At this point, I need a nap badly, but this story will be greater the sooner I write it down.
Two days ago in Vancouver, I left for Sydney. The flight left at just before midnight local time, so I was expecting a lot of sleep from being awake since 7am that day. I had an aisle seat and all would be well. When I got onboard, the man in the middle seat said he needed to get in and out a lot so he was taking the aisle seat. That was presented without a choice for me, so I wanted to be nice and gave it to him. Of course that meant I got very little sleep.
A bit after takeoff, the flight attendants served us dinner. This is a 16-hour direct flight so we had lots of other meals to come as well. They brought me a special meal for my dietary requirements, but I don't have any. It was for the man in the aisle seat next to me, who wasn't in his seat when they brought the meal. I told the attendant this and she was surprised I gave my seat up. She came back a few minutes later with one of the toiletry packages you get in business class: toothbrush w/paste, lip balm, eye mask, ear plugs, all wrapped in a nice wool Air Canada bag. Cool bonus of being nice I guess!
The man to my left at the window was the only person I really talked to on the flight, aside from the attendants for a bit. He was from Montreal, and he did risk assessment for Cineplex, which sounded like an interesting job. He was a cool guy.
When we finally landed — after far too much time had passed — we weren't able to deplane immediately because Australia has a strict agricultural department, and they spray pesticides on all the luggage. They also have a large questionnaire you have to fill out to enter the country. Oh and I found out a few hours before I departed that I had to purchase a visa, which is the first time I've ever had to do that. I thought US passports had superpowers, after all!
Border control at Sydney airport is not very impressive. They have half of it automated and you get a little card that you show the officer. Mine apparently didn't work so it had to be manually checked. But it also seemed like I ended up in the line where all the people with four or five bags were, and I just have two.
And finally, I got out of the airport, bought an Opal card, took the train to Central, and walked to my Airbnb which is right around the corner from the station. My host is in Vietnam so he said he left the keys in the mailbox. I thought about that for a second and immediately saw a problem: Mailboxes are locked with keys; I don't have any keys. So I entered the building and rang the buzzer hoping his roommate was home. He wasn't, so I went to a cafe for a bit hoping things would get sorted out soon.
After an absurd downpour for half an hour, I left that cafe and went back to try again. Nope. So I thought I'd just wait until his roommate arrived later today, and I went to Three Williams, a well-recommended cafe that seemed like a cool place to hang out for a bit. I asked the girl next to me for the WiFi password, and while she didn't know it, we got to talking and she's a model from Belgium. Then we both met the guy next to her, who's the manager of Hollow Coves and some other bands. We found out they're playing tonight, and he put us on the list.
So now I have a photo pass to a concert after being in Sydney for about 5 hours. I got about 2 hours of sleep, which means I will likely fall over halfway through the show, but since I do like the band we'll see if I can do a bit better. But seriously, what a day.
Oh wait I forgot to add the bit about the Airbnb. I headed back after the second cafe in a valiant attempt to figure out what I had missed. This time I pushed the mailbox a bit and it opened. Yeah. Let's just not think about the silly box my mind was in before that. Then I got the keys and went to the elevator — sweet! I'm here! I pressed the first floor button and nothing happened. I got in and out of it a few times — nothing.
At this point I thought, "Oh there are stairs. There have to be." I searched for 10 minutes and found no stairs aside from some that led to just three apartments which are likely offices. I went back to the elevator, pressed the down switch thinking I could try going to the parking below and trick it. Nope. No response at all once inside it. Then finally, after half an hour of pressing buttons hoping something would work, I noticed a small black rectangle at the bottom of the button row. I tapped the key fob to it. And yeah, it beeped.
It'd be fun to blame some of that on jet lag, but here's the thing: I wouldn't be going to Hollow Coves at all tonight if I had gotten into the place. I would be sleeping right now instead of writing this. The sleep part does sound nice, so I'm going to do that.