We had some visitors a few weeks ago – Adam’s Aunty Cheryl and Uncle Bruce were in the neighborhood, so to speak, on their annual visit to Cheryl’s family in Perth. On their way they stopped in Melbourne for a few days.
We showed them around our little city, sharing what insights we had gained with our ‘insider’ status. This included the QV market, exploring a new area on Lygon Street and getting some delicious lunch off of Swanston street (one of my favorite streets). If you are in Melbourne and unsure if you’re on Swanston, just look for people. If there are tons of people squishing you in every which way, the chances are high that you are in fact on Swanston.
Because this was a shorter visit, Bruce and Cheryl decided to sponsor a Rubin family trip, all the way to Perth so that we could spend more time together and visit with the Australian side of the family – how awesome is that?!
As our impending departure got closer we got more excited – did you know that Perth is further north than Melbourne? Down here, that little bit of increased latitude means warmer temperatures.
I packed my bathers.
Our flight to Perth was a 6 AM departure time – we thought this was the best time since it would allow us to land by 8 AM Perth time (they are 2 hours behind Melbourne…so 12 hours ahead of the States EST…still following me?). We wake up at 330 AM and catch a cab by 430 AM. We arrive with plenty of time and wait in line to get our boarding passes (another plus of having a furnished apartment: no printer!). *oozing sarcasm*
We walk up to the attendant and announce our destination and surname.
“Are you checking bags?”
“Why yes, here they are”.
“Any dangerous items?”.
“Here are your boarding passes, gate is behind me to the left, enjoy your flight”.
No passport check, no ID check…and apparently no worries. Maybe Americans are just hyper sensitive in these post 9/11 days…but I was more than a little unnerved that anyone could have happened to say our last name and received boarding passes.
Security was no different – I kept my shoes on and, apparently, could have kept my jacket on as well as I was receiving some strange looks doing the security dance.
Don’t you know what the security dance is? You know, the one where you’ve got one foot out of your shoe, hopping up and down to pull the other one off at the same time as you are half way out of your jacket and your arm is stuck in the sleeve? No? Ah well…
We were at our gate in almost complete relaxation, I guess not having to strip down to your skivvies makes for a slightly more enjoyable experience. We were still a bit confused at how…trusting…this whole process seemed. It made me have another “not in Kansas” moment: In America, this would not have happened, we don’t trust you until you’re naked and through the scanners, boarding pass out if you please!
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not the person who complains about security procedures, if I have to be patted down, groped and yelled at in front of everyone to prove that I’m a-ok to fly – well sign me up. I’m an expert at that security dance because after it’s all said and done, I feel a bit better knowing that everyone has gone through it. BUT I have to say, that this made me feel a bit more like a paying customer instead of a harassed potential-bad-guy. It was – dare I say it – nice.
Off to Perth we went…what went down there is for another post…stay tuned!
p.s. we discovered that our particular airline does not have compulsory ID checks. Whowouldathunkit?