Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Day/Sydney, day 8

After the fireworks display, we walk through the streets of Sydney to pick up our bags and head to the airport. We actually catch the wrong train at first, but deftly make a mid-course correction with my keen navigation skills. (Even though I said we were good at all this public transport stuff, we still make mistakes.) Oh well. We get a nice ride on a virtually empty, air-conditioned train. It's not like we don't have extra time for a scenic detour!

We eventually arrive at the airport which is actually closed! I've never heard of an airport that closes. It always seemed like airports had planes coming and going pretty much around the clock. But there's a big iron gate between the train station and the adjoining airport. Fortunately, there's a small lounge area in front of the gate with about 8 rows of airport seats. You know the type - 4 seats welded together, with metal armrests that prevent anyone from lying down. But hey, it's better than nothing. We settle in with about 50 other passengers who are also spending the night there. Many people are on the hard terrazzo floor trying to get a little shut-eye. I don't know if there's always this many people, of if this crowd is extra big because it's New Year's Eve and there's no hotel rooms available.

At about 4:00 a.m., the gates reopen. I'd managed to sneak a few hours' sleep sitting up, using my suitcase next to me as a pillow for my head. Curt wasn't as lucky. Poor boy. He's too tall to sleep sitting up because he can't slump down far enough to rest his head. He can never sleep on planes either.

After the 3-hour flight and a taxi ride home ... (a long digression: there's no long-term parking lots with shuttle buses near the airport like we're used to. There's parking at the airport's own lot which costs a fortune, naturally. But surrounding most US airports, there's scores of off-site parking businesses with 24-hour shuttle service. Someone here really should buy a few acres of land near the airport, start a parking business, and make a fortune! There's also no train service to the airport, and - get this - no city buses that go to the airport. Everyone is forced to use a taxi instead. I think somebody in the transportation ministry must be in cahoots with the taxi drivers.) ... as I was saying, after the 3-hour flight and a taxi ride home, we start the first of 4 loads of laundry, take a shower, and nap for a few hours.

My first mission is to go grocery shopping TO BUY THE INGREDIENTS FOR SALADE NICOISE which I promised I'd make tonight. Sheesh.

I also have to stop by my workplace to feed the fish. Our library has a fish tank, and I agreed to go in during the school holidays and feed them since I live so close. Unfortunately, when I enter the library, I set off all sorts of security alarms and I have to call the alarm company and sheepishly explain.

Back at home, I make Salade Nicoise for dinner and Curt is finally happy. He's weird.

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