Two Yanks Downunder

A blog about the experiences of two Americans on their first visit to the fabulous continent of Australia

Sunday, July 23, 2006

First Thing To Do In OZ: Toss Your Cookies

I've been told by my co-blogger that I better start writing about arriving in Australia and what has happened since or else no one is going to slog through all the excess wordage that I type into cyberspace.

However, I still think that whatever audience bothers to key into our blog will be more interested in the nitty gritty aspects of travel. Since many folks say that they want to go to Australia, until they get a dose of reality in the form of the vast distances and considerable expense required to make such a journey come true for them, they want to know how much they might have to suffer along the way. So yeah, it does require time and money and you lose a whole day in the blink of an eye when the airplane crosses the International Date Line.

BUT you get to cross the equator (without going through some silly hazing ceremony) and land in the opposite time of year than you have going on back in the U.S. Also, a bunch of friendly people make the journey over the Pacific quite comfortable for every passenger, at least if you fly Qantas.

After landing, they put you through customs inspection. Oh, but you get one chance to throw away any forbidden stuff you brought along before the inspection and thereby avoid hefty $$ fines, being sent back home or put in jail. That occurs after the drug dogs sniffs everyone who comes off of the plane. The friendly canine sniffed us two a second time, which very briefly got the attention of his human handlers, but I knew it was just because ALL dogs love Wendy (evidently even drug dogs). This dog wanted to linger with Wendy, but since it did not point at us or do whatever they are trained to do if they sense illegal substances, its humans forced it to continue working and check out the folks behind us. That ended our one chance to throw a cog into the machinery of the international drug war, but it also saved us from losing vacation time to fruitless police interrogations and strip searches.

Right afterwards we came to where the friendly red trash bin with the sign suggesting everyone take advantage of the opportunity to throw away things that might not be permitted entry. Even though this recepticle was overflowing with boxes and bags and all kinds of food stuff, it was proof that our flight had been a good one. A horrible flight with loads of unhappy passengers would certainly have led to us seeing the struggling limbs of friends and relatives of who had been stuffed into the sea of trash by their stronger and more jet lag disturbed companions. I did not bother to express this thought to Wendy, but it really reassured me that I was right in feeling that things had gone really well so far. I then threw away the various foodstuffs that I had taken along to snack on, trying to perch them atop what was there and make sure that the whole mess did not topple over onto the next person. For some reason, Wendy quickly got tired of me building a trash pyramid and did not believe my good samaratan rationale. Since this is only the third continent that I have had the chance to visit, I thought I better take an immediate crack at the trash pyramid especially since someone else would be responsible for any needed clean up.

Now it was time to actually go through Australian Customs and according to Wendy begin our real adventures.


At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any kangaroos yet?

At 12:13 AM, Blogger Wendy and/or Don said...

Yes, in fact!! If Don would only get to our trip to the Blue Mountains!! I saw about four out the train window!! It was really exciting!


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