Yesterday we finally arrived in Sydney. Our flight from Hong Kong to Sydney was fast and unremarkable – except for the fact that Business Class really is nicer, but everybody already knew that. Sleeping in Economy is really hard. None of us managed, not even the kids, so we all watched lots of films (the flight took 10 hour).
By the time we arrived the kids were really tired. They fell asleep in the line for immigration and we had to line up for half an hour with sleeping kids in our arms. Fortunately Matthijs is really sturdy and he stayed awake all the time. The Australian immigration was nice, helpful and efficient, which helped a great deal. They are paranoid about food being imported, so we had to clear everything except our wrapped muesli bars out. One of their food-sniffing dogs was still very interested in our bags, so we had to open them and show her that there really only were crumbs left.
It may not come as a surprise that our bags hadn’t arrived. Explaining to the people at lost luggage where the bags might be was interesting, but lengthy. “Oh, so you went from London to Singapore. But why is there a boarding card for Los Angeles here? And you arrived on the Hong Kong plane?”.
They hope they will find the luggage and get it to us in the next two days, but that is their standard reply of course. I just hope they WILL find it, since the journey has been slightly jinxed so far.
The kids were completely asleep by that time, and we were pretty tired too, so we put the Daniel and Falco on a luggage trolley. We had to fold in their arms and legs, but they were really spark out so they slept through all that. Customs was easy with so little luggage and everybody looked sympathetically at our load and helped us where they could.
Our aunt was not at the gate, which was no surprise because we were late (and doomed) and didn’t come from the flight she expected – her last info was that we would arrive via LA. I went to the other entrance, but Sydney airport is very busy and it was crowded. I didn’t have her mobile number unfortunately, but I did have the mobile number of my cousin who lives close to the airport. We bought an Australian pre-paid sim-card and since it took a while to activate it the sales guy at the desk lend us his own mobile to call. Did I already mention that folks in Australia seem to be really nice and helpful?
My cousin was home and on stand-by, so he came, picked us up and took us to my uncle’s (his father’s) house. We put the kids to bed and Tim held the fort while I went to Manly with my cousin to get some clothes. The trendy shops didn’t do cheap tracksuits, so I just bought a nice outfit for Tim and something that might suit me: after our travel adventures I felt to stinky to try anything on. Normally I have an overnight bag with me, but we already had so much hand luggage with five kids that I didn’t even pack clean knickers.
When cousin dropped me at the house again my aunt had arrived, Tim had showered but was really tired and the kids were still in coma. So we told Tim to take some sleep and I went to another mall with my aunt for the rest of the clothes. We managed to find an open second-hand kiddy clothes shop, were they not only had decent outfits for the boys, but even a more normal outfit for me (I had showered, so I wore my new outfit, but I looked as if I had borrowed an outfit from my slightly slimmer teenage daughter). All that, for about a third of what I had spent in the trendy shop. I do hope we get some of the money we had to spend on emergency clothing back.
When we came home again we woke the kids and Tim and I finally went to bed myself. Tim fed everybody from the little Italian restaurant down the street and they went to sleep again a little later. At three the kids woke up, at 4 I couldn’t sleep any more either, so we had an early start. This is the view from the balcony….