Monday, August 24, 2009

Are we there yet?

I've just made a flying visit to Brisbane and couldn't be happier to be back in the smoggy environs of my beloved Sydney. While I'm sure there are many travellers who revel in the getting there bit (like those crazy brother and sister/re-united divorcees/large-breasted cheerleading best friends on The Amazing Race) I'm more of the "thank flippin' chroist we're there" persuasion; enough with the trains and timetables and hoo-flippin'-rah we got ourselves from Cooma to Budapest without a lick of English.

(Actually that's not really true, or at least it's only partially true. With sufficient time and imported beer I'll look back with fondness on my 48 hours of planes and automobiles; "what a journey," I'll say, "it's all about the getting there, isn't it?").

But at this post-immediate minute I can say with certainty that I would have had more fun listening to John Howard performing Equus (all parts) non-stop for the last 48 hours than I have had. But happily the flight home provided three delights to unfurrow my deeply furrowed brow.

Travel Delight Number 1
The woman sitting in front and to the right of me was reading a book called The Artist's Way. What caught my eye was this italicised heading: "Crazymakers are expert blamers". Perhaps they are, I don't know; who can say? But crazies reading crazy books make me smile so a big thumbs up to the lady in front and to the right.

Travel Delight Number 2
I love those maps with the little aeroplane marking your route so you always know where you are during the flight. I love that on domestic routes there's not enough distance to fit the aeroplane in between the origin and destination so at one point of my trip the tip of the plane was indicating we were in Dubbo while the tail was suggesting we were in Armidale. When we landed in Sydney the tip was in Canberra and the tail in Newcastle. Mercy!

I'm all for miniature vehicles of all descriptions marking routes on maps (after a happy childhood with such maps from the Indiana Jones franchise) but perhaps a little work needs to be done on scale.

Travel Delight Number 3
The chap two rows ahead on the left swiped his credit card and paid $4.90 to watch an entire episode of Jerry Springer. I tried desperately to read the issue of the day but the tiny screen and my myopia conspired to deny me comprehension. It could have been "Meet and Kill Truckers" or "Matt and Lynn Thingos" but neither a. made any sense or b. fitted the footage they kept showing of a rather muscular woman barging into a pole dancing joint and throwing a bottle of red liqueur at the guy behind the bar. At one point she started swinging a baseball bat but that didn't make the situation any clearer. Oh well. I love that there is someone left in the world, and on my plane no less, with absolutely nothing better in the world to do (work towards global peace, cure for cancer) than watch an entire episode of Jerry Springer.

From this handful of travel delights allow me to turn to one quick travel suggestion and one even quicker travel directive:

Travel Suggestion Number 1
I wish the plane speed was displayed in kilometres rather than miles. A speed of 507 miles per hour is, yawn, pretty unimpressive, but a speed of 815.937408 kilometres per hour - wow!

Travel Directive Number 1
No ad, displayed on the ground or at 40,000 feet, should contain the word 'chillax'. 'Chillax' is not cool; 'chillax' is lame. No more 'chillax'!

Hurrah for homecomings. Where would you rather be: home or away?


the projectivist said...

let's make a rule, shall we?
not to allow ANYONE who says "chillax" into our club.
it can't ever be right
and there's no excuse for it.


i missed you. what on earth were you doing in Brisvegas? you were at the casino, weren't you? drinking cocktails and sunning yourself by the pool with that chef chap, the one that looks as though he has a temper. Matt WhatsisfaceMoran.

i just hope you didn't get drunk on Buck's Fizz again and try to recreate that scene from 'Cocktail' - it's just not healthy for one person to love Tom Cruise that much.

Evil Overlord aka Mad Cat Lady said...

i always used to end up at the vic at 3 in the morning in a packed room singing along loudly and out of key to "Holy Grail"

squib said...

I am sooooooo glad to be back on the mainland, Kettle. It's so dangerous and uncomfortable out there

Kettle said...

Ms P let's start a club for the sole purpose of banning people who say 'chillax' from it. I'd also be happy to set up a league, say the Anti-Chillax League (East Coast chapter). Or, if you prefer associations perhaps we could form the Antipodean Bloggers Chillax Eradication Association? We can iron out the structural issues later but I think we all agree 'chillax' is about as popular as cane toads.

And Ms P, your mention of cocktails has made me realise my life is under-cocktailed, something I shall remedy this summer. I shall start the Anti-Under-Cocktail Association (membership: 1) and will post photos here.

And EOakaMCL, do you mean the Vic on the Park? Near Marrickville Metro? Gold. I don't think anyone sings out of key at 3am; the beer must have distorted your hearing.

It is dangerous and uncomfortable out there, Squib. My grandparents finally hung up their passports in their late 70s but I think at 33 I'm ready to relinquish mine. If a suburban train can't get me there I'm not going (and if that suburban train doesn't serve cocktails then I'm not even walking to the station).

the projectivist said...

good show!

and i think it's important that we actually have the word 'chillax' in our anti-chillax club title.

i'll get started on the t-shirt design right away.

it's funny you should mention your lack of cocktail consumption, Kettle. i have also neglected the necking of cocktails, or in fact ANY kind of alcoholic beverages this year. i should rectify that soon, now that i have given up smoking, i really should consider taking up some other equally addictive habit to fill it's place.

Kettle said...

Ha ha! Definitely Ms P. And just so it's absolutely clear, we should outline the fifteen reasons we can't stand the sight or sound of the word 'chillax' in our anti-chillax association's or league's anti-chillax constitution. That way we should be so well protected against 'chillax' that we'll never have to hear or see the word 'chillax' again. Cool with you? (If not, you really should chillax, man.)

Good on you for giving up smoking. Now come join me in my alcoholic pickle.

Kettle said...

PS Squib, back on the mainland? It just struck me you may be speaking specifically rather than "it's always good to be home". Have you recently ventured forth from the mainland? Was it dangerous and uncomfortable? Oh dear!

squib said...

We went to Rottnest Island. Nearly missed the boat due to cretinous taxi service. LittleSquib gets a raging fever as soon as we arrive. Realise we're on a part of the island where there is no cafe/restaurant. Paid a fortune to hire crappy rusty bikes (the brakes broke on one). Freezing bloody cold as not enough blankets. BigSquib breaks her ankle playing tennis. Someone pours apple juice on MrSquib's jacket and he smells like a Granny Smith. Get home and can't find a bleedin taxi to get us home. Sit in the carpark for two hours...

Kettle said...

Gosh Squib if that wasn't all so awful it would make a great Chevy Chase movie. I hope everyone is ok or on the mend.

I reckon there's a market for tent holidays in people's own backyards: for the discerning traveller who likes all the comforts of home at home. Would you like me to book your family in for the Christmas hols?

squib said...

Is it a carnation-coloured tent, Kettle?

Kettle said...

But of course, Squib. The greatest home-based-tent pleasures can only be found in carnation-coloured tents. I will need to check in with the squirrels re: their production schedule to the end of the year. I can only hope it's not too late to order the merchandise for the Christmas carnation-coloured-home-based-tent rush.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Comrades, I have been on leave for the past two weeks and travelled no further than my own backyard.

This has been the rockinist holliday EVAH!!



Kettle said...

Sounds rad, Ramon. !!

Are you worried that your holidays have peaked? Can there be anything better than a backyard-based holiday followed by two sets of double exclamation marks?