Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jews, Disappointment, Qantas Dishonesty, and Aussiechrisrob

1. Watched Modern Family.  

They talked about Australia!

I think that show has an Australian thing going on.

They've referenced Australia many times— The Wiggles, The Book Thief, Kath and Kim's Baby Jesus joke, etc.

There might have been something else.

I forget.

2. Went to sleep and had a dream about an Australian person.

There's talk of us going to a party near the lake house.  It's at the Blake's home. They're Australian so I'm kind of excited about that.  However, I'm weary of going to the party because Jack is shy around large groups of children. He's better in very small groups.   

At the Blake's house, Mrs. Blake talks to me about her pregnancy-caused aversion to scented lotions, perfumes, soap, etc. I feel bad and confess I have those types of products on.  

Later, we go to another party.  (I think this one was IN Australia). It turns out one of the little girls from Port Stephens was there. I'm surprised and delighted to learn that she remembers Jack.  

As far as I can remember I don't know an Australian Blake family in real life.

The scented product thing came from Jack and I buying that type of stuff yesterday.  And on our walk, I told him about how I had an aversion to the stuff when pregnant.

3. Fed up with Qantas.  This morning I got a red alert email from them. They said they're increasing service to DFW, and they have a five day sale.  The awesome thing about it is the sale would include our travel dates.  Usually Qantas sales apply to the winter months (June-August...maybe also May and September).

The sale price is advertised at $649 per one way ticket, and it's supposed to apply to travel dates between January 15-August 31 2012.

That's fantastic.

Or is it?

I went to the booking area and found not one $649 ticket.

I did the whole "Flexible with dates" thing.  It doesn't matter.

The lowest ticket on the way there is $697.  For the three of us, it's a $144 dollar difference when compared to the advertised $649 ticket.  That's fine, even though it reminds me of a bait and switch tactic.

On the way back though, the lowest price is $752!  That's quite different from $649, and close to the prices I was seeing before the sales.

What's the deal?

The only thing I can think of is that they advertised the sale and forgot to change the prices.

4. Changed our dates a bit and saw that for the return flight, it never gets lower than $752.

That doesn't make sense because the flight is actually shorter coming back.  It's fifteen hrs vs nineteen because of the whole wind thing.

5. Decided I'll give Qantas the benefit of the doubt and hope that it's just a glitch.

6. Worried for the young teenager who has been arrested in Bali.  The 14-year old was found with marijuana and could face up to 12 years in prison.

Well, at least that's better than life in prison....or execution.

If the child purposely carried marijuana, I would say, shame on him. I say that not so much for participating in the whole drug culture. It's more for the fact that he took such a huge risk in a country that's known to have tough drug laws.

Well, I'm sure we'll be hearing more about the story in the next several weeks and months.

Hopefully, since he's so young, there'll be some leniency.

Even if he did something a bit shameful, he definitely doesn't deserve to spend years in prison.   

7. Realized I forgot to check the Australian dollar yesterday.

I'll check it now.

Okay....

In terms of the American dollar, it's pretty low still.  It's at .94 cents.

The dollar is worth .63 British pounds.  I don't think there's been much of a change there.

It's worth 6.68 Swedish Krona and 72.29 Japanese yen.

I'll have to check my earlier post to see if anything has changed.

8. Checked my post from two days ago.  

The Australian dollar has gone up a tiny bit in Sweden and has gone down a tiny bit in Japan.

9. Read Andrew's post about Christian prayer in Federal Parliament. He's a lovely heathen and against all that.

He wants church and state to be separated.  

Andrew reminds me of me when he says:

I am not much of one for multiculturalism as it seems to defined in Australia. I don't like us being separate streams of culture. I would like us all to mix in and get on. You foreign born person, give me a bit of yours, I will give you a bit of mine, and the rest we have in common.

Of course we won't literally have everything in common.  Even people from the same ethnic groups will have different traditions, habits, lifestyles, etc.

I do think it's sad and difficult though when people in a country are overly divided by language, skin color, religion, etc.  We don't have to be exactly alike, but let's try to blend in a little bit.

10. Inspired by Andrew's post to look into Jewish history in Australia.

Andrew says, Maybe earlier still, but at least from the early twentieth century, Jewish people were in Australia.

A few years ago, I did a post on Jews in Australia, so I vaguely understood that the Jews WERE around earlier than the 20th century.  Not surprisingly, though, I've forgotten much of what I've learned.

This website about the First Fleet says 250 Jewish convicts arrived in Australia before 1820. That's not a huge amount, but it's something.   

