Friday, August 29, 2014

The Land Down Under, Part 1: Getting there is half the fun.

Travel entry from a while back: August 2009

I was lucky enough to be asked to accompany a group from work to visit Australia to meet with our partners Down Under.  WOW!  What an opportunity.  Of course I HAD to have Dottie join me and we HAD to stay an extra week or so.  So, we booked our flights to Melbourne and made our in country plans, including in-country flights and hotels.

But, wait…not so fast.  I found that, after sharing with my supervisors this plan to spend extra time "in country," it would NOT be that easy.  I heard disturbing rumblings through the grapevine.  And then I got a call from my boss's boss's boss who said that I would NOT be going.  It had to do with "how it looked."  Unfortunately for me/us the head of our agency had some travel scrutinized.  Was the travel really necessary?  Therefore, someone like me, who was ASKED to go because I could bring some pertinent info to share, would be questioned for staying longer than my work required.  Go figure.

I decided, F that, I'm going anyway, on my dollar. 

Luckily for me (again), management relented and decided my going to Australia was NOT a boondoggle.  Woo Hoo.  I saved a few K that way.

Here we go...

Melbourne: flight from hell.  It took forever.  The LA to Aukland, NZ leg was the longest AND we sat next to a woman who coughed the whole way.  That bit us in the ass later.  After that LONG flight we had a 7 hour layover in Aukland because of plane problems.  I had plenty of time to wander the terminal taking snaps of planes and people from all over the WORLD.
Hey.  Who made that MAP?

 Check out the T-Shirt of the guy in the bar (upper Lefthand corner).
So, we finally get to Melbourne… 

...and the first thing they do is throw my wife in jail.

How can I explain this to my U.S. and Australian government coworkers?

Well, I guess they will understand.

More to follow.

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