Friday, July 13, 2007

Sydney Trip Diaries: Sydney Leg, Chilly Mornings

The business seats on the flight to Sydney was much nicer. My seat was on the second floor on the first row just at the back of the cockpit which is cool because of two things: You get to catch glimpses of what they do in there whenever a crewmember would speak to the pilots (I could actually hear some of the navigation instruments when we were landing - it was a digital voice counting down presumably the altitude reading) and more importantly you get to be served first - haha! I watched a couple of movies before sleep overcame me (I haven't had much sleep the previous night). Oh and I have this neighbor who drinks a lot of Shiraz during the flight and kept on glancing on my LCD screen. The flight attendant asked her twice if she needed help but she just asked for more wine. The flight attendant even made a mistake and called her Ms. ****** --> my family name. I found this mildly amusing and I told the flight attendant jokingly that no we are not married. My neighbor didn't looked amused though. Hehe.

I arrived at 6am in Sydney and immigration, baggage claim and customs was a breeze. Ah speaking of customs, when we were just about to land, the flight crew announced over the PA that bringing in of food items not declared on the declaration sheet we filled up earlier could result to very stiff fines at customs. I immediately ate 2 squares of sugar free brownies that I brought along with me. And that was after I already had the in-flight breakfast haha. So I feel a bit bloated afterwards. The first impression I have upon arriving is how cold the weather is. The pilot mentioned that it was about 7 degrees outside. I was slightly shivering and if I clench my teeth they would start chattering. I haven't used my jacket yet but I won't be going out the airport right away anyway. I wouldn't be able to check-in in the hotel until 10:30am at the earliest so I still have time to spare. I actually attempted several times to go out but everytime I feel the cold air blast at me when I approach the exit, I immediately turn tail and retreat to the relatively comfortable temperature of the airport complex interior.

It was already 11pm when I finally ventured out of the airport to the taxi queue. The taxi driver mistook me as a Chinese. I experience that a lot when I go out of the country. The hotel is quite far from the airport and it took more than an hour to get there. The hotel was "no-frills" and if you'd ask me way too overpriced. But as the taxi driver told me earlier, everything is more expensive in Sydney.

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