A Travellerspoint blog

The beam out of thine own eye

I have probably had worse starts to holidays. It's just that right now I can't remember them.


I went to bed at about half past midnight after a productive, busy night of packing, laundry, tying loose ends and my customary pre-holiday housework binge. My intention was to get up a little bit earlier than usual to finish my packing, ensure that my apartment was secure and in good order, then take my backpack into the office and work my usual hours. My flight isn't until 10:15pm and it would not be worth going to the office, doubling back home to pick up my luggage, and then going from home to the airport as I would have to pass through Central Station opposite my office again.

I fell asleep unusually quickly at about one o'clock, and then I woke up at a quarter past three in agony. It felt as if a shard of glass were embedded beneath my left eyelid. Every blink, every eyeball movement, resulted in wincing pain and watering eyes. I turned on the bathroom light and spent half an hour with my head under the running tap or the shower head trying to flush the damned thing out of my eye, but it only made things worse. I went back to bed, and every time I fell asleep, ten minutes later I woke up again due to my eyeball moving.
Instead of going to work at my usual time, I went to my local general practice clinic. The doctor had to turn my left upper eyelid inside out and she scraped out the offending item with a flattened cotton swab - a tiny, flat, dark orange piece of debris, shaped like a Google Maps location pin, no more than a millimetre long and a third of a millimetre wide. Neither the doctor or I could identify what it was, but if I had to guess, I would say a tiny little timber splinter. It was amazing how much pain and irritation something so tiny could cause.

I went back home and rested for a couple of hours - I was delirious with fatigue after getting so little sleep - and caught the bus to work, arriving a bit after midday. A few of the boys in the office and I went out for dumplings in Chinatown for lunch. Some decent company and great food made things a little bit better.

I finished work, bought antibiotic eyedrops at a pharmacy, and did the same Urban Reverie's Tightarse Method of Travel to Kingsford Smith Airport as I described in my Sri Lankan blog - namely, catch a train on the Airport Line to Mascot one station before the airport and then change to a 400 or 420 bus to the terminal. For maths nerds, here's the comparison:
TRAIN DIRECT FROM CENTRAL STATION TO AIRPORT: $2.52 off-peak fare × 50% Opal weekly travel reward + $14.87 "airport station access extortion... ahem, fee" = $16.13

URBAN REVERIE'S TIGHTARSE METHOD = ($2.52 off-peak train fare + $2.24 bus - $2.00 Opal transfer discount) × 50% Opal weekly travel reward = $1.38

So, $16.13 versus $1.38. Worth the inconvenience of the transfer, I reckon. The fact that I have reached my weekly Opal travel reward of half-price fares due to making more than eight trips by commuting to and from work makes it even better. The weekly reward discount does not apply to the "airport station access armed robb... ahem, fee".

I spent forty-five minutes in a typically glacial check-in queue, and then endured an equally irksome security screening queue. I then paid five dollars for a bottle of water for the privilege of having to use this extortionate claustrophobic cesspit called Kingsford Smith Airport. I cannot wait to board Qatar Airways Flight QR909 in a few minutes time. Believe me, I cannot wait.

Posted by urbanreverie 00:51 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney chinatown airport public_transport

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