Time for another Australia story!
After departing the Outback, my friend and I arrived in Melbourne, which was a welcome sight after days of heat, hiking and sand. I remember being surprised at how cosmopolitan and diverse the city turned out to be. I mean, a large population of my people, Greeks and Middle Easterners, were there! All around me I saw well-groomed men with dark hair, dark skin, big brown eyes and so on … Mama likey! Especially after touring a desert with people who smelled faintly of moth balls and formaldehyde. Needless to say, I was ready to wrestle with some Mediterranean beef cakes.
We stayed in Melbourne for two days and nights. On our last night, we left the hotel for the evening, but were smart enough to order a wake-up call and taxi for our very early flight the following morning prior to departing.
I’m not sure what got into us, but I’m pretty sure it was the same thing that got into us every other night of the trip. Air and alcohol, basically. We really tied one off. We did a bar crawl of sorts, and I’m not sure what time I got back to the hotel.
Actually, I’m not even sure HOW I got back to the hotel.
My friend went back to the hotel before I did, while I stayed out to party with her friends. I vaguely recall walking home? And I vaguely recall the sun may have been rising? How I managed to find my way to the hotel is a mystery still to be solved.
So I get back to our room and pass out, I assume. Suddenly, I’m being shaken awake by my friend who is informing me that our taxi was here and we had to go. Like, NOW! So much for the repeated wake-up calls we had both missed.
I was still drunk at this point and blindly got dressed while throwing my stuff in my suitcase. I’m not sure how, only being in a place for two days and nights, I managed to throw my items around the room like a tornado, but somehow I found a way.
We rushed downstairs to our waiting taxi and sped to the airport, figuring out that we would make it with just enough time. Phew! But then, as I was rooting around in my purse I realized I had left my camera in the hotel! It was the only camera we used during the entire trip. I vaguely remembered stumbling into the room in the wee hours of the morning and plugging my camera into the outlet in the corner near THE FLOOR.
My friend called the hotel, advising them of our situation. The staff said they would check the room to see if it was still there. We called back a few minutes later and they confirmed that they had the camera.
Now the problem of how to get this camera.
I was still drunk at this point and the only thing I could focus on was trying not to vomit. I eyed a nearby concrete slab and dreamt of smashing my face against it to end the pain.
My friend suggested asking the hotel staff to send the camera in a cab to the airport to be retrieved. Um, OK…why not? The minutes ticked away, nearing closer and closer to our flight departure time. We stood outside the airport pacing and running to every cab that drove up.
Finally the empty cab pulled up and the driver got out and was holding my camera like it’s the Holy Grail. He also managed to retrieve the charger and outlet adapters.
Even though that lovely cab ride cost $40, I had my camera in hand. Yahoo!
Now to make our flight. We raced in and fortunately were let to the front of the line, fast-tracked through security and made our flight with only seconds to spare.
As we sat in our seats, I breathed a long sigh of relief. My friend wrinkled her nose at the smell of the rum permeating my breath. I started slowly but surely coming to. As I did, I suddenly turned to her and stated matter-of-factly, “I don’t think I’m wearing underwear.”
I pondered this briefly as I wiggled in my seat, enjoying the cool air flowing up my short skirt to my pantyless motherland and then confirmed, “Yeah. I’m not wearing underwear.”
We dissolved into a fit of giggles and recognized all was right in the world.
Moral of the Story:
When you have an early-morning flight but decide to drink a barrel of rum, pack up your crap the night before. Even if your camera needs to be charged, it can wait. Don’t hide it in the corner where it will be forgotten.
The funniest part of it all is that I’m not a great photographer. I blame my crappy camera. But really I think it’s my inability to read directions (I have no idea what kind of cool functions I likely have on my camera) and my impatience to move on to the next thing.
So essentially the cab ride cost what my camera is roughly worth. And we were able to spare mostly crappy pictures with a few gems (likely taken by my friend).
I’m a moron.