I arrived in Sydney at 6AM this morning. To keep this short-ish and simple, here are 10 items for your review:
1. First off, there is no internet available at LAX. Not even for a fee. WTF? Even little shithole airports in places like Knoxville and Laredo probably have internet access.
2. V Australia is one of the best airlines I've flown on... ever. 50 or so movies to choose from, a plethora of games and music, pretty good food, and at least two gay flight attendants. The 15 hours went by rather quickly. I watched The Proposal with Sandra Bullock, slept through Julie & Julia twice (but I had already seen it), played crosswords and trivia and solitaire, and watched a few episodes of Nurse Jackie.
3. It's hot here. Like, fucking hot. I was sweating at 7AM and I was only outside for 2 minutes while walking from the terminal to the taxi stand.
4. Did you know that cars drive on the LEFT side of the road here? Ok, fine. I knew that. And you know that too. The Aussie government recognizes the plight of Mainland European and North American tourists and they've painted the words "LOOK RIGHT" at all intersections downtown. But here's the thing: despite clearly reading "LOOK RIGHT" every time, I still keep looking TO THE LEFT. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. I'm going to get hit by a car.
5. My first meal in Sydney was at none other than... Starbucks! Whatever. You'd have done it too.
6. The Sydney Opera House is actually more of a yellow-ish color than white. Are you as surprised as I was?
7. I saw a dude in a kilt inside a Jimmy Choo store. WTF?
8. Internet service is metered here - just like the utility company meters your water or electric use. Weird.
9. Thai food is all the rage in Sydney - more so than it is in Seattle. And it's yummy. And it makes me happy. And a happy Phill is a good Phill.
10. I went to the Sydney Tower and OzTrek - a 10 minute video presentation on Australia where you sit in seats that move around - sort of like Star Tours at MGM or Body Wars at EPCOT, for those of you familiar with Disney World. For a description, read this:
Now, what's so strange about this ride? Well, when you get in to the room, the girl running the joint tells you to put your bags on the floor (in the middle of the aisles) and to uncross your legs (for those few ladies who had their legs crossed). Then the bar comes down over your lap and off you go! No waivers. No warnings. No "you must be this tall to ride this ride" or "not suitable for pregnant women or people with heart or back problems" and no safety video up front. Bags in the aisle? Whatever. You know Disney has to have special cubbies for personal items - you can't take these things on rides. And you know what? Nobody is going to sue if they get hurt. Except for maybe an American tourist. Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!