Checking in

In the future, if there is any chance of leaving home later than originally planned, I’ll remember not to book a hotel room near Sydney Airport. I’ll still get limited sleep and I’ll still have to arrive uncomfortably early, but I’ll save the expense of a second cab, and that of the room in which I spent about three and a half hours.

On the plus side, I arrived at the terminal on time and survived a leg-numbingly slow check-in process. Late in the game I decided that it was worth withdrawing some euros in case of surprise expenses when I landed in Istanbul. This itself was a surprise expense – as Ashlea already advised me, Travelexes at airports are as cynical as Borders ceasing their coupon offers the week before Christmas. I checked the exchange rate before I left home – it’s just north of 62 cents (not a good start), but Travelex lowered it further to 54, before adding its own commission of $10. So my 100€ set me back $200. Remembering my $100 taxi ride to the Formule 1 hotel, and my additional hop over to the terminal, I realised I’d spent more than $300 without having yet left the country.

The check-in process was slow because the person indexing and assigning seats was plodding along. The lady checking me in seemed most disinterested in her job, but she was actually sweet. She took frequent sips from a coffee cup and I heard her telling the man at the next counter that she’d slept barely an hour and twenty minutes because of the heat. We waited for a fair while for my seat number, and during that time she asked where I was going and what for. She said my parents must be proud of me. Maybe if I post these notes I thought.

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