Today's Wednesday 13th of August 2008. My body says it's the 11th, after a very, very, very long Sunday the 10th. The big day started at around 9 a.m. I got up, but found that I had strangely little to do. I was fully prepared, and only needed to pack the last few clothing items and my laptop. I spent the day watching the Olympics and running around the house to see if I forgot anything. At 4 p.m. it was time to go. I said a tearful (on my part) goodbye to the dog and off we went. We arrived in Frankfurt roughly 4 hours before departure, I checked in, and then we went for a final European dinner. I started to get fidgety and couldn't get rid of all that nervous energy, so at long last we decided that it was best for me to head for the gate. Another (more than) tearful goodbye. Tearful? More like panicky. I didn't want to go. I was scared. I didn't want to be alone. But once I lost sight of my parents, I thought: Hey, I can do this. And so I went.
The flight from Frankfurt to Singapore was uneventful, if only a bit late. After a movie (the on-demand system had broken down, so one could only watch the movies on scheduled times) and dinner (I barely touched it, as I still had my previous dinner filling up my intestinal tract, only eating enough to make sure I wouldn't go hungry before the next meal), I decided to catch some shut-eye. Or tried to. I never was good at sleeping in an airplane, and I never will be. I think that my record this day was about 10 minutes straight. After 12 hours we arrived in Singapore. Even though it was 6 p.m. local time, we had breakfast on board before touchdown. An hour and a half later (and a couple of new nose-wheel tires, apparently planes can get flat tires too), we were in the air again, heading for Sydney. It was once again dark outside and the next meal was once again dinner. Imagine that, having dinner only 4 hours after having breakfast. The plane went dark, stating that it was night, and you're supposed to sleep. I tried again, telling my body it was perfectly natural to have another night set in merely hours after 'waking up' from the previous 'night'. I failed utterly again; I'll never learn. We had another breakfast before landing in Sydney, 5.15 a.m. local time. After a quick and smooth change-over, I soon found myself in the air for a final time this 'day'. Another breakfast. If you kept count, you'll notice that in the past 24 hours, I had 3 dinners and 3 breakfasts. No lunch, no 'daytime'. And despite the many nights, my body wasn't fooled. If you don't sleep, there will be no next day.
So there I was, in Melbourne, Australia, feeling two days behind and being up for 40 straight hours. Jetlag is nothing compared to this. My body was so utterly confused it had no idea what was up or down (pun intended). And my day was far from over. I dropped off my bags at my new apartment, then went to arrange paperwork and get my keys. I found out I had to take a sidetrip to the post office and pay over A$ 1000,- for bond, in cash. Ouch. There went all my savings (just kidding). By the time I got back at my apartment, I was dead on my feet and wanted nothing more than drop down on my bed and sleep for 3 days. Alas, I still had to buy blankets and a pillow, so sleep wasn't in it for a few more hours. I went to a nearby shopping centre (easy walking distance!!!), bought the stuff I needed for sleep and deciding to come back later for the stuff I needed to be able to eat. I made my bed, and slept for 3 hours, after being awake for nearly 48 hours. I woke up refreshed and ready for more. More meaning food. I needed, yes, I'll say it, another dinner. Does lunch even exist in this strange country? I went back to the shopping centre, to the Safeway (I'm going to be spoiled, badly). At 9.30 p.m., after a plateful of microwave ravioli bolognese and a quick shower, I was ready to finally end this long, long day.
You know the funny thing is, when I first got out yesterday and walked about, that, although knowing that it was winter here, I felt really strange as a chilly wind blowed by me. But now I'm used to it. As long as the sun is shining, it's actually pretty nice weather.
Today I finally got internet going, as my computer freezed each time I tried to make a wired connection. So I bought a wireless router, and voila, here I am.
My first pictures in Australia. My room still isn't exactly tidy, but at least my suitcase is no longer lying in the middle of the room.
Well, that's it for now!
Next entries: 18 August 2008 - Exploring the city
25 August 2008 - Bugs, Killer Birds and the Olympics
1 September 2008 - Koalas, Kangaroos and Other Australian "Idols"
8 September 2008 - Wildlife: Out in the Wild
15 September 2008 - Typical Melbourne Weather
22 September 2008 - Dutch Weekend
29 September 2008 - AFL Grand Final Weekend
6 October 2008 - Blue Skies and Blue Screens
13 October 2008 - Hanging Out with Friends and Hanging Rock
20 October 2008 - Apples, Tours and Myer's
27 October 2008 - The Monster of Loch Albert
3 November 2008 - Welcome to the World of Mac
10 November 2008 - Multicultural
17 November 2008 - The Car, Santa and Italian Festa
24 November 2008 - Global Cooling
1 December 2008 - The Dutch Shop, Take Two
8 December 2008 - Parties, Night Life and Back Pick-Up Lines
22 December 2008 - The Grampians
29 December 2008 - Christmas, OZ style
6 January 2009 - Happy New Year!
12 January 2009 - Empty
20 January 2009 - Boiling Hot
9 February 2009 - Worst Day in History
1 April 2009 - No April Fools - An Update