The end of OZ

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September 9th 2009
Published: September 9th 2009
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Day 15- Sept 5

Headed home
So I awoke in my last hostel in Sydney, ready for my last day and headed down to reception to sort out luggage storage, directions and a shuttle to the airport, only to find that the guy manning the desk had gone out drinking the night before and was nowhere to be found. I waited until 9 am. The kitchen (with the free breakfast) was closed, the poor cat was meowing and pawing at her empty bowl. 9:30..... 10:00....At 10:15 I finally gave up and went out. So much for the great hostel.

So i found my way back to the center of town. I stopped for a cup of coffee and was actually asked to leave Starbucks for taking a picture of the menu. I thought to myself, "well, no one would believe these prices!" The Opera house was mobbed with a Chinese festival, so I wandered to the botanical gardens which I only got to see a sliver of before heading away to meet a family friend. Our dads worked together, and she moved to Sydney when she met and married her Australian boyfriend. Quite a story. It was lovely meeting her. We compared travel stories as we munched on a Subway sandwhich. We parted ways and I meandered back to my hostel.

By this point I was really ready to go home. I absolutley loved Queensland, but Sydney further endeared itself to me (NOT) when I was literally shoved by a bunch of people pushing their way onto a free city bus in the morning. I had actually tried to change my return flight so I wouldn't have to go back to Sydney, but it was $200 so I decided against it. I spent the last hour or so taking some pictures of Sydney. I know every person has a different perspective, but to me, Sydney was just like NY, but without the character- wall to wall cement, bursting at the seams with people, cigarettes, and trash on the street.... Hmmm, i can get all this in LA, i thought to myself. I don't know how anyone could look at that mess and not seriously consider the idea of global population control. But then again, I know that's not a popular opinion. So i'll leave it alone.

I got back to my hostel where the manager had now showed
Hare Krishnas walking byHare Krishnas walking byHare Krishnas walking by

they were in Byron Bay too!
up and booked me taxi because no shuttles were available. I took a shower and chatted with a very nice guy from Oregon until the taxi showed up. True to form, the taxi driver was a total scammer. I told him that the hostel manager said it should cost about $20, was that right? He gave me some story about how it would be at LEAST $25-30 or more. "Why?", I asked, knowing it was only down 1 street. He tried to give me some story about how that was the domestic airport, not the international one. (nevermind I had already been to both and knew they were walking distance apart). So I took my bag out of the trunk, walked away and showed back up at the hostel asking for an alternative. I ended up taking a city bus to the train, which was much more pleasant and cheaper. The Sydney metro is 3 stories high (so cool) and went right to the airport. I mean, I didn't even see the entrance to the airport. The underground train went right to the basement of the airport. Cool.

The plane left Sydney at 8pm and was absolutely BRUTAL because they insisted on keeping us on Sydney time the whole way. I immediately set my watch to LA time, and appropriately slept for a few hours until it was dawn in LA. But the flight attendants had everyone close the windows for the duration of the flight, even as the sun was streaming through the edges of the windows with light that would've helped everyone acclimate. It was brutal trying to stay awake for 14 hours in a cold, dark plane. I was trying to acclimate as they were doing everything they could to keep me from it. After 12 hours, they served breakfast, and even then, nobody opened their windows. It was all i could do to resist running through the isles of the plane screaming, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU VAMPIRES!?????" By this point, I was positively cllimbing out of my skin and squeezed past the breakfast cleanup to the back of the plane where I stood facing an open window, soaking up the light like a hungry orphan with a bowl of rice. My attempts to stay awake paid off though (and i think the No Jet Lag pills helped too), as I had no jet lag. Amazing.

And so ends my Australia trip. On the way home we stopped at the store where I literally jumped up and down and let out a scream when I found out a pack of Mentos was $.69 (after paying nearly $2 in Australia). I had to explain to the checkout lady that I was not loosing my mind. At home, my furry children were very happy to see me. Peanut purred all over me and wuzzled me all night, and when I woke up the next day, I was covered in cats. As it should be.

Hope you enjoyed this installment of my blog.
This is Firefly, signing off until the next adventure........

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Starbucks pricesStarbucks prices
Starbucks prices

$6 for a frapp!!!!!!!!
$13 for pancakes. good lord!$13 for pancakes. good lord!
$13 for pancakes. good lord!

more ramen noodles for me

this was the worst one- $3 for a soda that cost $1.50 at home.

I discovered turkish bread. yummmmmmmmmmmm. Had this at the Ballina airport- turkish bread, feta, olives and peppers.
the Ballina airportthe Ballina airport
the Ballina airport

1 room that is the baggage claim and gate area divided by a clear wall!

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