Wedged into my Seat

So, I really am wedged into my seat. Between the fuselage and the Rayman. He suffers in the center seat. On the aisle is a woman from Auckland who’s already given us ideas of what to do on the North Island. And I am looking at my individual screen that tells me things like the speed of our aircraft, estimated arrival time (12:47 p.m.). Nevermind that we left at 6:55 a.m. and it’s a 3 hour flight. We’re losing some hours here. And it shows a picture of our airplane heading south with a tailwind. Perhaps too much info?

Our last night in Sydney we went to the Opera House and listened to Mike Daisy. He was appearing there as part of a series of programs entitled ‘Festival of Dangerous Ideas’. I think the title of the festival illustrates quite nicely the Aussie’s spirit and humor. So, good ole Mike spoke to us for almost 2 hours straight. The Agony and the Esctasy of Steve Jobs was the title of his presentation.No powerpoint presentation here. In fact, he did a great segment on powerpoint presentations and how much he hates them. He was completely irreverent and reminded me as a cross between Hunter S. Thompson and Lewis Black with a bit of geek mixed in.

OMG. We’re flying toward the international dateline which I knew we were…but I didn’t realize the IDL was just east of NZ. Who knew?

But I digress. His talk was about Apple, Steve Jobs and the terrible working conditions in China. Bottom line, Apple products are made in a plant in Shenzhen that houses 450,000 workers. That in it’s self is fairly mind blowing. And this place has cafeterias that hold 25,000 workers at a time and there are 10 cafeterias that size in this complex. My beloved Apple is using slave labor to assemble it’s products. OMG. Thing is Mike is trying to expose all this through his speaking engagements and writings. And he was very funny. I mean really, really funny. While I am aghast at this, it makes me shudder to think that all U.S. corporations are doing this too. And it is not pretty.

But since I am writing this epistle on my MacBook…I’m going to change the subject because I am in charge of this blog!!

We met a very friendly N.Z. couple at the Opera House and they told us that our next trip to AU should be takens up north near Darwin etc. As natives they hadn’t been and people kept telling them about it so they took the leap…and now they are converts. Beyond beautiful I undertand.

The Opera House has a theater in the belly of the beast and that’s where we were seated. A small but very comfortable room that had plush red chairs and a heck of a lot more leg room that I have right now. My MacBook is pressing up against my “uhm”, midriff. And I’m going to have to run to the loo any minute. Anyway, the Opera House was wonderful. A great deal going on in many different theaters so the restaurants on the lower level were buzzing and the bar scene was VERY lively.

Which reminds me. Air NewZealand has the funniest safety announcement tape I’ve ever seen. It makes Southwest look tame. It was laugh out loud (LOL) funny. It featured a little old lady (yes, much older than me) trying to pry a framed picture of an almost nude male athletic into the overhead bin. And at the end, she is shown running down the aisle without clothes on (blurred out, of course). NZ is going to be fun if this is any indication.

Yesterday we were busy cleaning the house, re-filling the tank for the barbie, doing laundry and then getting ourselves to downtown Sydney to spend the night as our flight required us to get up at 4:20 a.m. so we could save money riding the public transit to the airport. Of course, never mind the fact that we had to pay for the hotel…but it was convenient for the Opera House too. So that’s what we did. The only ‘tourist’ problem we had was that the Museum CityRail entrance/exit had no lifts or escalators so we had to schlepp our bags up two stories of stairs. Does Advil have any many to you? We both took some after dinner. The luggage thing wasn’t easy especially since it was up stairs. I’m pretty sure that is the only station without a lift and with escalators. Damn we’re good. The good news was this morning it was so darn early that “dropping” them down the stairs was much easier and we were, I’m pretty sure, the only people in the station at 5:00 a.m.

What were we thinking? Well, it was the cheapest flight and we were lucky because as we checked in the lady behind the desk informed us that the Customs agents were going on strike from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. and that we shouldn’t dilly dally or we would miss our flight. They were expecting quite a back-up today as a result. So we scurried to the Customs area and Ray was lucky enough to be randomly chosen to be searched for dangerous weapons while I watched the man prod and probe him. A check was done for gun residue…it was quite thorough. And all the time I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m the secret weapon!’. OH, I kid immigration!

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