FYI, I’m making this post at the
threatrequest of May. I think its mainly because she enjoyed the story too much, not sure if others would too.
This past week, I had to travel to Sydney for a work related conference. I’ll stop with any boring work reference now and head straight into the true story. The trip was meant to be quick travel as I was flying out on Tuesday evening and returning Wednesday evening after the conference. I arrived on time for my departing Sydney flight so that I could take the very last seat on the plane. I assumed my flight position which means I connected my noise cancellation headphones and started the evening’s movie, The Dark Knight Rises, on my tablet. We took off and everything was great.
Upon our decent, I started to think that it was interesting that I was able to finish so much of my movie before we landed. Maybe the flight was longer than I actually thought it was. Being the last one off the plane, I was able to give the typical head nod to the flight attendants as I de-boarded. One of the flight attendants even made an effort to say “Sorry for the evening and I hope your night gets better.” I thought initially that this was weird, but continued to exit the plane. Upon entering the terminal, I saw a very large line of people at the airline’s customer service desk. I thought “Well that’s weird, I guess we were late and many people had missed their connection in Melbourne.” But thing something really hit me. “Wait a minute, this isn’t the Melbourne airport.” I was back in the Sydney airport. Apparently, we had flown to Melbourne, circled a few times, and then returned to Sydney due to the heavy fog in the Melbourne area.
You may now laugh at my stupidity for not
realizingrealising that this took place on my flight. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
When I was finally mentally capable of understanding what took place, I joined the other passengers in the line and waited to determine my fate for the evening. Being the last passenger on the plane, this took awhile for me. Finally, I reached the desk and discovered I was booked on a flight the following morning at 6:30AM. I’d be put up in a hotel for the evening and could return home the following morning. The shuttle service for this particular hotel had stopped running for the night (11:00PM+) so I would need to take a taxi which was not reimbursed. Joy!
I connected with some random strangers from the flight and we shared the cab ride. This is where the story starts to go down hill as the cab driver had never heard of the hotel and was dependent on us to look it up from our phones. When we actually pulled up to the hotel, I traded glances with the other passenger in the backseat. From the exterior, this was probably going to be the worst hotel I’ve ever stayed in. Inside, the remaining passengers were waiting to receive their hotel keys and end their terrible evening.
I’m not going to lie. About 4-5 different passengers returned to the front desk 5-6 times after being given their key because either A) The key would not work on the room or B) There was already someone staying in the room. My key at least worked the first time, but that might have been my punishment upon looking inside. Keep in mind that I’m not a hotel snob like some people we know. I have very low standards and can usually get by no matter what.
This. Was. Different.
This was a hotel that would have been perfect for any cliched horror movie scene. Maybe I should have taken pictures but I’m certain that upon viewing the photos, we all would have found evidence of ghosts in the background or something like that. I setup my suitcase near the door as I was unable to lock the door. Hopefully my would-be intruder would hit this and wake me or I’d go quietly into the night. I refused to sleep under the covers for a plethora of health code violations. Instead, I slept on top of the covers and pulled the cover from the extra bed onto me. Only 4 hours until I could leave for the airport.
In the morning, I took the earliest shuttle possible back to the airport because anything was better than this hotel. While waiting for it to depart, one of the passengers commented “This neighborhood is very interesting. There are houses all around here.” Another passenger quickly responded, “those aren’t houses, they are brothels.” We all laughed and then continued to laugh when I quipped “I bet they have better rooms.”
I did finally make it back to Melbourne Thursday morning but only after being delayed….again….by fog. Funny that after living in SF for many years, I had to travel to another country to finally have fog cause me delays. Hopefully the next trip to Sydney will not result in the same horrific, wild ride. Below you will find two pictures showing how the fog scene looked in Melbourne on the day I was meant to return.
Maybe even the weather takes this whole Melbourne vs Sydney rivalry serious.
4 thoughts on “Introduction to Sydney”
I’m a hotel snob too, May! I’m sorry that you had to endure that, Ben!
Yeah, I don’t know what I would have done. I don’t think I could have stayed – I definitely would not have been able to sleep!
I guess it can’t all be Ritz-Carltons and Four Seasons…
Hotel snobbiness is a “park” thing. There’s no fighting it.