Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
144Trip End Ongoing
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What could possibly go wrong with this carefully crafted and somewhat delusional plan?? Real life perhaps.
After a somewhat difficult acceptance of a conditional offer on our house via the Staples in Nanaimo, we started questioning how easy it would be to wrap up our legal affairs deep in the bowels of Papua New Guinea. But we had already booked a couple of things around a festival in PNG. So there we were; squarely on the horns of a dilemma. The only obvious solution was to take in the festival and then make the painfully long journey home, close on all outstanding issues, and restart the worldwide journey with a painfully long return to Asia.
So after hiding all of our packing boxes as best we could (how do people with kids and full time jobs manage to keep their homes ready for real estate showings?), we overstuffed our backpacks and headed to the airport... only to be confronted by a typhoon- not in Toronto but in Shanghai. We had used our Areoplan points to book the air portion of our adventure and, in the finest tradition of air points programs, the sadistic computers hidden in the dingy basements of the Areoplan offices thought we should stop in both Shanghai and Bangkok before landing in our desired destination of Brisbane. For anyone able to read a map, this doesn't make a lot of sense but I think the ultimate objective of the program is to have us meekly give up on trying to use the points. But for us, the lure of a 'free' ticket was enough to compensate for a somewhat extended flight plan (although at $1200 in taxes and airport fees, I'm not sure 'free' is an accurate descriptor- is Toronto's airport the most expensive in the world?).
Back to the situation in Shanghai. Apparently Captains in the employ of Air Canada are reluctant to land planes in a typhoon so the flight was sufficiently delayed so as to ensure the landing would avoid the storm as well as guaranteeing a missed connection for us. And then the strangest thing happened- we ended up with two of the most helpful Air Canada service reps that we have ever encountered. Fighting through the thick forest of ill conceived AC policies and computer program limitations that even the best mountaineers couldn't climb over, our trusty AC Rep (who at one point was using 2 computers to fool the system??) was able to rebook us on flights to Brisbane via Vancouver and Sydney.
The itinerary actually made sense with the only negative being an unexpected 6 hours with which to enjoy the Toronto airport. Oh well... time to find a secluded area, doze a little, and dream of kangaroos.