Saturday, March 17, 2007

Australian Vacation: The Trip Home

After an unknown number of hours of travel, Shira and I finally made it back to the good 'ol US of A.

Murphy's law was present in pretty much every part of the trip...

  • The only cab company in Canberra was having some sort of system problem that made dispatching cabs way more difficult than usual. When we finally got a cab, we drove to the airport listening to the exasperated dispatcher trying to get the cabs to do what she wanted, with little luck.
  • We arrived in Canberra and were put on an earlier flight - like we had hoped. They were even nice enough to put us on a flight due to board in 5 minutes (something that would never happen here in the US). When we got to the gate, we realized that she had told us we were on the earlier flight, but gave us boarding passes for our original flight that left in 2 hours. They were kind enough to sort it out at the ticket counter and call down to the baggage department to re-route our luggage (something else they probably wouldn't have done in the US).
  • When we got off the airplane in San Fran, Shira set her watch to what she thought was the local time, based on the "map" they show you for 14 hours and what the flight attendant announced to the airplane when we landed.
  • When we arrived at the gate to take off from San Fran we noticed that the board wasn't lit up. When we asked about it, they told us that the flight had left on time - about an hour ago. Oh crap. Turns out, the flight attendant and the map on the airplane was what was wrong. We dutifully set our watches to an hour off. When the customer agent rep suggested that it was our fault, not United's that we had the wrong time, Shira nearly took her head off. Luckily, we were able to get on the next flight by waiting on the standby list.
  • When landing at Dulles after a gazillion hour of traveling, we spent an hour and a half on the ground, first waiting for a gate, then waiting for a flag person to direct us to the open gate that was waiting for us to be led to it.
  • Because of the late hour, the weather and all the delays, there were way too few cabs for way too many passengers (about 200 cabs running instead of the usual 700). We ended up sharing a cab with 2 other people and debated with the cab driver how unfair it was that he was charging us as though he had just dropped us off and was not getting three fares for the work of one trip.

With all that said - the flights were painless and we made it home, which is the most important thing.

All in all, a super vacation.

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