Somewhere along the way, after countless flights across oceans and continents, I lost the ability to stay awake with moderate comfort on a flight of any length. Just this summer, a simple trip from New York's JFK airport back to California, with just one quick stop in Dallas, and I was laid out with fatigue for a couple of days. When I was younger, one of my favorite things to do was stay up all alone on a redeye flight, my light the only one on in the cabin, gettin' my read on. On my latest flight, fourteen hours across the international dateline and the equator (costing me Christmas day and transporting me to summer in December - time travel no matter what anyone says), I struck the perfect balance, finally. I read a book, watched three movies, and slept almost a full night's sleep! Bow at my superiority, fellow travelers (communists too, I guess).
More on the entertainment stuff later, this blog is more about how my trip started. We got into Brisbane at about 8am, and by the time I'd settled in and showered, it was midday and I was ready to go walk about the city. Good thing I picked Boxing Day, Australia's own Black Friday, to do this. Walking around downtown Brisbane, full of sale-hungry shoppers, was just what I needed. I wandered about the city - far more bustling and built up than I remember from when I last stayed here almost eight years ago - until my legs were exhausted and I was ready to head back to the apartment. I cut across a swathe of the city's botanical gardens, walking through tropical florae and gawking at the numerous ibis who seemed not to care whether I was there or not.
The park spat me out back in the center of the packed pedestrian shopping mall, and the smell changed from flamingo-tropical to kebabs and noodle bars. I bought a boba tea (yum), and walked home through the warm summer rain. What better way to wrap up the perfect start to an Australian holiday? Salt and vinegar crisps and a stubby of VB. Mmm!