Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Down under for Valentine's Day

On the dreaded V-day I got up at 5am to catch a flight to Singapore. The husband caught a later flight, we met there, and then travelled on to Perth where he's attending a conference and I'm flitting about visiting friends.

For the flight we'd ordered the vegetarian meals, as usual. We always do this because (a) you get your food first, so you can wolf and then pass out watching bad romantic comedies sooner; and (b) said food is generally better than the standard options. It was a decent couscous and bean dish with the same salad and roll that everyone else got but the dessert, instead of the tiramisu that everyone else had, was some sort of heart-healthy apple bread that weighed approximately as much as a bag of oranges. Dammit - just because someone's vegetarian it does not follow that they want to be healthy. Among the special meals they have vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, and low carb vegetarian - why not fatass vegetarian? I wanted that tiramisu, dammit.

We landed at 1:00 am and finally got through customs at 2:00. (If you've been to the Perth airport, you know why. If you've never been to the Perth airport, don't go). Our friend Ruby was kind enough to pick us up and ferry us to the accommodations that the conference had arranged for us at St. George's College. Where they'd never heard of us.

After waking up some mussed and confused student to check us in, the long process to determine exactly who we were began. Another student is woken. The office is unlocked and files are gone through. No - never heard of us. Luckily, between the three of us (because Ruby was a trooper and stayed to make sure we got in and didn't have to come crash on his couch) we had three iPhones, two iPads, and two laptops, so we eventually scrounged up all of the emails between Kelly and the conference organizer confirming our reservations.

Okay, fine. They'll give us a room.

At 3:30 am, a key is produced and we're led up to a student dormitory - communal shower at the end of the hall, creaky staircases, stained carpet - and to our room. We walk in, the student looks at the bed, looks at us, "Oh. Yeah. We only have single beds."

The process begins anew. More ruffling through files, another key is produced, and I'm led to another dorm room on a different floor with my own single bed. Finally, at 4:30 am, I lie down to sleep.

Only for a short time, however, as a car alarm begins going off at 5:00 am. wooOOOP... wooOOOP... wooOOOP... Except it's not a car alarm - it's one of the thousands of species of completely f*cked up birds that inhabit Perth. And it's directly outside my window. I stumble out of bed and, in my attempt to close the window, manage to rip off the screen and hit myself in the face with it, knocking me backwards onto my ass. At this point I just give up on life and crawl back to bed.

But none of that mattered the next day, because behold my first meal in Australia - the 'roo burger:

It was juicy and bouncy. Cute animals just taste better.

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