Category Archives: Travel

Bonwag On Tour – entries from beyond home in Perth

Laser-focused Stupidity

Heads up, lackwits. Shine a laser on an aircraft and go directly to jail. Get it?

Yes, I’m talking to you, bozo-in-the-northern-suburbs-of-Melbourne, who tried to disrupt the landing of my flight last Sunday night. Tool.

It’s astonishing how dumb this practice is. Not only is it dangerous – you can cause a serious accident by distracting a pilot travelling over your own house, but – and I don’t know if you understand this – but they can see you, too. You think you’re anonymous? I could probably give you the precise address of the person mentioned in paragraph two. You’re putting a dirty great ‘google maps’ pointer over your own house. Not anonymous, not clever.

This is one of those ‘Darwin Award‘ crimes. Hopefully it’ll go the way of the dodo.

Qantas: "Sorry For Sending You To Adelaide"

A nice epilogue to the whole ‘Qantas Broken Window’ drama – I received mail from Qantas today to apologise for the inconvenience of grounding the weekend flight, with a not-insignificant contribution toward future flying.

Although it was a big inconvenience, I thought they had handled the situation well – even before they decided to ‘make good’. Well done, Qantas.

Ready, Set, Embark

Our connecting flight is cutting it a little fine – the airline has us lining up at the gate before the plane is even at the gate.
Seems there is some issue with a curfew at Sydney Airport at 11. The baggage handlers are limbering up on the tarmac like sprinters.
Looks like it’s going to be the airline equivalent of diving through the window of the General Lee while one of the Duke Boys ‘steps on the gas’.
Shame. The last plane was already halfway to having an open window ready for us to leap through.

37 Down at Half Time

The last place on earth you want to be as an Eagles supporter is in the Adelaide airport surrounded by Crows supporters while your team is down by 37 points at half-time.
It wasn’t meant to be like this. I was meant to be 37 thousand feet above all this, on the way to Sydney. And the Eagles were also meant to be up.
About an hour into our Perth-Sydney flight someone noticed a crack in the window of our 747. It’s not a big crack, only *halfway* through the 2 layers of glass separating us from the -30 degree temperatures outside. The plane dipped fairly sharply and descended to about 25 thousand feet.
The captain assures us that, with his 22 years flying experience, he would rather put safety ahead of schedule. In his 22 years of flying, it’s happened before, most notably on a much longer flight to Singapore. However, 22 years of flying experience leads him to think it would be a better idea to cut the flight short. Presumably, he’s aiming for 23 years of experience.
Sure enough, as we alighted, you could see a crack quite clearly through about a third of one of the external windows. Looks dodgy. Someone should probably take a look at that.
It was probably caused by the ear-splitting shrieking of that unsettled child three rows ahead of me during takeoff.
So, 4 hours in Adelaide. Or, more specifically, Adelaide Airport.
Half way.

Do Not Be Annoying The Person

Looks like the geeks will have their day: mobile phones in planes.

I can’t say that I’m a fan, but I can see where the pressure has come from. By the time you’ve completed the various formalities of getting yourself on a plane, the plane in the air, and your airline meal in your lap, it’s the most waking hours most of us will spend out-of-contact.

I don’t begrudge travellers their fix, if there’s a way to provide the service without MAIKNG THE PLANE ASPLODE like we’ve been told all these years. (A danger when refuelling? Pah. Ban polyester.)

A few airlines are honest about the real reasons for the ban. On a recent Japan trip, Japan Air Lines told it how it is:

“Please do not use your mobile telephone as it will annoy the person”

Crossing the Tarmac

As I arrived at the airline lounge, a tiny, corner-of-the-eye observation piqued my curiosity. Is that *normal*?

The first thing I noticed was that, as they were moving to replace a food tray, one of the wait-staff was crossing themselves in the catholic tradition. Not an every-day occurrence, but not interesting in itself. Maybe the guacamole needed all the help it could get.

Then I noticed that in their line of vision, not my own, a plane was just in the process of lifting off the tarmac. It seemed to me that the server was observing some sort of traditional blessing on the departing aircraft with that action, and it got me wondering…

Does anyone know if that’s a tradition or superstition – that if you see an aircraft lifting off, that you bless it on its way? It it widespread?

I’d not seen it happen before today, so it can’t be common, but has anyone else encountered it?

And would it unsettle you to know that various ground staff are praying you on your way as you slip the surly bonds of earth?

The Take Over, The Break’s Over

… in which David catches up on a few weeks of news items , for the benefit of casual and new readers.

(insert lame blog hiatus excuse here)

It seems like only 8 weeks since we jumped the car, praying that we had crammed enough sustenance and entertainment into the trusty Forester to last two, possibly three weeks of homelessness and cross-country travailing.

I’d done a few weeks of research into the many and varied challenges that might come our way, and it all seemed to whittle down to two things

  • is there petrol out there – and if so, where?
  • is there wildlife out there – and if so, will it keep away from my speeding car?

Despite all my carefully laid plans, we were forced to leave early, and we headed out from ‘Bancroft’ in Sydney with only a direction in mind. West.

I’m pleased to say that the most traumatic part of the trip was when we bought a bag of oranges only a few hundred meters from a quarantine checkpoint at which we were required to hand them back. We saw very little wildlife, the petrol was plentiful (and expensive : $1.88/l at Norseman!) and we completed the journey in just 4.5 days of solid driving. A great adventure.

On arrival in Perth, we had a few days of bunking with family before beginning to camp in ‘Griffin’ – our 2008 home in Perth. We enjoyed a few days of box-free existence before our movers delivered hundreds of cartons which, at the time of writing, still grace some of the less-trafficked areas of the house. It’s a nice place, and by the looks of things, we’re lucky to have a rental property secured.

Caleb, Allanah and Charlotte have returned to their former schools, replete with stationery and uniformery, and are also setting back into their DanceSporting routines, too.

Ainslie had the misfortune of breaking her wrist a second time before leaving from Sydney, and returned home just in time to attend her older sister’s funeral.

Me, I’m back at work , and have suffered through trips to New York, Dallas, Melbourne and Sydney while all this has been going on.

There’s been a lot of changes, and a lot of sad and bad news over the last few months. We’re taking stock, and deep breaths, and looking forward to a big re-settling year in Perth. Bring it on!

My new year’s resolution? Once again, it’s to be writing more. This year, it’s more about music and relationships. I’ll be blogging less (if that’s possible) and emailing more, and getting some of these musical ideas down in writing or soundwaves, somehow.

I hope you’ll accept this humble entry as a blog-amnesty, and we can get on with the news-at-hand.