Our flight was a painfully early 6:25, and since Qantas does not allow online check-in, you must arrive 45 minutes prior to departure. After rousing at 4:45 am, we caught a highly entertaining cab ride to the airport. Our cabbie, a dry and sarcastic native Australian, shared his thoughts in a number of areas.
Wines: "Everyone here has become a wine connoisseur, they can all taste those 14 bouquets. . . but not a bad drop [of wine] around these parts, I guess"
Custard Tarts: he recounts his convenience store purchase of a custard tart with yogurt-like consistency. "I ask the attendant, 'Do you have a spoon?' He says, 'No, take a fork.' I ask, 'When was the last time you ate a tart?' He says, 'Take a knife.' . . . I suppose he was just tring to be helpful."
New Adelaide Airport: A modern airport is being built with new arrivals and departure areas and actual jetways. "They're building this ramp [to the drop-off area], I don't see why the cars can't just drive in at ground level. They say every modern airport has a ramp, so now we're spending $218 million on a ramp. They also had these glass jetways shipped from Madrid for $1 million each, apparently no one in Australia can figure out how to build a glass-enclosed ramp."
While our cabbie brightened the mood of the early morning, we made our flight to Brisbane in plenty of time. The crew on Qantas are either very well trained, or not very tech savvy. When they seee me using my BlackBerry in flight, they ask me, "How can you tell that it is in flight mode?" Either they really don't know or are just politely getting me to show that the radio transceiver is powered off. I could care less, as long as they don't arbitrarily tell me to turn it off (Northwest, are you listening?)