Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Arriving in Australia

As mentioned in the previous post, we took off from Boston and flew to Los Angeles. This was a six hour flight. Then we had about an eight hour layover at LAX before we flew from Los Angeles to Brisbane Australia, which was a 12 hour and 45 minute flight. We traveled for over 26 hours straight, and with the time difference of 14 hours we lost over a day. We left Boston at 10AM Sunday and got into Brisbane at 6AM Tuesday. It wasn't actually that bad though. We got to watch some movies (we both watched I Love You Beth Cooper and The Proposal and Jaimee watched Year One and Angels and Demons while I watched State of Play). None of those movies were very good but it did help to pass the time.

International flights are always nice as well because you can get free drinks, and Qantas offered complimentary cocktails or beer and wine with every snack and meal which also helped pass the time.

We arrived in Brisbane and were immediately struck by how clean and nice the airport was. Customs was a breeze; we thought we'd have to throw away our dried mango from Trader Joe's but Jaimee declared it and we were allowed to keep it. We also liked how everyone uses the word "Mate" here. The man directing people to various lines through customs had a super thick Australian accent and was somewhat of a klutz as he kept running into people as he moved through the crowd. He kept saying things like, "Sorry about that, mate" or "That line there, mate." I thought mate was the equivalent of bud or buddy, but I think it's more like a unisex word that replaces sir/madam/miss/ma'am, etc. I'd start using it as it's quite handy but I don't think I could say it and be taken seriously.

We immediately bought a SIM card for our mobile (04224489077) since we will be here for about 25 days and it will be convenient for calling Jaimee's sister Michelle and arranging with our couchsurfing hosts. Speaking of phone numbers, while abroad we converted Asa's 206 phone number to pay as you go and took the SIM card out. As you might recall, Jaimee's phone was stolen last month so we actually canceled her 206 phone number. But, we have a Google Voice number of 617-942-12421272. (Update: it turns out that I inadvertently gave out the wrong phone number! And worse, 1242 is also a Google Voice number, just not mine. I wonder how many people were trying to call me on that number during our trip? Who am I kidding, no one was trying to call...) Feel free to call or text that number and we will be able to reply to the texts on-line (of course the time difference will make it difficult to reply right away) and listen to voice mails on-line. Unfortunately there is no international forwarding to our Aussie number. Maybe by the time we finish our trip international forwarding will be implemented.

Anyway, Brisbane is a very pretty and compact city. Michelle who is studying her semester abroad at the University of Queensland met us downtown and we took the CityCat ferry to her campus. In addition to having a pretty good train and bus system there is also a ferry system that runs along the river that snakes through the city.

We hung out in her dorm room for a bit, and although we tried not to nap in order to adjust to the time difference better we couldn't help it, and apparently Michelle took a picture while we were sleeping:

We later connected with our couchsurfing hosts who live a short train ride outside the city. They're a couple in their 40s who have done lots of world travel, including a world wide trip a couple years ago. We stayed up later than we probably should have picking their brains about where to go and what to avoid (they didn't like India and said they were sick there constantly...) We're staying here two nights and then moving on to another couchsurfing host that actually lives within walking distance of University of Queensland.

We'll also post more pictures as we explore around as we'll be in Brisbane until Saturday before we decide what we're doing next.


  1. Glad the long flights went OK. Mauireen and Maple were dispatched yesterday for their long flight to Manchester (England). Watson took a train to Manchester to meet them and escort them on the drive back to St Andrews.

    The firewood pile has not fallen over yet....thanks for the stacking help.

    Uncle Neil

  2. Yey, you're at pit-stop #1!!!
    It was so nice to see you over the weekend.
    Wishing you all good things on your journey,
    Trish & Jeremy

  3. YAY! You're there! ...looks nice and sunny. I'm gonna be studying your posts from now on ;) Hopefully we can meet up.

    Lisa K


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