It’s been awhile since I've travelled overseas but the build up before the trip was more frantic than ever… and that’s including the ‘Inland tsunami drama and crazy Queensland weather that nearly stopped me from getting to South America in 2011. And yes we flew on the September 11 anniversary, i had the mindset that surely lightning can’t strike that bad twice on the same date. And neither did all the other people booked on the flight because it was chockers. I did point out the significance of the date shortly after receiving the confirmation from my then overzealous travel agent who is now my partner. We had just moved house over two days and had to go straight back to work. Since then we've condensed two houses into one and renovated a bathroom.
Anyway, so let me introduce you to my ‘travel agent’ and newish partner of six and a half months - Tanya or more affectionately “Sparkie”. She is currently scotch and peanuts in hand sitting next to me watching an action movie and letting fly with some random “whhaaaooo’s” with her ear phones in. She’s fresh from the hairdressers with a new hot do, in her skinny jeans and a black t-shirt. She’s had a travel company (www.evokeworldtravel.com.au) since 2011 and frequently burns the candle at both ends by keeping her day job as an Intel Officer.
This morning was no exception to the ‘frantic express’ - it was sorting out the 74 year old house sitter - Nan or Coral, and an elderly shit eating dog and a horny 6 month old male guinea pig. The arrival at the airport seemed like a weird dream sequence that wasn’t really happening… was I really on holidays or was this some sick dream.
There is usually some drama at check-in or at immigration for me, and it varies. This time was no exception and you should really be careful when you hang shit on someone else when your going through the process because karma will kick your arse. So I had loaned one of my day packs to Tanya. On the odd occasion I use it to take to work. Tanya randomly asked me if I’d actually checked the bag for weapons of mass destruction, knives, bullets, etc. I couldn’t help but tell her I hadn’t checked it and there was a pretty good chance of a stray bullet in the bottom of it from firearms training. I copped a raised eyebrow look for it and we get to security and immigration. I’m staring off into space when MY BAG gets pulled up by an over-excited rookie security officer who announced to everyone, “You have an ENORMOUS PAIR of scissors in your bag”. I was very surprised by this revelation, I was even more surprised when he pulled out my little pencil case that’s the size of a Redbull can to indicate they were in there. I couldn’t help myself by then and i started muttering, “I highly doubt is fucking ennnoooorrrmous in that little pencil case”. Meanwhile Tanya is hangin shit on me with a few, “Ha ha it's NOT my bag”. Then he the overly excited security dick pulls out a pair of Tanya’s hairdressing scissors then she copped, “There your bloody scissors”! They must have gotten mixed up in the move or something bizarre at some point in the last month OR someone strategically put them them there because i didn’t see them when i put my ear phones in there the other morning. Mmmm anyway, that one will stay a mystery! In my fluster I walked away leaving the pencilcase, my little superman clutchy purse, my mobile phone and two pens sitting in the tub. I only twigged onto it when i heard ANOTHER security person call out about a superman purse and i realised. GREAT START….
The collection of “Dong” at the travelex counter was equally amusing with stupid jokes of winning the lotto and being first time millionaires picking up 26 million Dong. The only thing it seemed good for was to play monopoly with. Then some duty free shopping - We didn’t even have to wait to get harassed by an asian. The perfume woman took care of that, she accosted us early with all the comments, “Come I show you, it berry nice (Squirt) ”; “Oh you no like, you try this (Squirt) ”. “Here this berry sexy (Squirt) ”. “ (Squirt) Oh you no like, come you trying this (Squirt) , it very fresh, when you wake up in the morning you put on (Squirt), it wake you up”. “No, what else you like”! (Squirt) and on and on.
Anyway it took a couple of beers, a couple of phone redirections, more travel work and a handful of mile high jokes and we were off.