August 25th, 2012


Australia: Day 1

   Hello from Brisbane, Australia! I'm currently sitting in the very delightful Botanical Garden surrounded by bizarre chirping birds, fascinating trees, and sacred ibises stalking about. There's also giant swimming lizards in the pond ... and free wifi!

   I departed LAX at 2330 Tuesday evening, and arrived in Fiji after a ten hour (I think? its hard to keep track of time when one is time traveling) flight, at 5:30 THURSDAY morning. That's right, I never experienced Wednesday, August 22nd.
   I was pleasantly surprised to find through some kind of divine intervention I had an ENTIRE ROW to myself. Looking around, most other seats were entirely taken, but for some reason I had the entire middle row of a 747 to myself. As soon as we could move about the cabin someone came and sat at the far end of my row, but I still managed to horde the other seats and lay across them, and thus get some semblance of sleep.

   In Fiji the airport gates are all attached to an open air veranda, which is very different from most other airports ... where you generally feel like you're in an airlock. For some reason it took an hour or so for us continuing passengers to have our passports looked at and bags x-rayed.
   I saw a baffling thing while waiting for the flight to Brisbane -- a young lady wearing a sash that said "Miss Fiji-Nigeria" on it. She looked Fijian, but not Nigerian, and ... that's just a bizarre combination of places.

   In Brisbane I got through customs much faster than in Fiji. My employer, Murray, was waiting at the airport and took me for a quick tour of the city. He seems like a fellow I think I'll get along great with.
   My hostel is right downtown. Not necessarily the best hostel I've stayed in though... the doorknob keeps falling off the door to my room, and walls of course are paper thin. It'll be nice to move somewhere else, but for now the central location is nice.

   That afternoon (Thursday) I wandered about downtown and rather accidentally wandered into the extremely lovely city botanical garden. Here I marveled at the extremely silly looking birds I would discover are "sacred ibises" ... and then regret being so impertinent to inform one of them he was a silly fellow (he was playing with a stick at the time!). There's also giant swimming lizards. And free wifi, so I've done all of my internetting so far from here.
   That evening around 7pm I found myself quite thinking it ought to be bedtime, since it was 2am at that time in California. I managed to keep myself up till about 9, and then crashed out.