I arrived in Sydney yesterday after around 24 hours of travel from Philadelphia to San Francisco (6.5 hrs) to Sydney (14.5 hrs). Although it was a very long trip it never felt terribly long. The timing of the flight was probably perfect as it had me traveling later at night on my normal time schedule. When I arrived in San Francisco it was midnight back east. Perfect, as this meant that my body would be ready for bed right around then.
On the flight to Sydney on the Boeing 757, I was lucky enough to be seated in a row of 3 where the 2nd seat was empty. I’m sure the lady in the first seat was appreciative as well. We were both able to stretch out a bit more.
As I was heading towards my seat I noticed that there were a few families taking the flight. The families consisted of the parents and very young children. This was puzzling. Who in their right mind would take children on a 14.5 hour plane ride? Not only would that be torture for the parents but also all the other passengers. The notion came to fruition only hours after take off. The young child no more than 6 years old sitting behind me didn’t realize that he should be sleeping just as the rest of the passengers were. I ran through many reasons for him to be so awake at that hour and my logic only led to the conclusion that his parents fed him a couple of double espressos before boarding the plane.
Talking and sometimes yelling loudly, the child had to be repeatedly told by his mother to keep quiet so everyone else could rest. It became apparent that she didn’t realize that her child kicking the back of the seat in front of him was also disturbing its occupant; me. Thankfully a few hours after take off and after dinner service the child fell asleep for a good portion of the flight, as did I. Though for the few hours leading up to our arrival in Sydney the child continued to kick the seat again. I guess I could have said something to the mother but I don’t know, I didn’t want to have any tension, awkwardness, or international incidents before setting foot in Australia. All in all I think I handled it well and strengthened my tolerance of young children.
Customs in Sydney was pretty straight forward and didn’t prove to be much of a hassle. It probably helped that I had all my documents filled out and on hand if needed and also for the fact that my work visa was electronically attached to my passport. Yay technology. I can’t say much for my baggage collection. It took me probably half an hour to find my bags. I kept waiting at the carousel for my bags but they never seemed to come. Nightmarish thoughts of my bags being flown to India or Singapore kept creeping into my mind. Luckily though a good amount of people started to clear out from around the carousel and as I looked down to the one end I saw my bags. They’d been pulled off to make more room apparently. Thankfully they were together and unharmed.
The taxi queue at the air port was very well organized and straight forward. Got a taxi and got in the wrong side. Still used to getting into the right side of vehicles. A not so long ride from the airport placed me in down town Sydney which resembles a less sky scraper populated New York city. I got dropped at my hotel / apartment building and went up to “check-in” which was slightly confusing as the company must not have reminded the concierge of my arrival. A quick flash of my paperwork got it all straightened out and I was on my way to the apartment where I’m residing for the first 3 weeks of my stay. It’s a very nice apartment and good location in down town very close to restaurants, shops, and grocery stores.
I’m very eager to start work Monday and explore the surrounding area a bit more.