Sunday, August 2, 2009

Adelaide Day 1

For the next week I will post a blog each day about each individual day of my Adelaide and Melbourne trip. Pictures will be included in the final blog.

I wrote the following paragraphs while still in the Sydney airport:

8:15am: Wednesday

I have about an hour to wait here for my flight to Adelaide. I have a TV in front of me that has the Today Morning Show playing. It’s just like Good Morning America. All three main stations here have a similar program.

My roommate, Jeff, dropped me off about 45 minutes ago. I had forgotten how minimal security seems to me here in Australia. I mean domestic, not international. Because I am not checking any bags in, I could just check in electronically at one of the kiosks and then go through security.

In the last couple of years, I have become a pro at going through US security. Before I get to the front of the line, I’ll have my shoes, belt and coat off. I’ll have my laptop out, all change removed from my pockets. But today it kind of made me chuckle. I didn’t have to take my shoes off, nobody asked me to remove my coat, but I did anyway. My belt buckle which would surely cause the metal detector to go off stateside did nothing as I passed through. And nobody checked my ID or boarding pass. So here I am at gate 35, and I have spoken to absolutely no one from Virgin Blue Airlines today.

It just puts things in perspective really. Australia, at this time, doesn’t need the same security measures we need in the United States. It is very comforting when I don’t have to remove my shoes and show my identification three or four times. It is a luxury I will appreciate in the next couple weeks as I travel around.


My flight ended up leaving Sydney one hour late, but that didn’t stop me from having a great first day in Adelaide. It worked out perfectly that my two Carnival Cruise friends were near the airport when I landed so they picked me up. The last time I saw Sean or Shannon was in 2007, so not only was I thrilled just to be meeting two people I hadn’t seen in a couple years, I was very happy to see their faces again.

We headed up to a national park outside of Adelaide to see some Aussie wildlife. I’m not the biggest zoo person in the world to be honest. I’ve been to many zoos around the world, however, so I find it interesting that I keep ending up there. The good part about zoos is the walking. But because I’m on “vacation” I had a large schnitzel burger, fries, a Cooper’s Ale beer, and before we left an ice cream cone. Sean and Shannon paid $30 to hold the koala, but I just touched it, and that was free.

After the koala touching, they dropped me off at my Youth Hostel and went to get ready for the night. My hostel is great, right in the heart of Adelaide. I am rooming with two German guys. They seem nice, but I haven’t really taken any time to get to know them. I had a power nap when I arrived and then got ready to hit the town with Sean and Shannon.

One odd thing about South Australia is the time zone difference. We’re 30 minutes behind Sydney. I find it strange that they decided a half hour would be the difference, not a whole hour. So I had another 30 minutes added on to my power nap.

Ironically, Shannon took us out to Hog’s Breath Café, the restaurant that I was fired from a couple months back. I was excited really because the food and drinks are great and I was treating myself to selections on the menu I always wanted to try. We had three or four of those “girly” drinks as I call them. You know, a strawberry daiquiri, a fruit tingle, a sun splash, I can’t remember all the names of them. I had the lemon myrtle salmon for my main course and we split a Mississippi Mud Cake for dessert. The service at this Hog’s Breath Café was dismal. I felt pretty good about my skills as a waiter after seeing these young people work. But we didn’t let it get in the way of our good time. Good thing they don’t tip in Australia, because we wouldn’t have anyway.

After that, we went to a dance club called HQ. There was an 80’s themed night going on. It was fairly packed for a Wednesday night. It was a great looking club. It had numerous bars on different levels of one huge room. We found a great spot up on a balcony next to one of the bars and had a view of the entire dance floor and DJ. The music was great. They played a lot of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

Two peculiar things about this club was the security. It is normal now in Australian cities to go through metal detectors due to the rise in stabbings. I didn’t mind going through it. The safer I am the better, but I was patted down, had to empty my pockets.

And also there were an abnormal amount of signs stating that Flash Dance does not serve Red Bull but serves an alternative product called Roaring Lion. I mean there were stickers and signs posted everywhere. I imagine the bar has a contract with Roaring Lion, which I’ve never heard of. But the signs made it sound like Red Bull was dangerous. Maybe Roaring Lion was a safer alternative to the controversial energy drink.

We stayed there late into the night and probably had one or two too many Roaring Lions among other drinks. I made it home by 3am and had my alarm set for 7:45am because my tour the next day was picking me up at 8:30.

Tomorrow: Adelaide Day 2

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