you’ve got 15 minutes to pack your bags

This morning Emily asked me a question I found surprising: “Do you know if airlines still do standby rates?”

I was like: “What?… you mean, you show up at the airport and go on standby and maybe you can get a cheap ticket?”


I confessed I had never heard of such a thing. “I’m pretty sure you have to have a ticket already, but hey, what do I know?”

I don’t remember the exact words, but the following conversation went something like: “You want to go to New Zealand?”… “What, today?“… “Yeah!”… “Oh.”

I had had plans to do various kinds of work this weekend, and I was pretty sure a long-weekend jaunt to another country would probably put a crimp in those plans. Not that it wouldn’t sound like fun to just randomly wake up one morning and decide to go to New Zealand. I just tend to be the kind of boy who likes to have a little bit of warning before adventures like that.

“Well, what about Sydney?” she asked.

“There really is nothing going on in Canberra this weekend is there.”

“Nope.” She listed a number of local attractions which were not going to be doing anything on Monday (the “Queen’s Birthday” holiday — honestly, the US must have overslept on the day all the long weekends were handed out), largely because nobody in Canberra would be expected to be around to take advantage of it. Dullsville.

After about ten more minutes I warmed up to the idea. Especially when she revealed that for a nominal fee within a sum I threw off the top of my head as being willing to pay, you could snuggle a real live koala at the zoo in Sydney. For, like, ten to fifteen minutes, not just thirty seconds. Now, I’m not usually the type of boy who feels like he has to pay for snuggles, but neither am I the type to pass up the opportunity to snuggle with small, fuzzy, cute endangered wildlife, provided the specimen thereof would also like to snuggle.

The plans took shape and included an overnight stay, a breakfast near the Harbor, some nice walkies around town and a trip on the ferry to the Zoo, with us returning on Saturday night. I would then have Sunday and Monday to do whatever work would make me happy.

“Nice job leading in to the negotiations with New Zealand,” I said.

“I hadn’t intended to,” she said, “but I’ll remember that’s a strategy that works.” :)


About Richard

I'm an American scientist who is building a new life in Australia. This space will contain words about science and math, but also philosophy, policy, literature, my travels, occasional rants, all sorts of things I find strange and awesome. The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer at the time (currently University of Sydney), though personally, I think they should.
This entry was posted in Australia, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to you’ve got 15 minutes to pack your bags

  1. Chris Dwan says:

    This is an amazing snapshot into a beautiful moment in your relationship. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s