properly!
This was our last half day in Tokyo and we headed off on the perplexing metro subway to the district of Shibuya, which is where the trend setting Japanese youth hangs out.  This was a great place to feel the true vibe of Tokyo:  Do a bit of people watching across the famous scrambled road crossings; Hang out in the video arcades filled with the unusually interactive games; and look at all the shiny ball bearings that form the basis of the legitimate slot machines known as Pachinko, where you too can win a 'lucky prize'. Again the heat is unbearable at well over 40 degrees with so much humidity that you feel you are swimming rather than walking along.
At last it was time to make our way onto the "Friendly Airport Limousine" bus to the airport.  The excellent staff at the Hyatt waved us off and gave us each a bottle of ice cold water for our trip.  We would definitely recommend the Park Hyatt Hotel to anyone who intends to spend some time in Tokyo, as despite it being a little expensive, it really helped make the experience magical for the both of us.
The sun had finally set on our journey into the orient and we were keen to venture to Australia to Colin's home town of Brisbane.  We were both very excited - this would be four years since Colin had been away and he was wondering what has changed and was keen to see his Mum and brother.  Melissa was excited about seeing a Kangaroo (umm, soon, very soon!)
At last there were a few Australians milling around the gate waiting to board our plane, which Melissa remarked looked uncannily like Crocodile Dundee.
This time there was no broken fuel pump and nothing bursting into flames, instead the flight went smoothly through the night allowing us to get some sleep.
As the plane was descending into Brisbane and was taxiing down the runway to our gate, it was evident that the place hadn't seen too much rain in the past four years (I believe that the city is now under level five drought conditions).
We made it through customs and were collecting our luggage when Morris, the contraband hound, thought he had discovered something interesting in Melissa's bag and decided to sit down on her foot. It then turned out that the dog just liked Melissa and it was indeed OK to import the San Francisco Scharffenberger chocolates after all.  Nice doggie!!!
We made it out to the arrivals lounge hoping to see Colin's Mum & brother but it was a case of: 'Where the bloody hell are yah?' - Since our plane had arrived early, they had not yet arrived.  This gave us enough time to exchange some currency and savour the culinary delights of Australia in the form of a cup of coffee and a piece of Lamington Cake.  A Lamington, for those who don't know, is a piece of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut. The weather, which is Brisbane in the heart of winter conditions, was very nice indeed - either that or we were just glad to be out of the heat of Japan.
We eventually met up and there was lots of hugging and kissing and Colin really enjoyed seeing his Mum's place again and having a scrumptious home cooked roast while showing Melissa around the house where he had grown up and watching the Australian TV show 'Rage' (music show on ABC).
Next up:  A trip to the Sunshine Coast, we still haven't seen any of Brisbane yet and STOP PRESS: 'Brisbane boy returns and brings the drought breaking rain with him!'
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decemberchick on

welcome down under!
Hi! I meant to message sooner however I've been busy travelling round NZ over here! Right now I am on the beautiful East Cape, freezing my butt off. I would give you my mobile. however it appears I have lost it! I'll get a new one over the next day or two.

I'm thinking of settling in Wellington for 5-6 weeks, and looking for work. I am excited to say that Justin Timberlake is coming to NZ (fairly so, after visiting TO after I leave!) so i might pay and arm and a leg for a ticket, and head back to AKL late October for that. Whenabouts in NOv are you thinking of heading over, where do you want to see??

Happy continued travels!!

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