28 May 98, 2:45pm: Bad burrito. The last thing you need to eat before a half-hour cab ride and a 20-hour flight is a bad burrito, but that's exactly what I did. I don't know what the hell was wrong with it (perhaps the rice wasn't vegan?) but I've got a plane to catch and I'm wicked nauseous. This is the second bad burrito in five days. Different burritos, different restaurants, damned if I know, I'm just trying not to puke. Hate to break my streak of eight-and-a-half puke free years, although the last time I tossed, it was Mexican food, chased by butter-flavored microwave popcorn. Uuuuuuuuuuugggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
3pm: OK, I can stand up now. Time to call a cab. Amazingly, they answer on the second ring. I've had days where I've called for fifteen minutes before someone picked up the phone. The dispatcher says it'll be a few minutes.
3:20pm: I'm still in the living room, fighting less intense waves of nausea. I call the cab company to see what's up and there's no answer. Damn! After about fifty rings on my third call (the company has several numbers and I'm working my way down the list) someone picks up. Turns out they have the wrong address. A few minutes later, my un-airconditioned cab arrives. Ugh. Just what I need -a nasty hot car. As we drive away, I realize I've forgotten one of my most important things; my ac adapter for my computer. I don't care what country I'm in, two weeks without a computer would kill me. (Those of you who would like to make a donation to the "Buy Amy a Life Fund" should email me for more info. Hey, if you fork over enough loot, there might be a tote bag or coffee mug in it for you.) We circle the block and I get my precious geek toys.
5:45pm: We haven't even taken off, yet and already two good things have happened. First, the flight attendant asked me if I ordered a special meal, so that means I'll have something to eat. I know, I know, airline food generally isn't something to celebrate, but it beats the hell out trying to subsist on peanuts and orange juice. Next, she came back and said if my seat mate or I wanted to move, there were plenty of seats open, so I had two seats to myself. Gotta love that.
7:30pm:Time to eat. Dinner is a very uninspired vegan dish of steamed vegetables and rice, iceberg lettuce salad and some fruit. At least it doesn't make me ill. The movie is "Zero Effect," which should have been called "Zero Interest" because that's what I had in it. I slept instead.
9:45pm: LA. I've got about 45 minutes before my next flight, so I pop into Sushi Boy and grab some veggie rolls before heading to the gate. As always, my belt buckle trips the metal detector, but this is the first time I've had to take it off before they gave me the wand. Er, I mean the once over with the wand. Or something like that. Next up, the bag inspection. The guard asks me about my Clif Bars and tells me I'm only allowed to have eight batteries, but she'll let my twelve slide. I have no idea why there's a battery restriction, but I can't help but think "batteries?! All Tech men wear batteries." Although this amused me to no end, I decided it would not be in my best interest to start laughing like a maniac, so I marshaled all my energy and stifled myself.
Time gets crazy: Bonus! The middle seat is empty on this flight, so I got me a bed. And free socks, too, as part of the amenities kit they passed out. I can honestly say I'll never be wearing those. Dinner once again was an uninspired steamed veggies and rice, with crappy iceberg lettuce salad and fruit, but it was better than nothing. Several hours later, I was awakened by a tap on the shoulder for breakfast. I couldn't help but think of Jerry Seinfeld's bit on getting awakened by flight attendants for dinner. "Stop waking us up to eat your crappy food!" Fortunately, the food wasn't crappy, and it wasn't steamed veggies and rice again. I was most stoked when I pulled back the foil to see five beautiful tater tots just waiting to be eaten as part of my breakfast. The fact that they were not "properly" prepared (baked until they are very crispy, instead of fried or microwaved) did not dampen my enthusiasm in the slightest. I figured I would be Tot-less until I returned to the States, so this was a pleasant surprise. (I really love Tater Tots, and their higher crisp-to-potato ratio cousin, the Crispy Crown.) The rest of the breakfast was quite tasty, too. There was a potato topped with spinach and a slice of tofu, that would have been excellent with some Tabasco, sides of tomatoes and mushrooms and two bowls of fruit. mmmmm.
May 30, 6am: Arrival in Sydney. I just need to clear customs and I'm on my way. I make it through the first round and go to collect my giant suitcase (thanks, Coop). A very cute beagle sniffs my backpack and then sits, indicating he found something suspicious in my bag. Time for the old searcheroo. It was my computer. They let me go, I snagged my luggage and I was out of there. I grabbed a cab, and noticed that they don't have those police barriers between the front and back seats. Guess they don't expect you to shoot them or something. Kinda nice.
7am: Coogee Beach Holiday Inn. Thank goodness for early check-in, because I really didn't want to be homeless until two. My home for the week has an awesome view of the ocean. This is sweet. There is a beach just across the street that I'll have to check out sometime. For now, I'm going to shower, grab a Coke and decide what I'm going to do with the rest of my weekend.