Europe Blog #1: Leaving The Nest

Foreboding Preface:
Many people asking me whether there will be a blog this time round, have been met with the naive reply “oh, maybe, but we are so professional now that nothing will go wrong and we won’t do enough dumb stuff to provide interest to the story”. Smell the irony, people, smell the stench of tragic* irony…

* Ok, not tragic as in Hamlet tragic, but in a slightly more comic sense.

Actual Blog Starting Now:
Our story begins deep in sleepy green Melburbia, where our adventurers are busily moving out of their cosy bedrooms, clipping the latches on their super professional instrument cases and packing just enough clothes to last three months on the road – although, by the look of Eileen’s suitcases (note the plural) it would seem she mistook three months for three years! But let’s be fair, we all know that being the star of the show doesn’t come without the bourdon of responsibility (“it ain’t easy looking this good, people”).

Confession: After comparing Eileen’s decadent travel wardrobe and my Spartan collection of survival basics, a wave of envy compelled me to rush back into the shed to grab a stack of extra shirts to suit every possible combination of mood, season and whim.

After a scrumptious farewell dinner with the family and a few teary goodbyes we were whisked off to the airport in a little convoy. Check in was a breeze as we’ve finally accrued enough frequent flier points to be granted sufficient baggage allowance to not have to do any lying, dodging or sticky taping items together anymore. It feels good. The customs line was a point for final farewell waves to our airport runners and dear friends Lenny, Sophia and Rob.

20140615-154626-56786731.jpgRob ‘s eyes are known to bulge out during moments of extreme grief.

The emotional blow of all the farewells was softened by the fact that the very next thing we knew we were being siphoned off to the express customs lane – we didn’t even know there was such thing! Of course we didn’t let that show and we swaggered up the front of the queue all like “Step aside, plebs, rock stars comin’ through”. We then made a bee line for the super exclusive frequent fliers lounge which our many domestic flights over the past year had allowed us access to and which we’d been dreaming of the spoils of for some time now. Rocking up in among the business suits in our scruffy muso getup, we perused the plush surroundings with relish but as our gaze wandered to the bar (it’s a muso instinct, people) we were confused when we saw that there was no one working behind the bar to serve up that incredible array of wines and spirits. Slowly it dawned on us and our eyes widened when we realised that what we were looking at was a self service spirits bar! We didn’t have much time until boarding but we made the most of our opportunity, betraying the fact that we are still paupers at heart and, I hate to say it, in reality.

20140615-153445-56085855.jpgDon’t look so guilty, girls!!

After a long and relatively uneventful* flight that thankfully made it across the Indian Ocean without disappearing into an abyss, we arrived in Abu Dhabi where we strolled right up to the Etihad premium lounge but were refused entry despite our best haggling efforts. While Camilla was chatting up the assistant I was on my phone furiously trying to Google Translate “we are famous rock stars” into Arabic but without paying $500 for roaming data (literally, that is what TPG charge), I was unable to access the translation.

It was the same when we got to Dusseldorf, do our “premium lounge” ended up looking more like this:

20140615-162219-58939019.jpgIt’s painful to admit, but this is a much more familiar scene to us than any fancy lounge.

*actually the flight had one notable event when we spied out the window an unmistakable dinosaur cloud. I’m not sure exactly what God was trying to tell us with this, but I took it as a sign…

20140615-154139-56499913.jpgThe dinosaur cloud is best viewed after major sleep deprivation.


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