There’s a man on the plane with a bad attitude. The lady air hostess asked him nicely to switch off his phone for take-off and he said no, it was unnecessary. She was, like, dude, it’s really fucking necessary, now switch off your phone. They may not have been her actual words. He’s already rung the bell twice, accidentally, with his elbow. His face is the colour of melting snow.
Small children and babies generally leave me quite unmoved, but there’s one on this flight that’s melted my hardened heart. It’s a little round baby person, and it’s asleep in its mum’s arms, as she stands swaying by the toilet on the plane. You know? The bouncy bouncy please stay asleep sway? It was obviously angry when it went to sleep, ‘cos its little round head is still screwed up into that overtired grumble. I love it, and I want to eat it, whole. (I miss my children already.)
I paid for a large coffee at the airport and received a small one in return. I didn’t say anything, just as Paul didn’t say anything at the shops yesterday, when the friendly sales fellow asked if he wanted to buy the jacket he’d just tried on (Paul, not the friendly sales fellow). Paul said it wasn’t his size, even though it actually was (just not his pricetag), and the friendly sales fellow offered to ring around the other stores and Paul said okay, that would be really helpful. And the good news is that they have Paul’s size in Joondalup, and we can get it from there. Paul says it’s okay that he wasted the sales fellow’s time, cos the shop was really, really quiet and it gave the friendly sales fellow something to do for five minutes.
Once, at the shops, Paul took a trolley off a man whom he thought was a trolley-collecting man. Paul said a cheery THANKS MATE, and took the trolley clean off him. The man was not a trolley-collecting man, just a man doing his shopping.
I don’t remember ever teaching Frankie or Ben to read. They just READ. Alice, on the other hand – let’s just say that it’s a good job she’s cute. Last night, she was sounding the letters out in her MAX MONKEY school reading book. S-I-T-T-I-N-G. “Climbing?” Try again. S-I-T-T-I-N-G. “Climbing.” Alright, climbing. Max is climbing.
The food on this Qantas flight from Perth to Sydney is OUT OF THIS WORLD. I can’t tell you. There were three options for lunch. Three! I couldn’t decide between the chicken stir-fry with ginger, or the quinoa salad with warm smoked salmon (the pasta with bacon and onion didn’t really ring my bell) but the decision was taken out of my hands by the fact that the man in front of me took the last chicken stir-fry with ginger. Joke’s on HIM, though, ‘cos the quinoa salad was actually the best thing I’ve ever eaten, ever. Top three, anyway. Choice of drinks, alcoholic and otherwise, too. Living the DREAM.
When we arrived at Sydney Airport there was a big sign saying TASMANIA! GO BEHIND THE SCENES! and my first thought was FUCK, we’ve caught the wrong fucking plane. They should consider idiots before planning their advertising campaigns.
There is a handwritten sign on the till at the hotel restaurant saying, “No room charges for 1606. CASH ONLY.” WHAT DID ROOM 1606 DO THAT WAS SO VERY, VERY BAD? I need to know.
I’ve had four coffees today. I was up at 5.30am Sydney time, which was 3.30 Perth time, which was fucking early, whichever clock you’re on. I chose my last coffee based purely on the font of the café. Good font.
The Uber driver from Sydney airport to our AirBnB in Redfern was a bad human. The relationship was doomed from the moment he told me I was waiting for him in the wrong place, despite the fact that I was waiting for him in the RIGHT place. Then he asked what I knew about Catholic schools. Despite being Muslim, he wanted to send his son to a Catholic school, but was concerned about their views on gay marriage. “Oh right,” I said, “because you want your son to know that we’re all equal, yeah?” “No,” he answered. “I do not want this. Gays are bad, and gay marriage is wrong, and I don’t want my son to ever think think being gay is normal.” He then went on to say – after learning that I’d travelled from WA – that he would kill himself if he had to live in Perth. Perth or Canberra; he’d up and kill himself. I did not rate Ahmid five stars.
I am in Sydney for a work event. It was quite extraordinary. Called Change the World, the event teaches charities how to tell their story. That’s my job – teaching charities how to tell their story. Fucking OATH. ANYWAY, at the event, three charities had the chance to win a $5,000 website. To win, they had to deliver a 30-second pitch. Charity number one pitched; it was pretty good. Charity number two pitched; also excellent. Then came charity number three, represented by a lady called Eryn. And Eryn – with her voice shaking – goes, “I don’t want to win this prize for my own charity. I want to win the prize for the gentleman sitting next to me, who told me his story at lunchtime.” She went on to explain that the gentleman – Ralph Kelly – had founded a crime-prevention charity after his son Tom was hit and killed in King’s Cross. She explained that the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation had prevented thousands street crimes in the past few years. Well, the crowd went fucking wild. Eryn won – OBVIOUSLY ERYN WON – and, as she handed over the prize to Ralph, everyone lost their collective shit. Then Ralph told his story – including the part where his younger son committed suicide after his brother died – and – god – 350 people came together in a moment of collective grief, respect and admiration. It was one of the best moments of my entire life, and almost made up for getting up at 3.30am Perth time.