Day 16. A song you have seen performed live:
“Run To Paradise” — Choirboys
As I mentioned yesterday, I was fortunate enough to go on a student exchange to Australia in 1988. I was even more fortunate to return in 1992 to work on a college project with two of my classmates. However, it’s not all wine and roses. For those who have never traveled to Australia from the East Coast of the United States, let me give you a brief description of the travel.
- The night before you travel you get next to no sleep because you’re pretty excited about the trip. Yay! Australia! This is such a great idea!
- You get up at an ungodly hour (something like 5AM Eastern Time) to get to the airport. Man, I’m tired, but Yay! Australia!
- The flight to LA (or San Francisco, but in my case, LA) is about 6 hours. You arrive there at about 1PM Eastern/10AM Pacific Time. Good God, this is just the beginning. But at least we’re going to Australia.
- Flights on Qantas over to Australia don’t leave until about 2AM ET/11PM PT, so that you arrive in Sydney in the morning. Therefore, you sit in the airport for 10-12 hours doing nothing, waiting until you can check through to customs 2 hours before the flight leaves. (Keeping in mind that as a high school/college student going abroad you don’t have the extra cash to leave the airport and take a cab to see anything.) Oh God, I’m so bored. When can we finally get on the plane?
- The flight itself is about 14 hours and change. When can we get off this plane? Are we $&*!ing there yet? Who’s idea was this anyway? $&*! Australia.
You arrive about 7AM Sydney time (3PM ET, 12 Noon PT). All in all, about 36 hours, not including the lack of sleep from the night before you left.
Now, it should be noted: I can’t sleep on planes, really. I might doze for 30 minutes, but then my cursed neck starts to hurt and I wake up in pain. You learn how long 14 hours really is when you’re cooped up in a coach seat that whole time, everyone around you is sleeping, and you’re trying to figure out how to pass the time. You start to ponder how something that big can stay aloft that long.
And yes, I’ve tried those airplane pillows.
And no, they don’t help me.
Yeah, yeah, I hear you: “Waaaah! You’re going to Australia ya whiner.” Point taken.
We finally land, get picked up, and, to make this part of a long story short, spend the next few hours getting settled.
“So what about the song?” you ask. Calm down; I’m getting there.
Round about 2PM (or in more applicable terms, 41 hours after I woke up), someone says “The Choirboys are playing at Shelly’s tonight. You want to go?” (Shelly’s is the night club at the Shellharbour Worker’s Club.)
“Are you crazy? That would be dumb. We’re tired. We’re not going.”
We were dumb. We went.
My recollection is that the show started at 9. And that there was an opening act (a band called The Tornados, if I remember correctly). And that it was at least 10PM (or in more applicable terms, 49 hours after I woke up) that The Choirboys hit the stage. For the uninitiated (read: almost everyone): they are an Australian hard rock band. Not quite AC/DC; in that vein but leaning slightly more in a pop direction.
Long story longer… As you might expect, I don’t remember a lot about that show, but I do know I enjoyed it and that they played this song. It had been their “big hit” a couple of years prior.
I don’t remember what time we got home or how many hours I’d been awake by that time. (The number 52 sticks in my head for some reason, but that may be the result of sleep-deprived insanity.)
As a side note, this song was also a favorite of my host sister Megan at the time. (This is not the same host sister that we bongoed the crap out of in yesterday’s post. Boy, that sounds dirty.) So even after the show, I heard it quite frequently over the next 4 1/2 months.
Outside of the sleep deprivation, the show was a fun way to start the trip. Until the flight home. Let me tell you about the flight home…