Posted by: Brad | 7 September 2008

The Rolls-Royce of Planes

No, really. See?

useful for flight (Qantas, take note, perhaps)

Engines: useful for flight (Qantas, take note, perhaps)

Well, hello.

So I’ve got this blog thing going on. Yeah, I left a month ago. I’m slow. Sue me. What is there to say about eighteen hours of transit? Melbourne’s airport is, to be honest, relatively painless. And the plane trip? Sure, exciting for the first twenty minutes or so (c.f. window photo of engines, taken whilst leaning over a large and sweaty man who appeared nervous; I took no more), but it kind of loses its charm around the five hour mark.

“Actually sir, we gave your vegetarian meal to another passenger, because we couldn’t find you,” is rarely a good start.

Certainly, it could have been worse. For some reason I had gotten it into my head that the travel time from Melbourne to Los Angeles was like twenty-four hours or so, but in fact it seems to have simply been a wily trick of the international date line. Luckily my sleeping patterns – let’s just call them “unconventional” – seem to have shielded me from the full face-shattering force of jetlag, but nevertheless, leaving Australia at eleven am on Wednesday, and arriving at Los Angeles at ten am on Wednesday is an odd experience, just one followed more by some occasional well-what-the-hell-day-is-it-anyway tantrums and less by, well, whatever it is that jetlag is actually supposed to do to you anyway.

But the flight was underwhelming. Four or five hours to Auckland was made less than terrible by some friendly Qantas staff (yes, friendly; just apparently bad at that, er, flying thing, these days – that and providing meals to people who request them) and their willingness to accommodate my enormous and sadly undetachable legs with an emergency exit seat (leg room: win).

Sadly this meant I spent the Melbourne-Auckland journey without the chance to numb myself into complete submission with shoddy television and film – my television screen was out of order – but instead I used my time to gaze wistfully out of the window and ponder with amazement the fact that New Zealand, like Australia, also has Harvey Norman stores. (They are much smaller from the plane though, and presumably harder to shop at.*)

LAX, the gargantuan airport of Los Angeles where you must catch buses if you wish to travel between the terminals, is as horrible as they say. (At first I’d thought myself simply overwhelmed; yet another short-fused traveller ignoring signs or coming unprepared. Actually, JFK at New York City was a breeze compared to LAX, and, like I said, Tullamarine is practically heaven.)

If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you know me. And if you know me, you’ll know that I’m not exactly the king of organisation.

So I got to LAX and I got off the plane and I collected my baggage and I looked at the address of my hostel and I went outside and I looked at the buses going this way and that way and then that way and this way and then, I think, back again, and I thought, “Hmm. I might have done well to prepare myself.”

But I hadn’t. First stop: the currency exchange. Prepared? Yeeeeeeeeeah. I pulled out a twenty dollar Australian note and gave the attendant my best hang-dog expression.

“You can help me, right? Right? I’m lost. I’m Australian. I’m lost and Australian.”

She could help.

So full of new-found energy and with a wallet full of money (well, fifteen American dollars, at least), I ventured back outside. What the hell was I worrying about? I jumped on the first bus I saw and the driver, friendly as all hell and more than happy to regale us with his love of the Democratic Party, as the obnoxious left-wing talk radio blared – yeah, the lefties on radio in the States seem to be the loudest ones (Limbaugh excepted) – tailed it the fuck outta there.

And then I was in Hollywood; sun, palm trees, homeless people urinating on themselves, and a goddamn bed. I slept like a baby, the hell with the time of day.

* All mid-flight shopping cravings were taken care of anyway, by the handy catalogue, which contained a variety of completely useless goods that one could purchase and then pick up on their arrival. As if my bags weren’t already kilograms over weight or something.



  1. I’m glad they gave you leg room so as you didn’t develop blood clots and die with your ginormous daddy-long legs.

    You’ve done plenty more stuff and things… Talk about New York and LA!

    Also… more photos! Sexy ones!

    (I know you’re in the process; I’m paining your ass on purpose.. and there has got to be a better way to say that.. but it’s fine and good and… more photos! :)

  2. It’s coming!

  3. I love you Lank.
    that was a very entertaining read…

    w00t for Melbourne airport… and w00t for airplanes.
    w00t for more specifically Boeing, but I might be biased

  4. You went to my home town!!! Yah…or not yah, if you ventured in, which I’m sure you didn’t. Don’t you love that? Essentially going backwards to get somewhere…
    Yeah, more LA stuff…and new York stuff…

  5. quite like the pic…. very nice! interesting read too, you explain things well… but that’s expected….

    will read the next post, and comment some more… but i warn i’ll be more intoxamicated by then….. :)

  6. Noice work Braddles. I’m reading. ;]

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