Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.

In Which I Time Travel and Return Home

   I have just returned from three weeks of vacation in the United States. After having not returned for 18 months I arrived and promptly went on an epic 3500 miles roadtrip the length and breadth of the west coast (this is the northbound half).

The Toughest 74 Miles
   On any given trip I swear the hardest part of the journey is to the airport. It's easier to get across the bush in Africa than to the airport in one's home country.
   I had booked my flight for 11:30am which I thought would give me plenty of time to get to the airport, but alas the earliest train through Birregurra (7:26am) doesn't arrive at the main Melbourne station till around 9:30 and its still half an hour from there to the airport. So after floating numerous hare-brained schemes I finally determined that my friend Ben would graciously drive me to the airport.
   Having to get to the airport 2 hours before the flight, plus adding another hour of buffer (has been a life-saver so many times!), plus an hour to get from Geelong to the airport, plus an hour to get from Birregurra to Geelong, plus an hour to get our of the house, meant I was waking up in the pitch black at 5:30! Glad I didn't have an earlier flight!!
   I had actually completed my packing early the day previous, which is really weird for me, usually a thoroughly last-minute packer. It felt so weird to not be scrambling to get everything packed at the last minute, and have ample ample time to try to think of what I might have forgotten.
   And so by the dawn's early light I found myself making one last check my kitchen we clear of perishables, trash cans empty, unnecessary devices unplugged, everything packed, and I was off. Sun slowly emerged from the mists and colorized the world as I headed in to Geelong town. Left my car at Ben's in the Geelong suburbs and we continued on in his car. Ben's a bit stout with a head like a jack-o-lantern, complete with a big gap toothed smile, but he has a heart of gold, or perhaps we should say golden seeds. The freeway from Geelong to Melbourne is a boring affair like any multi lane freeway, complete with rush hour traffic, but by and large we arrived right on time.
   My uncle Pat had requested I bring him a chainsaw from Australia, which seemed a bit weird but since he was really keen on it I thought I'd play along.. despite this thing being like 45 pounds. "Unfortunately," when I tried to check it they declined to accept it, apparently having a policy against gas powered appliances. This would have been a debacle if I had taken public transit to the airport but as it happens I was able to just have Ben circle back around and put the chainsaw in his trunk.
   One really cool thing is that since it's a 17 hour time difference and a 15 hour flight, I would be arriving TWO HOURS BEFORE I LEFT!! This greatly amused me and I made the most out of making statements like "later when I will have arrived two hours ago"

The Easiest 8000 Miles
   Virgin Australia airlines has swanky airplanes. On my return flight we trooped past the first class BAR on our way in, as in an actual bar counter with bar stools. The other weird thing about Virgin Australia I noticed is about 85% of the flight attendants were male. Most airlines of course have mostly female flight attendants and well I guess good for them that they broke the gender-roles here but it was interesting to note it wasn't just 50-50 but had totally swung the other way ... and also, the guys were all extremely metrosexual. Like, I hope for their sake its not part of their dresscode that they must have exquisitely sculpted hair and delicately engineered facial hair, because it looked like they all must spend heaps of time on their faces. And in fact for all that the guy on my aisle was actually a bit gruff on the actual customer service delivery.
   Virgin Australia safety video was kind of fun, had a random racecar theme. I think I give it second place among current airline safety videos (Air France has a cute one with sassy models, who are cute, and also sassy music). The biggest deficiency on Virgin Australia though was a pretty small selection of in-flight movies.

Random In Flight Movie Reviews
   Watched the most recent Bourne movie ("Jason Bourne" - like they couldn't even think of a good title). The very first one was epix, and the second was also extremely good for a sequel, but then they started to lose their magic, quickly. Third was still very good. This one though, they are just flogging this series way too much. Still better than that one that didn't have Bourne himself though ("Bourne Legacy").
   Watched the movie Passenger and was fairly disappointed -- they made a spaceship that looked like it behaved in accordance to physics (that is the usual spindle shape spinning to make centrifugal force for gravity), but that wasn't actually the source or its gravity. Found neither main character very likable ... and had a lot more thoughts but that was three weeks ago. But spoiler alert it seems to creepily romanticize stockholm syndrome?

Back in Time and Back Home
   Two hours before I left, I found myself arriving in LAX! I really wanted to, you know, create a temporal paradox by texting myself or something but there were some troubles getting my old sim card to work again so I was incommunicado until after the time overlap --- clearly the universe's way of preventing me from breaking reality!!!
   My parents picked me up at the airport and of course we made a bee-line for In-N-Out Burger, and verily, it was delicious.

   Up next, the adventures begin!

Tags: air travel, epic roadtrip 2017, travel

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