Wednesday, April 1, 2009

From the Sunshine to the Rain Again

What a shock! After enjoying the sunny southern climes Downunder for the past five weeks, landing in Vancouver with a temperature of 4 degrees Celsius, along with rain and in some parts snow, was indeed a shock to the system.

Four very wonderful days were spent in the lovely city of Perth in Western Australia, but our return journey to Sydney was most unpleasant as we were caught in an Australia-wide baggage handlers' wildcat strike which at first delayed our flight by six and a half hours, but when it finally departed it was without the luggage and just made it into Sydney before the airport curfew at 11pm. Having arrived at Perth airport at 7.30 am and spending a good part of the day there we were glad to finally arrive in Sydney even if it was midnight. I have to commend the Qantas people who managed to keep their cool and their politeness that day and throughout the next days as they tried to sort out the luggage mess which was no fault of theirs.

At Sydney airport we spoke to the Qantas baggage service people before we booked into our Canadian flight two days later and they gave us little hope of it being with us on that plane since they had a room with 900 suitcases which they were still sorting out, but they said they would try to find it and rush it to Air Canada in time for our late morning flight. Lo and behold, there it was on the carousel when we arrived, much to our surprise and delight.

They even gave us $120 towards the cost of the clothing we had to purchase to see us through the previous days and luckily we purchased sweaters since it was so cold when we arrived, although I was wearing sandals which seemed rather daft.

The joys of flying in the modern era! Not only did we have this to deal with but for some reason my hand luggage, a small rollerboard suitcase with basically my computer and a few other items fell foul of security people as they passed it through the x-ray machine at least six times finally pulling the whole thing apart and xraying the contents in half a dozen separate trays even after they inspected everything visually. Funnily enough it had all passed through Perth security two days earlier without a single query but those Sydney people are made of sterner stuff. One by one the items were cleared of potential terrorist threat in the case of my mouse and a rock I bought in New Zealand for my rock collection. But a lipstick and a tiny bottle of hand lotion had to be inspected and then bagged separately (they don't even worry about that any more in New York when I travel there) but they confiscated my $30 special sunscreen and shampoo since they were 110 ml containers, even though half empty, but over the 100 ml size limit. Yes they had travelled from Canada and New Zealand and to and from Perth with no trouble for those security people but three men (yes it took three of them) in Sydney decided that they had to be checked more thoroughly. Even my hat beeped for the first time and had to be x-rayed.

Home, sweet home! I think I shall stay put for a bit and pray for Spring to come along soon.


Janice Thomson said...

We got snow today! Where oh where is spring?
Glad you had such a wonderful trip!

Vic Grace said...

glad you arrived home safely and had a wonderful time. Spring seems a long way off it snowed all day here.

Voyager said...

Welcome home! Spring is late, but there is hope for the coming weekend.I am headed for the Northwest Territories again tomorrow, where it is still really winter. Great food for the blog though.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

Safe home is good. They lost our luggage once flying fron the Mid West to Washington. They delivered it to our door the following day though. I am still on my travels

CherryPie said...

Welcome home :-)

Ian Lidster said...

I'm very happy you're back safe-and-sound and chilly. God, this has been the most wretched spring of my recall. It is getting frustrating and depressing.

Sean Jeating said...

After a splendid day with blue sky, bright sunshine, about 20 C°:
Welcome back, Mylady. :)

Liz said...

Welcome home, jmb! We've missed you.

The airport security sounds very thorough although we're not allowed to have lipsticks in hand luggage when flying out. They x-rayed your hat?!!

jmb said...

Thanks Janice, I hope we will see Spring soon.

Thanks Vic Grace, poor you, even worse than us.

Enjoy the NWT Voyager, blog fodder I am sure.

Thanks Moggs. Enjoy your travels and no lost luggage I hope.

Thanks Cherie.

Ian, let's hope it warms up soon else I'll have to run away again.

Sean, that is not nice to gloat you know.

Thanks Liz. Yes, my hat beeped so they had to x-ray it. The whole exercise was a bit over the top in my opinion.

jams o donnell said...

glad you got back in one piece. I don't fly often but the security controls drive me mad. Mercifully I can go to Paris on Eurostar.

Carver said...

I'm glad you're home safely and hope spring is on its way soon to Vancouver. I'm sorry you had the baggage issues but glad they were helpful and nice about it.

CherryPie said...

Not stretching those are definitely stripes :-)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Glad you're back but what a palaver you have had with the luggage!

ipanema said...

I'm glad to read this kmb! i remember your posts before.

enjoy!!! :)

Ellee Seymour said...

I'm glad you passed the terrrorist check. And welcome home.