27 November 2007

Penguinista again, ’planes

OK, back in WA for at least a couple of months, but the experience with Aussie airlines was kind of different.

REx was excellent, buzzed through clear skies from Burnie/Wynyard with some nice tea & savouries to Melbourne (which cost us the clear sky, of course, although later it did sort itself out reasonably well).

I’d booked a lateish Qantas flight simply because it was the only one left (prices escalated from a few hundred $ to about $650 in something like 30 seconds), together with the latest reasonable REx flight. REx got there just before 11AM, but Qantas wouldn’t let me check my luggage in until 4:40PM because the flight wasn’t open yet.

This was tedious because my suitcase had gear in it (malicious wireless routers, PCI cards & such) which would not be accepted as hand luggage (“he slashed me with a LAN card!”), so I had to tote this about for 5 hours or so until someone realised that I was allowed to check in at 3:40PM.

Then I hopped into the Jumbo at T1 Gate 23, sat down, & waited. & waited. & waited.

It turned out that a passenger had freaked out with dread-of-flying, Qantas had spent the regulation 10 minutes or so on reassuring & counselling, then half an hour searching through the luggage for their bag, then another 20 minutes discovering a broken luggage module & replacing it, then 10 minutes getting now-necessary paperwork into the ’plane, read & signed by the pilot, then one of those pushy little truck things latched on & spun us in a whacking great U turn from Gate 23, where we waited for 4 other flights to land, then taxied out, hopped in the queue, & roar, off we went.

We arrived at 10:17PM instead of 9:40PM, so evidently had caught up by about half an hour en route.

The food was excellent, including some really nice eggplant (sounds like a contradiction, but it was prepared with lentils & other stuff, making it very tasty), & some ice-creams which were so cold & hard that they shattered when bitten through — but the pieces were also rock-hard so could easily be filched out of one’s clothing etc.

I did some typing on my laptop, & discovered that “pmsuspend disk” works.

Driving on straight, level, non-icy road was rewarding, but I am now hard-wired into 90km/hr on the 100km/hr freeways by default but still automated for bits of Perth roads (e.g. had to “wake up” to not turn right into Wanneroo Road from Reid Highway). Having scads of trains & busses to hand is kind of nice, as is being able to walk 10 minutes to almost any facility. Aaanyway, off to play Don Quixote with CentreLink now...

No comments: