My ID: 8:21am, Saturday, 03 October 2009: Brisbane International Airport
Etihad Airways flight EY470 from Singapore
With sunshine reflecting off of royal blue Moreton Bay below, my Initial Descent into Australia was as beautiful and lush as I had expected it to be. Everything I had heard about this country was about its natural, physical beauty, and based on this first foray, I was not disappointed.
Customs, on the other hand, was a different story. Besides being just a few customs agents sitting in a room full of desks, leaving for an impossible queue, the authorities seemed intent on checking half of the bags coming through the hall. I had always thought Australians to be laid back and easygoing, which is perhaps why I didn’t expect the customs process to be more of a hassle than some of the US airports I’m used to, including New York City’s JFK or Los Angeles International. But that’s what I was dealing with, and I would find out within the next few days that my expectation of laid back and easygoing wasn’t really accurate even beyond the confines of a stuffy immigration hall.
Nevertheless, with a bright sun pasted atop a clear blue sky, I was happy to be in the Land Down Under for the first time!