Travel Story «Stay alive, no matter what occurs! I will find you»

Australia | 0 Comments 20 November 2006 - Last Update 24 December 2006

Having spent the better part of five months living and working in Sydney, we found that the night if the 19th of November was to be the evening when we bade our antipodean home and fond, if hazy, farewell.

I, Grainne, was content to spend our last Sunday night in Sydney as we had spent all the previous Sunday nights in Sydney, nursing ourselves back from the brink of a hangover in front of the TV, being nourished by a takeaway provided by any of the places with huge populations (India/China).

Aisling, however, was in no mood to be trifled with - and while to her credit she never actually demanded that we go out - lots of grand statements like,"we will never have this opportunity again" and the classic "this is our LAST NIGHT in Sydney" (which had been erroneously used at least four previous nights - not that we have to provide people with excuses to go out with us) were bandied about the place and she used "the LOOK".

[The LOOK which has long held an esteemed position in Aisling/the Ace-Lore, is that look that she gives which says - I'm not even going to bother speaking, because we are all aware that it is beneath someone of my standing but if you say that again/don't do as I ask I will come over there and I will bend you to my will, I will not enjoy it and you will hate it - This is the look that strikes fear into the heart of man, makes mountains quake and is responsible in no small part for my deteriorating eyesight (Grainne). Interestingly, the Ace herself, believes that she sometimes gives the look accidently and that these accidents and indeed the potency of the look is due to her slanty/overweight eyelids.]

In my weakened state I was too slow to avert my eyes from the direct gaze of the Look, so I went to the Tea Gardens as well, or as my cousin the SydneySider calls it, the Horticultural Centre. There we remained for a beverage or two until Emily and the Ace decided that we were to move - yes it was that time in the evening - to O'Malleys on Oxford Street.

So on we went for a while, however this was not the night of all nights for me or Helen as it turned out, because we returned home and I was all packed and in Brids' bed (My Favourite Unequvoical Biffo).

The Ace and her sidekick arrived home at 4AM having bounced the night away with my cousin Tigger/John Murphy and Aileen. This I know because I let them in.

The next morning we were to be at the airport at 7AM to renew our tickets and fly to Christchurch, the taxi was booked for 6AM. Aisling had yet to pack, but was somewhat incapacitated by the syptoms of O'Malleys and was ready to leave the house at 6-15AM. Lucky for us the taxi never arrived but having bid a very early goodbye to our some of our gracious hostesses - Brid and Helen, we hailed a taxi on Bondi Road.

Having been travelling, at this point, for 9 months, we no longer get the same rush from Airports or at the prospect of new places - however we were heading to Lorna to the muse of Peter Jackson, the home of the All Blacks and the Land of the Long White Cloud (The translation of Aotearoa - the original Maori name of....)...New Zealand. Despite the delicate conditions, the mood was upbeat and excited - I like to think it was the aforementioned reasons and not Red Bull responsible.

 I'm not sure when the tide changed, all I know is that I jokingly said '"Don't say anything, I'll handle this" on the way to the ticket desk and after that nothing was the same again, EVER.

Qantas is an internationally renowned Airline, famed for having never had a major incident which led to the loss of life and for it's friendly staff. Well the friendly staff thing has gone by the wayside, lets just hope that the exemplary satefy record is not destined to follow suit.

I don't like to use profanity, as we may have some young blog fans out there, but to call the woman who dealt with us that morning anything other than a joyless evil minion of the international society of bitches would be inaccurate and I feel accuracy is occasionally more important than a G rating.

To begin with she never smiled and seemed affronted that we expected anything from her at all, but in the new spirit of ""smile and the stupid souless lacky may exhibit some human emotions" we maintained our sunny dispositons.

The renewals of the tickes turned out to be merely sticking yellow amendment stickers on the existing tickets. Even in her weakened, dehyrated and sleep deprived state Aisling felt that the fact that she didn't have this defunct (or so we thought) ticket might prove to be an obstacle. Emily and I, who seem fated to say the famous last words, said something along the lines of "Get with the programme the Ace, in the era of e-tickets, paper tickets are a relic - we just kept ours for the scrap book".

Let me just reitterate in the era of e-tickets paper tickets are NOT defunct, THEY ARE ESSENTIAL.

"If you don't have a ticket you won't be flying today" was the response from the Australian Fascist of The Year. 

This is the moment where I feel sorry for even the most horrible of people, the moment when they are first exposed to the power and the pain of the LOOK. I actually winced.

I winced in vain, Aisling did not have the reserve powers to process the information or unleash the LOOK, in fact the Ace looked like she'd been punched.

The next twenty minutes were spent with myself and a shocked and slightly worse for wear Emily trying to figure out if there was anything that could be done.

Figures like $1200 or $800 with a "cheap" airline were mentioned, it was at this time Aisling turned a whiter shade of pale, sat on the couch with her head between her legs moaning, Emily and I instructed the Evil Dead to talk ONLY to us. Emily manhandled the Ace from Airline desk to Airline desk looking for an alternative flight, while I stayed with Satan's sister and tried to decipher what she was saying, renew Emily's tickets and mind the mountain of luggage.

On their return we plotted a course of action, the help (it pains me to mention it) of the lady at the Qantas desk.

The solution was simple Aisling would cancel her flight and the Qantas Cow would contact Trailfinders Dublin (whom we booked our tickets with) and they would send the details required to reissue the tickets. Aisling would fly on the same flight the following day and pay nominal fees for the various money making schemes they use to screw the innnocent and incompetent in these situations. She would miss an internal flight in New Zealand but could easily reschedule for the following day.

This is exactly what happened and this was where three became two. Emily and I went through to departures to head for New Zealand while Aisling got a bus back to Old Sydney to sleep in Bondi and have another last day in Oz.

Don't worry she found us again, but she hasn't been throwing away much paper since.

Grainne - always keep everything - Crowley





Photo albums from Australia

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