The website says there were less than 10 Jewish men on the First Fleet itself.   It doesn't specify how much less than 10, but at least we know Jews were there from the beginning of white settlement in Australia.  

11. Found government site about Jews in Australia.  

They say there were at least 8 convicts on the First Fleet.

By 1848, more than a thousand Jewish convicts had been sent to Australia.

12. Decided to read my old post.

It's almost three years old now!

13. Had Tim look at the Qantas issue, and then I wrote a message on the Qantas Facebook Page.

I think it's just wrong to get people excited about a price, but then not have that price available.

14. Started to look into Virgin Australia.

Their prices are high, but I guess that's okay since they weren't advertising a sale.

They were advertising a sale, but it's for this October-December. That wouldn't really work for us.  

15. Looked at the sale.

Virgin does the same thing as Qantas. They offer a price, but then the price isn't available.

They say if you fly from October 5 to December 8, round trip tickets should cost 1448. That's $724 each way.

When I try to book a ticket, the cheapest ticket is $771.38 for the way there and $826 for the way back.  Combined that's $1597.  

16. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read a story called The Next Step.    It's with James Young( the guy who looks like Simon Baker) and Sergei Zhalobov-Bogaevsky.  

I read a story with them a few months ago.   James is a chef and was excited to see Sergei, the Quidditch player in his restaurant. They both flirted with each other a bit.

Maybe now they're on a date?

17. Started to read.

The story takes place on August 3.

James gave Sergei a napkin with his phone number on it. He hoped that Sergei would call him instead of throwing the napkin away.

Then then next day he did the horrible wait-by-the-phone thing.

It really is awful—waiting for someone to call.

I think the worst was when I felt they really liked me, when I didn't have doubts they'd call. There'd be romance and kissing...maybe a little more.  I felt strong feelings emerging and assumed (from their actions) that they felt the same way. I imagined we were beginning a relationship.

Then they wouldn't call and....

That hurt.  

It was still somewhat painful when I did have doubts.  Did he like me?   Did he not like me?  Will he call?  Sometimes I hoped for a phone call from guys who barely talked to me in person.  I had delusional-type hopes that they were quietly interested in me, and one day they'd be brave enough to pick up the phone.  

18. Read Sergei's post.

He wants to call, but is nervous.

Then finally he picks up the phone.

When the phone doesn't ring, that's what I'm hoping for.  The guy was too nervous to call. Maybe he doesn't realize I have feelings for him too.  

I bet he lost my phone number!

19. Felt happy for James and Sergei.

I'm glad Sergei found enough courage to call, and I'm happy James got to hear the wonderful sound of the awaited ringing of the phone.  

20. Excited because we found good flight prices.

Tim might be buying them soon!!!!!!!!

21. Did not buy plane tickets.

We're really not happy with Qantas right now.

What happened is Tim found really good prices on the American Airlines site.   It was their code share thing with Qantas. We'd fly to Brisbane and then to Sydney.

The whole thing was under $4000 for the three of us.

Tim tried to pay for the tickets through the website. It didn't work.

He then called American Airlines. They said that Qantas wouldn't give us the tickets for that price.

If that's not bait and switch, what is?

22. Wanted to say, we're still planning to come to Australia.  It's just we might have to teleport there.

It's good I know of so many wizards and witches in Australia.  

Speaking of that....

23. Started to read the biography of Sergei Zhalobov Bogaevsky.  

His face claim is Gerald Butler.

I know him from P.S I Love You.



I went to the library today and got a book written by Cecelia Ahern.  She's the one who wrote P.S I Love You.  

Like Julian McMahon, Cecilia Ahern is the offspring of a former Prime Minister. Irish, in her case; not Australian.

24. Learned that Sergei was born in Russia.

His Patronus is a mink.

He's very tall and muscular.

He's pale and burns easily.  

25. Learned that Sergei has had his nose broken by Bludgers.

26. Liked what is said here.

He is generally incredibly sweet natured, but he does not come across as intelligent. He is not, however, as dumb as he seems, just exceptionally bad at expressing what he thinks using language, especially in English, which is not his native tongue

Often when I hear people with a thick foreign accent, they sound unintelligent and immature. They sound almost childish.  I have to remind myself that in their native tongue, they likely sound much more intelligent.  And if I tried to speak in another language, I'd probably sound like I was about two-years old.

Two-years-old is being generous, actually.  

27. Started to read Sergei's history.

He was raised in a wealthy family.

