My grandfather died last week (Nov 1) and I flew back to Perth for the funeral. My grandfather, Oscar, had a long, full life (he was 94 when he died), and his quality of life in the past 10 months or so had been pretty grim, so his death wasn’t unexpected, and his funeral was something of a celebration (albeit a sad one). However, it was important to my father and my grandmother that I be home for the funeral, and I’m glad I could make it. Notes on the trip:
- Amazingly, it’s possible to get tickets from Boston to Perth (three flights, minimum) at incredibly short notice for reasonable prices. I bought my tickets on Friday morning, flew out of Boston on Saturday evening, and arrived in Perth on Monday at noon.
- I arrived in Perth feeling the best I’ve ever felt after a flight half-way around the world. I’m giving the noise-canceling headphones full credit.
- I flew United from Boston to San Francisco, and then from San Francisco to Sydney (I flew Qantas for the Sydney to Perth leg). It was not nearly as bad as expected (But, please! It wouldn’t kill them to supply toothbrushes on a 14 hour flight!)
- As we landed in Sydney, we had a most spectacular view of the harbor, including the opera house and bridge.
- No-one in Sydney looks excited to be going to Perth.
- Krispy Kreme donuts have made it to Sydney, but not Perth? They seemed to be the gift of choice for people traveling from Sydney to Perth.
Since I’ve arrived in Perth I’ve discovered that renewing my visa (which expired in August) is going to take longer than expected. I had planned on being in Australia for a week, but it looks like I’ll be here for at least 2 weeks. This is less than ideal but it’s not terrible: I’ve got plenty of data with me that needs analysis, and I can do that anywhere, and there are worse places in the world to be stranded while waiting for a visa: the weather is perfect (I’ve been to the beach every day), it’s always good to see my family, and a cricket test match started on Thursday.
No photos until I return to Boston – I left my camera cable there (because I thought I’d be away for just a week).