Lucy and I arrive in Brisbane via an overnight flight. SFO to LAX, change planes, then LAX to BNE (Brisbane). Got some sleep, so the 13 hour flight seemed uneventful and not as grueling as I expected. Because of the date line/time zone changes, we left California Wednesday night and arrive in Australia Friday morning.
Judging by the flight crews making their way through Security, our Qantas Boeing 747 seems to have arrived about the same time as a couple other jumbo-jets from Singapore and Emirates Airlines. Must be 1500 passengers descending on the Customs checkpoint at the same time. It takes two hours getting through Customs--it was a humungous line (er.. "queue"), but at least it kept moving.
I spotted several racers arriving. (There were a couple dozen on our own flight.) Hmm... Customs personnel seem to be singling them out and opening bike boxes and wheel bags and inspecting them. Jerks. Are elite athletes really that suspicious looking?
Oh, wait a minute... the bicycle luggage isn't going through the x-ray machines. Officials are inspecting them by hand because they're too big to fit through the machines.
The Australian Customs officials actually seem to be making an effort to keep things moving along as efficiently as they can. At the front of the line, they're pleasant and courteous.
So, okay, not jerks.
Shouldn't be too quick to jump to conclusions based on domestic US security checkpoints, where the attitude often seems to be, "Yeh, don't like all our silly little rules? Deal with it. You'll get through here when I'm good and ready."
Afterward I notice no lines at all, so I guess it was just the crush of three jumbo-jets arriving at the same time that backed things up.
(Correction: After picking up Kim later, she explained that the Customs inspectors were visually inspecting everybody's wheels to make sure they were clean. Apparantly, they don't want you bringing in any dirt into the country.)
Art sculpture on a Brisbane sidewalk. (That silver structure in the middle is a drinking fountain.)
Posted by Dan 09/04/2009, revised 09/23/2009 by Dan