I like seeing wealthy characters who defy the stereotypes of rich people being all snobby, greedy, uptight, etc.

28. Got a tiny bit of a tear when I read this.

As he grew from a teenager to a young man it became apparent that Sergei had real talent on the Quidditch Pitch and scouts approached his parents to get him into training for the national team. His father, who wanted Sergei to take over the family business, put aside his dreams for his son and supported him, something Sergei never forgot in the coming years.

I want to hug that daddy.

It's so nice that he came through for his son like that.  

I'm sure all parents have dreams for their children—even if it's just on a subconscious level.   It's good if we can remember their dreams for themselves are more important than our dreams for them.  

29. Had to take my hug back from Sergei's Daddy.

He wasn't so great after all.

Sergei found out he was gay in his adult years. Prior to that, he didn't understand why his relationships with women didn't work out.

Anyway, he came out to his family and his father disowned him.

Sergei ended up being isolated not just from his father, but also from his mothers and sisters.

That's very unfair.

30. Sad that his father died before there could be any reconciliation.

Maybe he can come back as a ghost.

31. Learned that Sergei is insecure about his homosexuality. He's not quite full out of the closet yet, and he hasn't had a gay relationship.

Maybe James will be his first.

32. Talked to Tim about Qantas and bait and switch tactics. He says technically they can get away with it because their site says, Seats are very limited and may not be available on every flight. Other restrictions apply.

They could offer a few seats, and then say they've all been sold out.

I think it's complete bullshit.

The date on my Qantas email was 8:02 am.  I think by 8:30 I was already trying to find tickets. Are they telling me it sold out that fast?

Plus, the advertisement is still up on the site. If they already sold out of these special deal tickets, they should take the advertisement down.  

33. Saw that my Australian of the day is Edward Alfred Anstey.  

He was born in South Australia in 1858.

He became a builder.

34. Learned that Anstey got into politics. 

He was with the Labor Party. Then he jumped ship with Billy Hughes and became a founding member of the National Labor Party.  

35. Went to aussiechrisrob's YouTube channel.  

His occupation is a shotfirer.   This website says that is a mining job.  They use explosives to dislodge rocks and stuff.   It's kind of what Jack's doing lately with his Minecraft game.  

36. Saw that aussiechrisrob has a video of his explosive stuff.





It's a bit boring and hard to see at times; but the destructive part of myself enjoys seeing the explosions.

I started feeling guilty about that.  But then I decided it's like being in awe of a tornado. They're horrible—deadly and destructive.  Yet they're fascinating to watch.

37. Watched aussiechrisrob sing my new favorite song.



It is AWESOME.

I love that song, and I think aussiechrisrob does a fantastic job with it.

38. Sad to see that aussiechrisrob hasn't done a singing video in 2 years.

He should do more.

Here's the last singing video he made.




I love that song.

It reminds me of Eli Stone



39. Listened to aussiechrisrob sing "From Little Things Grow" 



His guitar playing makes me want to cuddle something and take a nap.

There's this gentle quietness.

40. Started to look at Baroo42's Perth to Melbourne Flickr set.  While I do that, I'm listening again to aussiechrisrob sing "Mad World"

41. Thought this photo would make a good album cover.  

This one too.  

I think they did a guy's only camping trip.

42. Found another great album cover photo.

If these guys ever want to form a music group they're set....at least image-wise.

I wonder if they sing good.

43. Loved this photo.  It seems otherworldly to me.  

44. Hoped some disgruntled Qantas pilots will start a new airline.  

45. Looked at the Australian Monopoly board.  

The next place on the board is Salamanca Place.

I know of that one.  It's in Hobart, and there's a big market there.

46. Learned from Lord Wiki that Salamanca Place used to be known as The Cottage Green.

In 1812, they changed the name to Salamanca to honor Duke Wellington's triumph in the Battle of Salamanca. That was Salamanca in Spain. They fought against the French.  

47. Learned from Lord Wiki that the Battle of Salamanca was part of the Peninsular War.   This was a war fought between France and Spain.

France and Spain were initially on the same team. It was them against Portugal. Then France turned against Spain.

Wow.

48. Looked at the Salamanca Market website.  

The market is on Saturdays.

49. Learned from this page that if Anzac Day falls on a Saturday, the market day is moved to Sunday.

50. Wished I had become obsessed with a place that was closer, and one in which I could travel to cheaply.  

51. Felt disillusioned.

I still love Australia.

But I no longer love their airline.