Off for the weekend

I trudged into work in the city with a big bag of stuff for my Sydney weekend, hanging over my shoulder. I realised after I left the house, that in a shirt and tie, and carrying a sportsy-type back of stuff, that I looked like one of those young door-to-door blokes who sells shirts and stuff, except that I probably have too much grey hair. (30 and I’m getting grey hair… oh well, better than losing it.)

Last time I went to Sydney (with Iris in November) we tried to get to the airport in rush hour and found it almost impossible to get a cab. So this time I had worked out a way to get there by conventional public transport, which can be done if you plan ahead carefully, and was probably faster than waiting for a taxi or traipsing over to Spencer Street to catch the airport bus. At $4.40, it was definitely cheaper.

I strolled into the Ansett terminal and tried out the nifty E-check-in thing. You just pop in a credit card into this machine so they can identify you, and it pops up with something like "Hello Mr Daniel F Bowen, howareya matey!" and your flight details. If you don’t like the seat you’ve been given, you can look at a seat map and choose a different one. Then it prints your boarding pass and you’re set!

Great stuff. The only catch being that you then need to queue up anyway to check-in any baggage you have. That was pretty painless though – it was a separate queue, which moved much faster than the normal check-in queue.

The flight was great – on time, and with an edible meal. There was even a spare seat next to me, which made eating easier. It didn’t take too long to find my bag on the carousel, and I moseyed on out of the terminal in Sydney to ring for my lift.

My lift and host for the weekend, the charming and superbly named Danielle, was running a bit late, which is fair enough when you’ve just heard your dog has drowned. But she got there soon afterwards and we had an interesting time trying to navigate our way back through the Sydney night to her place. On the way, as only parents can do, we would on occasion burst into the Bob The Builder catchcry of “Can we fix it?" "Yes we can!" "Uhh… I think so…". It’s a worry, really it is.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.