Australia Part One: The (Mel)bourne Identity

I wake up, not really knowing where I am.

Confused, a bit panicked, I squint around me, trying to figure out what had happened. Ah, yeah, plane. I am sitting in a plane. Middle row, middle seat. It’s loud. It’s dark. My mouth is dry like the desert. People around me are snoring or staring on their touchscreens, half-asleep or at least hypnotized, slowly bringing one cracker after another to their mouths. I feel the need to make sure that I didn’t slobber on my seat neighbors shoulder. No, no stains. At least nothing visible. Would be too late, anyway. I can hardly believe what just happened: I fell asleep in a plane. For longer than just one minute. Me, who is still suffering from this “I get wet hands and say silent prayers every time it gets a bit bumpy” kind of flight anxiety, even after many years of travelling. How could that happen?

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USA - Hawaii

Hawaii – Waaauw, O’ahu!

To be honest,

I was not so sure what to think about our Hawaii-stopover on the way to Australia. Which sounds indeed a bit ridiculous, because Hawaii is supposed to be very beautiful and known for its perfect surf waves. But I couldn’t help it: everytime I thought about what I had heard so far (“Waikīkī is nothing less than a big city, you won’t like that…”), together with all the clichés (people just go there to celebrate honeymoon…), there were a few of this mean little stings coming up in my stomach region, causing this special kind of nervousness, like before taking an exam that you know you didn’t prepare for good enough.

Sometimes, I even got afraid I would find myself stuck in a weird world, surrounded by only honeymooners and skyscrapers, with a little red know-it-alls devil sitting on one of my shoulders, grinning and saying “told ya…!”. And seriously, the Waikīkī Skyline you get to see in Google Earth, doesn’t really help to calm you.

But fortunately, like so often during this wonderful trip, I again learned, that, to finally know whether a place is as bad as forecasted, there’s nothing else you can do but finally go there and discover it for yourself. NOTHING!

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