Published: February 3rd 2009February 2nd 2009
I am writing to you from 10,0090 miles and 15 time zones away. And I can recall each painful mile all too well. We flew into Sydney at about 8:30 Monday Morning (Around 4:30pm on Sunday in Boston) marking the conclusion to a brutal 14 hour plane ride, which came after four boresome hours in the San Francisco International Airport, which we arrived at after a brisk six hour jaunt from Boston.
However, the truly fun part was not the twenty total hours of flying. No, the truly fun part was the twenty total hours of flying, with the flu! Indeed, a mere two hours before arriving at Logan Airport, I was diagnosed as having influenza by the lovely doctors of the Pediatric Associates of Greater Salem! Many, many thanks to Wesley York, who will be swiftly and severely punished upon my return.
Yet I'm sure that it does not surprise you that I, with the courage of a warrior and the strength of a young bull, spit in the face of my 101 degrees temperature. Indeed, I bit off the feverish chills with a smile, knocked down some Tylenol (Extra-Strength) and set off on a Continent-Spanning journey in spite of the flu. And it sucked.
But sickness while traveling is nothing new to me, and by this time I've learned how to wear it fairly well. (See Gracie for the Holy Cross story, Ben and Alec for the Cardigan bus trip story, one of the Street Smarts guys for the Street Smarts story, the Honorable Congressman John F. Tierney for the Congressman Tierney story, etc.) And now I sit in a condo with a wet cloth on my head and an assortment of pills at my side as the rest of my family goes out to see the Opera House and the world-renowned beauty of Sydney Harbor. I'm not too bitter though, perhaps if I get back to Sydney in another 17 years I'll be able to actually see it. Seriously Wes, I'm going to slay you.
However, on a bright note, I've been able to do a wonderful amount of reading. While shut up in this condo for the past 24+ hours, I have read Oedipus Rex, Antigone, and A Streetcar Named Desire. I thoroughly enjoyed them all and recommend them to anyone who gets the flu in the next few days.
I apologize for the lack of excitement in this entry. The only thing I've learned in my flu-ridden days in Australia is that the Australian people have a hardier palette than us "Yanks." Thus, American brands sold down under are much different than in the States. Diet Coke is less sweet, Schweppes Ginger-Ale is far more gingery, Special K is much hardier, and Rice Krispies are known as Rice Bubbles. Go Figure.
Oh, and Taylor, one of our flight attendants on our lovely flight from San Fran to Aussieland looked exactly, and I mean exactly, like Jermaine. We swear he must have been related to him, but none of us had the courage to ask. Oh well.
Your Humble Servant,
C. Michael Butterfield
P.S. Somebody kill Wes for me