Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Voyage Home

It's finally happened. I'm home. I couldn't write about my trip home on the plane so here is what I wrote in my journal on my last day in Australia:

It's my last day in AUSTRALIA! I got up pretty early in the morning, gathered all my stuff and headed for the front desk. Craig was working so it was good to say a final goodbye since this time i"m not going back to Footprints (well not for a long time). I really enjoyed it there with the staff, people, rooms, toga parties and of course the halloween boat cruise (my costume ROCKED!).

The bus was waiting outside and as I exited, I looked back at Footprints for one last time. Got in the shuttle bus and headed to the airport. About one hour later, I was checking my bags and heading to security. I had a couple of hours to wait for the plane and took the sudafed i needed for my ears and hoped they wouldn't be problem for the really long flight to come since they bothered me so much from the flight from Alice.

As I sat and waited, I reflected on what everyone has been asking me these past few days: "Are you ready to go home? Excited? Afraid?". The answer to all those questions is yes. I loved it out there in Australia. It was definitely a life changing experience but the way of living can't go on forever. I was afraid to go home and see that everything was different and changed but on the other hand hoping for a change since I didn't want to go back to the same thing as when I left.

For the past few months all I thought about was home. Then as the time to go home was nearing, all I thought about was the stuff i did in Australia. Now that I was in the airport, I couldn't think of anything. I felt brain dead, like my brain is turned off.

If I have changed in anyway, I think it's that I have become more relaxed. jess from IEP pointed out that I seemed a hell of alot more relaxed when I saw her on wednesday then when she kne wme back from back in October to January. I believe her since I havn't had a headache in over 9 months (except from hangovers which doesn't count. And about hangovers, I think I'm losing my immunity, since before I would never wake up with hangovers, and now I wake up still drunk, haha).

While I was still waiting for the plane, I got an extremely suprising call form my buddy Blair. I thought I wasn't going to get a chance to saw a final goodbye but we chatted for a few munites and really had a heart to heart until he said "Dude I really need to go to the toilet so I';m going ot have ot say goodbye", haha.

Finally got called for the plane. Once I was on the plane and heard the french welcome message it really started ot hit me that i was coming home. For once I got lucky and actually had an aisle seat! Plus the plane was so empty, no one was siting in my row, so I was able to lie accross three seats to sleep.

Once we took off i was a little worried about my ears but they turned out fine for the ascent. Then I put on the headset and the first thing I hear is "C is for Cookie
by the Cookie Monster, haha. Then the movie started and it was The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy which was quite funny and I recommend it. Afterwards was Mr. and Mrs. Smith which I always wanted to see and I forced myself to stay awake to watch it even though I was exhausted.

For the plane I had bought a Ralph Magazine which is basically an Aussie version of Maxime and on the cover was Jessica Alba. Coincidently when I started reading it I had the sudden urge to hit the toilet. I was happy I got a chance to listen to all my music. I was listening to Grinspoon and realized they are like the equivalent to Moinst or Our Lady Peace in Australia although their music is slightly different, more rocky and less poppy. I got into Grinspoon back when I lived in Cairns and my roomate left it out open in the living room.

I finally fell asleep but only for about 20 minutes. It was only 6pm OZ time but the sudafed pills for my ears are supposed to make you restless. I then listened to more new music which included the new White Stripes album and the John Butler Trio. The latter group is very cool. They sound like a cross between Big Wreck and Jack Johnson. Very rootsy blues.

Dinner was fettuchini, bread, fruit and chocolate. Not too bad for a plane. We then landed in Honolulu at 11:30pm (7:30pm OZ time). WhenI passed through security, they made us take our shoes off... weird. I had to wait around for about an hour and a half before heading back up in the air. While I was waiting I got friendly with a couple in their 40s from Halifx who was in Australia for just a month and they loved it (as they should have!).

At 1:02am we get back on the plane and the captain announces "some of you may have noticed that the left engine was being taken apart. Don't worry, one of the monitors that checks the oil levels was erronous and all is now fixed". I had no idea the wing was even tampered with and wished the pilot had kept his mouth shut! The captain also announced the flight was to be 5 and a half hours. Breakfast was then served (pancakes).

Five and a half hours later we landed in Vancouver. Along the way we encountered an electrical spcae/time dust storm which threw us back in the past, or at least it felt like we did, since I left Sydney on September 13th at 10am and landed in Vancouver on September 13 at 9:50am. Time travel DOES exist!

I found out that when I had called way back July to change my plane ticket, the woman told me i"d be on one flight from vancouver but the tickts in my hand were for a different flight. Therefore, instead leaving at 11 something I had to stay until 3pm. I had to go get my luggage and the re-check it in for the other plane but I ended uphaving ot wait about 40 minutes for my guitar to show up since it was stored as FRAGILE.

At 3pm, boarded my lst flight of the day, THANK GOD! Once in the air, I still couldn't really sleep, been restless for hours. The movie they showed was the Longest Yard with Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and Burt Reynolds. It was actually a pretty decsent movie, I quite enjoyed it. Then we experienced about 30 minutes of turbulence just as I REALLY had to get up from my seat to go to the toilet so I had to hold it in for AGES!

We reached montreal at 10pm. THE HOLIDAY IS OVER! I was really confused on what to expect now that I'm back. I went through customs and security, got to the luggage depot and my parents, brother and sister in law rush up to me. Apperently they crossed the security line and had to go back, so they ended up watching me for about 20 minutes waiting for my bags before they could actually talk to me. My suster in law draw a poster of a kangaroo with my head sticking out of the pouch and the words "WELCOME HOME CROCODILE BUDD!!!" and "AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE! OY OY OY!". It was so great I put it up on my wall in my room.

On the ride home, I was asked so many questions already and already my mom was nagging me so I told her we'd have to discuss the new terms and conditions now that I've returned home.

That night, once i got home, threw all my stuff on the ground, showed my parents I could play guitar and passed out in my bed. I slept under a giant flag of Australia that I bought right before leaving OZ.

It's good to be home.

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