The Quiet Traveller: Day 2 – Melbourne

Onwards and upwards, and I was now aboard the thirteen hour flight to Melbourne. To my delight I once again had no human being next to me for the flight. But it was a close call. Shortly after I took my seat, waiting patiently for take off, I watched as passenger after passenger strode towards me. I could hear the Jaws theme tune playing in my head. We were going to need a bigger seat.

Something went in my favour, as the one of the last passengers on stepped into the aisle in front and took the seat at the other end to me. I breathed a sigh of relief. Two empty seats next to me on both flights. Good going.

It was nice to have a bit more personal space on those two flights. The trick to get a separate seat on a flight is to tactically look at the seating plan and where people are already sitting. Work out where will be the most popular seats, although this obviously various by preference, and try to select one that will give you optimal space. Leg room for me is not as important as I’m only 5’8 ½ (yes that is a very real 1/2), but airlines should consider rating seats on personal space as well as leg room. Also, personal space isn’t just an introvert thing on planes; I think everyone would like more of it.

Qatar Airlines have a good reputation for their service, and I was not disappointed. Attendants often brought round drinks and asked if there was anything I wanted. However after my third meal of aeroplane food in a very short space of time, I began to crave fresh air and fresh food. Aeroplane food is great for what it is, and I love the tiny pots of water they give you, but there’s only so much you can handle.

I had another omnishambles moment when I asked for orange juice but for some reason the attendant poured me a Foster’s, yet it took me a few moments to realise what had happened and by that time I had decided to accept my Fostery fate. I drank a bit, but then returned to water, as my body clock was not in the mood for alcohol and Foster’s tastes like kangaroo sweat. Contrary to popular belief, no one in Australia actually drinks that lager.

Arrival

After many, many hours of travel, I had finally arrived down under. It was about 10pm, but the heat and humidity had not ceased. And it would not cease the entire time I was there.  Pete picked me up in his orange Honda Jazz, which he claimed was very economical and cheap to tax and insure. I was glad of the air conditioning; not so much the pensioner vibes. I couldn’t see much of the city as we drove through the late evening musk, but there was going to be plenty of time to explore as I had a whole week in Melbourne.

Pete made another claim, this time that his apartment in the city outskirts was small. So naturally it had huge high ceilings, a leftover from the building’s department store days, and a large open area downstairs with an open bedroom area upstairs. My quarters were a small room/storage facility next to the stairs. I couldn’t wait to sleep after the arduous voyage from the other side of the world, but first I had to fight a tiger.

IMG_2051

Above: The wild feline hides his thumpers under his body, to deceive his prey into thinking he is a loaf of bread.

Admittedly, the tiger was quite small, and with a name like Crackles I wasn’t particularly scared of it. Sadly, without allergy tablets , close proximity to fluffy animals will make me sneeze profusely, and so I had to remove the beast from my room. And it liked my room. I had been told that this was where it liked to hang out during the day. I was an intruder into its territory.  Luckily because I have these thumby things on my hands and it did not, I was able to pick up the animal and remove it from my room. However, the door was made of glass, which resulted in two beady eyes staring at me from the outside. I decided to lean Berghaus against the door to prevent any facial mauling during the night. Stripping myself of the now sweaty and smelly clothes I had spent over 36 hours in, I crawled into bed and began the painful process of adjusting to a completely different timezone.

I did not sleep well, in part due to the heat and in part due to how out of sync I was, despite my tiredness. Tomorrow and the next few days would be a struggle to stay awake. But it was now time for this introvert to explore the unfamiliar.

Track of Day 2 – Moon // Foals

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