While this wasn’t my Initial Descent into Australia, or even into Sydney (this was my second visit), I had one of my more interesting airport arrival experiences here, worth sharing. Sadly, it may even provide a glimpse into Sydney’s culture, although let’s hope that isn’t the case!
Finally reaching Australian soil!
For the last hour or two of my 13-hour flight from San Francisco, I had been talking to my seat buddy, a young lady from Montreal who spent a lot of time in Sydney working in modeling. She had the typical model look–tall, incredibly skinny and pale-skinned–definitely not my type. But she was nice, and most interestingly for me, she was from Montreal. I had always wanted to visit there, and was happy to get some “local” perspective.
This trip, she was to be reunited with her boyfriend, who lived in Sydney and awaited her at the airport. After standing in the customs queue together for another 30 minutes (after our 13 hours together on board), we were about to wish each other farewell and part ways, as she saw her boyfriend awaiting her in the arrivals hall. They hugged, I gave her a casual “good luck” and told her to keep in touch, perhaps by connecting on Facebook. I can’t emphasize enough that after 13 and a half hours of acquaintance, I was just hoping to have someone local I could get some information about Montreal from when I finally did get my act together and visit.
This, apparently, did not sit very well with her boyfriend. She introduced us and we shook hands, and I watched them walk off happily into the Sydney morning. I then proceeded to handle my international arrivals business (sorting out the money situation, phone, etc.), and was shocked to turn around 15 minutes later to a tap on my shoulder. It was the girl’s boyfriend, who had apparently left the girl he had been waiting months to see in the car, and felt the need to walk back into the terminal and seek me out with an important message.
(insert thick Aussie accent here)
Guy: Listen mate, I just wanted to let you know that she’s NOT going to keep in touch with you, and you are NOT going to see her again, alright???
Me: (so astonished that I can’t even stand straight) You actually left her in the car and walked back in here just to tell me that? Whatever man, I’m not even interested!
I then stepped aside and walked away, the situation apparently diffused, given that I didn’t receive any more taps on my shoulder.
Arrivals Hall at Kingsford Smith
But I didn’t know what I was more shocked by–the fact that the guy felt the need to come back and say this to me, when we were clearly introduced–or the fact that he actually had the nerve to tell his lady after they got back to the car that he had to go back into the terminal to talk to me. I mean, what’s she thinking at this point?? I just hope that he didn’t get any that night, and if he did, well, bless that poor girl (with a working brain cell, please).
So, this was my first perception of Sydney–meathead, gym-mongering guys just looking to show off their macho wares to impress a girl. I would later find that while this may be spot on for certain areas like Bondi, fortunately, not every Sydneysider is this way!