When I said that I was going to Australia for a bit of adventure, I didn’t expect that it would begin so soon. About an hour away from the Australian continent, after 26 hours of smooth travel, the map showing our trajectory on the plane all of a sudden revealed that we were headed to Brisbane and not Sydney. I knew I was on the right flight and soon was told that we were stopping in Brisbane to refuel, somehow we had burned through more fuel than expected. What’s another hour, I thought. Little did I know.
We soon discovered, after a longer than necessary amount of time for refueling, that the engine was leaking and we would have to get off the plane, wait in the airport, wait for a plane to arrive from Melbourne (no plane was large enough to fly us to Sydney from Brisbane), go through security again and wait hours to get on the plane. I never thought I would make it to another Australian city so quickly!
What’s an extra few hours? I felt like I would have been in fine shape had I arrived on time, at 8am, as originally planned. Nine hours later, I arrived in Sydney. Talya and Nick had spent the day waiting in the airport, the information from United having been sporadic and the supposed intervals of arrival short enough to afford patience. We laughed about it, I regaled them with the details of the trip, from my Aussie seatmates returning from a study abroad experience to the ridiculousness of the pileup of delays. But the important thing is, that in the end, I made it.
And it’s starting to hit me, the reality of the fact that I am in Australia. Australia. The land down under, here I am, here with my sister and my brother-in-law. Here in a place that is in full summer. Here in such a strange exotic place (the sound of cicadas FILLS the air at night, avocado trees grow in the backyard). So far it feels like a mix of London and Los Angeles, the compact homes and the English accent, the terracotta roofs and the tropical flora.
I awoke this morning at 6am to the sound of birds, such strange new calls that I will have to try and describe another time, and just soaked up my surroundings. It is Sunday, I missed Friday completely and Saturday was unexpectedly devoured up the coast in Brisbane. So, I will unpack as I wait for Nick and Tal to awake. Today we will go to the local market, maybe see a few things and get into the heart of Sydney. The adventure already begun, the journey continues.