Changing states, changing times

3 04 2006

Three states, three time zones, plus a daylight saving changeover to add to the confusion!

Cab charges

The taxi was right on time this morning, but we were charged a $1 pre-booking fee which I thought was a bit rough. Surely pre-booking is a certainty compared to “come and get me now” pick-ups for the cab company. It means they can plan and schedule their drivers, so why do *we* have to pay extra for the privilege?

Aussie icon

Collected a few extra packs of Vegemite from the Qantas Club lounge before the first flight of the day. They’ll be handouts to the participants in the Aussie pub crawl night at the conference in California.

Flight 1

The flight to Melbourne was delayed as the plane was late getting in. It had the headwinds of the remnants of Cyclone Glenda to deal with coming across the country. The good bit was they we had a great tailwind! The flight was fairly full. It was an Airbus A330 with a seat configuration of 2x4x2, which is much better than 3x3x3 as you only ever have one person to climb over to go to the toilet even if you’re sitting on the window.

Movie

I watched the movie “Prime” (Meryl Streep, Uma Thurman). Innocuous little thing, that I’d give 2 stars to. Of course, airlines can’t show really meaty films as they have to cater for absolutely every spectrum of the population without offending anyone.

The illusion of security

What I still can’t deal with is the illusion of security on planes. Why illusion? Because they give us plastic knives for the meal, but full size stainless steel forks, real glass for the wine, real glass mini wine bottles, and real glass salad bowls. You tell me where the security is in plastic knives when any one of those other items could cause as much damage as a metal knife. We’re not talking steak knives here, just plain ordinary dinner and bread and butter knives. If someone really wanted to threaten or hurt someone else, there’s enough on the meal tray already already to do damage. It’s bloody ridiculous!

Qantas Club

After arriving in Melbourne we had a 2 hour wait for the flight to Launceston. As I’m a member of the Qantas Club, we hung out there grazing on the finger food and availing ourselves of a nice Penfold red (Thomas Hyland, I think). Briefly chatted with Rick Hart, Chairman of the Dockers who was on the same flight over from Melbourne but was catching an earlier flight to Launceston for the game tomorrow.

New state!

The flight to Launceston (Tasmania) was pretty empty – maybe 50 people on it. Launceston is oe of those old-fashioned Aussie airports with the rollaway stairs, the walk across the tarmac, and the collection of bags direct off the cart in the outside air. No luggage carousels or jetways here! It reminded me of how Karratha airport was in the 80s.

The air was brisk (we heard 8C) and for the first time ever, we both set foot on Tasmanian soil, the only Australian state neither of us has been to before.

We caught the Airport Shuttle ($10 per person) to the motel in town, but didn’t see much as we came the back way to drop off others at various accommodation venues, and it was night! Clearn night though – could see the stars clearly out of the shuttle bus window. It seems the footy oval is only about 15 mins walk from the motel, and in the day time we’ll be able to see it from our room on the 3rd floor.

So finally we’re in the last state to be visited by us! But only for about 30 hours – and two nights of that is sleep time – so I don’t think we’ll get more than a tiny taste of Launceston and Tassie.

Tomorrow is the reason we did this detour – we catch up with my friend from Hobart (Suzanne) and her friend, then it’s off to the first Dockers game of the AFL season – yay! Can’t wait – I hope the boys play a great game, and winning it would be good too…


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