Sunday, 14 January 2007

Lessons from an Interstate Traveller

They said it shouldn't be done, and they were right. Now it behoves me, as one who has gained wisdom from bitter experience, to pass on my learnings to the Young and Callow:

1. Do NOT purchase seats aboard aircraft departing at 6 a.m. in order to save $10. Many of you will think of 6 a.m. as little more than an hour earlier than 7 a.m., which in turn is an hour earlier than 8 a.m., merely an hour or two before we god-fearing gentlefolk traditionally rise for our morning ablutions. You may think of 6 a.m. as, if not a congenial time for interstate travel, certainly not a grossly inconvenient one. But 6 a.m. ain't the half of it. There's also the "please arrive at the airport an hour before departure" factor, so that even those of us who read "an hour" in the liberal sense of "forty minutes" have to be at the airport by 5:20 a.m. And then, unless you live in a hangar at Mascot, there's the old "travelling from home to airport takes time" thing, in my case, a mere 35 minutes by state-sponsored camel. Now we're talking 4:45 a.m. Then there's the nutty problem of prising open the eyelids sufficiently to hail the camel down. Even those with agile eyelids will need a good 15 minutes for this, so 4:30 a.m. All of this is to say nothing of waking up in a blind panic at 3:15, thinking that you've slept through your alarm. I realise this entire paragraph replicates the content of my previous post, but it's a lesson that demands reiteration. Do NOT purchase seats aboard aircraft departing at 6 a.m. in order to save $10. No. Do not.

2. Do NOT purchase seats aboard aircraft landing 60 km away from your destination to save $10. The Jetstar website implies that Melbourne has two airports, Tullamarine and Avalon. Melbourne does not have two airports. Melbourne has one airport. This is Tullamarine. Avalon is not in, or close to, Melbourne. While you may enjoy the bucolic charms of your drive from Avalon to Melbourne, when it comes to the reverse, you will grossly underestimate how long it takes to get back to the airport, and end up hurtling down the M1 in your second blind panic of the day, nearly missing your plane. (This problem will be exacerbated if you hired a car for the day, so had to navigate your own way back to Avalon, and accidentally found yourself on a freeway headed to Doncaster with no discernible exit points.) On the other hand, there are a lot of nice bunnies hopping round at Avalon. Bunny-fanciers may like to take a picnic basket and sketchbook to Avalon airport; non-bunny-fanciers should STAY AWAY.

3. Having ignored the above, do NOT decide to spend the money that you have saved on a hire-car. Admittedly, even in our national public-transport-infrastructure capital, it takes a car to travel at sufficient speed between inspectable rental properties (this, because the property management sorority has teamed up and decided to schedule an entire city's worth of property inspections between 10 and 10:30 a.m). But unless you really do need magic instantaneous transport, the hire-car is nothing but trouble. It will try to take you to Doncaster without so much as a by-your-leave. You will have to park it. You may even have to reverse park it, in traffic, while handsome young Melbourneans stand on the footpath and giggle through their whiskers. No, do NOT hire a car.

Here ends the lesson.

In other news: I will be submitting an application for a wee flat in Thornbury. This flat is in a charmingly boxlike building, constructed circa 1967. On a happier note, it has NEON CARPET, a bath and a balcony and a gas stovestop, is proximate to tramstops and vegetable vendors and apparently free from open sewers and miscellaneous vermin. Ray White needs me to divulge my entire life history before he will consider entrusting me with his precious neon carpet (very wise too), so I will spend the morning assembling The Life and Opinions of Lexicon Harlot, Gentleman for his literary pleasure.

13 comments:

St John Nottlesby said...

The perfidious Raymond C.V. White, Esq. is to be treated with the Utmost Caution, bordering on Blatant Servility! I, and many of my associates, have had dealings with him and his agents on occasion and have found him to be Most Vexatious and Whimsical in the Extreme! Tread lightly, my dear Doctor, that you may one day soon be treading the Neon Carpets of your New Abode.

Did you, perforce, have the time to hail Herr Tymnus on his Home Turf?

alexis said...

A warning I do heed. My cover letter to Mr White is a masterwork of grovel and self-promotion (if I do say so myself), grovel and self-promotion out of all proportion to the generally recognised desirability of neon carpet. As for Herr T, there were hailings indeed, which compensated amply for my flummoxed attempts to make friends with the determined young people on the real estate circuit.

TimT said...

I am so glad you found your way back onto the internet after the Pimms we quaffed; I had not realised it was so late until I checked the time on my phone.

alexis said...

It was a close thing, what with the seductive wiles of the Doncaster freeway, and yes, time flies when you're sipping Pimms. Luckily I had my trusty chronometer upon my wrist.

TimT said...

It seems like only yesterday when the youngsters were slipping sundials on their wrists. The more extravagant of them took to wearing water-clocks on their heads, but that craze thankfully never caught on.

St John Nottlesby said...

Although I knew a young lady once who kept an Hourglass discreetly hidden ... well, discreetly hidden. I shan't venture any more upon the topic.

Doctor, it has been my experience that the Determined Young Things on the Real Estate Circuit would merrily kick their own aged mothers out of the way if they thought the price and location were right. Best not to attempt to befriend them. In fact, don't even make eye contact!

alexis said...

Yes, I had my suspicions when they started gnashing their teeth. If there'd been any befriending, I would, of course, have invited them to my house warming and inaugural Pimms event. As it is, I will have to advertise for guests.

lucy tartan said...

Thornbury's nice. I believe they do indeed sell vegetables there.

alexis said...

And they do a very good line in pet supplies, I couldn't help noticing. So I'll be able to send back care packages to my quadruped friends in Sydney.

St John Nottlesby said...

Advertise? for guests? Ye gods! I nearly choked on my midday (restorative-only, Doctor's orders, y'see) brandy! Surely thy straits aren't that dire, Doctor? Will there not be betweeded chaps from your new Department, assorted coves, men-about-town, ladies of Independent Means, Suffragettes &c to properly trample your soon-to-be new neon carpets?

alexis said...

Nottlesby, prize compositor that you are, I believe you've just penned my advertisement for me:

"WANTED: suffragettes and betweeded chaps for Pimms and party games at Chez Harlot, Saturday Next."

Who could resist?

St John Nottlesby said...

To answer you (most likely rehetorical) question: Nobody with any sense, my dear Doctor! Devil take the blackguard who dares decline such an invitation!

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