OVER THE RAINBOW
11 January 2003
I'm going to Oz and I'm very excited.
This is the real Oz--the land down under. Australia. Perth, to be exact.
When Peggy came here in 2000, it was on her "long leave." The Australian
government, being a civilized employer, gives employees a long paid leave every (?4)
years. Peggy was here for six weeks on full salary. Not too shabby! We saw as much of my
country as one can see in that (short?) a period of time and now she's going to show me her
I am very excited.
(Or did I say that before?)
I'm not going until September--and I'm not quite sure what's going to happen with my
job--but I have plane ticket in hand, I've broken the news to Walt, and I'm counting the
Walt is going to England on his own in the springtime. He's going to take another boat
trip, like we took two years ago (and hopes to meet up with the vicar we traveled with
last time--or a similarly interesting group) and then maybe fly over to Ireland to visit
We've never traveled without each other, so that adds another bit of excitement to the
mix for both of us.
It's a long way to Perth. It's about as far as you can go from here without
starting back again.
You can get to Sydney in hours that have "teens" at the end of them, but to
go the way I'm going, Singapore Air, I will be in transit for thirty-three hours.
That's a flight from here to Inchon, South Korea (hoping we aren't at war with any part of
Korea by that time), then 7 hours (I think) to Singapore, where I have an 8 hour layover,
and finally the last 5 hours to Perth. It's a good thing that I sleep so little or I'd
spend the first week asleep (which I may yet do).
I chose Singapore Air because (a) it was the cheapest fare, (b) I don't think any
country is yet at war with Singapore so the terrorist risk might be less, and (c) because
they come with those little TV sets built into the seats, so everyone has his/her own
viewing screen. I sleep just great in front of the TV, so I figure I'll get more
sleep on the flight this way. We had that set-up just once, on a flight from London on
Virgin Air and it was the most relaxing flight I'd had. I figure if I have to be on the
plane forever, I might as well enjoy it.
I'm also thrilled that I have lost weight (and definitely have to keep it off)
because I will actually FIT into a seat without feeling like I'm being strangled for all
those hours--and climbing over seatmates for potty breaks (and breaks to walk up and down
the aisles to lessen the chance of thrombophlebitis) will be a little less uncomfortable
if I'm not the size of a piano.
I can't really believe it yet. The date is such a long way away and with the world
situation the way it is, anything can happen between now and then, but if the gods are
kind, I will get a chance to find out what all the fuss about Australia is, with the
perfect guide, who assures me it truly is "paradise."
Of course she tells me I'm going to have to wash dishes by hand, hang clothes out on
the clothes line, iron and learn to like instant coffee...but what the heck. It's
all an adventure, right?