“You are a part of Australian history”, my new Aussie friend, Tony informed me last night as about twenty of us stranded Qantas casualities surrounded a tiny lobby bar in the Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California. Two days ago, Qantas announced their worldwide strike only after we boarded and settled on our plane to Brisbane. The hot plane we sat on for two hours that would never take off. Yeah, that plane.

I drank a Rosemount Estates Shiraz ironically from Australia as I sat and listened to all of the travel stories from the people around me. One might think we were drowning our sorrows there but no such thing happened. I learned that Australians – the authors of such phrases as “No worries” and “Good on ya, mate” – let everything roll off their backs. As that is my attitude too, I fit right in with them – right there on my home turf in Southern California.
As I sat there, I pulled out this book called “In a Sunburned Country”, by Bill Bryson that my dear friend Ly, who lives in Cairns, sent to me to read on the flight over. One Aussie grabbed the book and said “We all should sign it for you!” And that’s what they did.
I love my precious keepsake and will treasure my Australian memories of the Qantas strike and the lovely hospitable people I met. I’m a total sap and I have tears in my eyes at the moment, making it a tough view of the computer screen.
The announcement to board my flight to San Francisco just finished. Time to go. So, for now, good day mate! I can’t wait to see Australia via Hong Kong. I’m already in love.