"First time in Australia," she asked with a bright smile and a thick accent?
"Yep," I replied. "First time."
She was a tall stunning brunette who probably modeled at some point. She was now working the ticket counter at Virgin Australia amongst the mood lighting, the soft techno, and her counter which was illuminated by red lights. The area was so swank I thought I was in a bar in Bellevue, but alas I was just checking in to a flight across the Pacific.
The plane had all sorts of funky lighting with my own personal media center in front of me. The attendants were all attractive and friendly, but the real entertainment has yet to come. A lady sat down next to me and introduced herself as Sheila.
"You know," she said with her 2 packs a day voice. "Sheila. They call women Sheila's down there, but I'm THE Sheila." She pulled out her passport as proof.
Sheila was in her mid 50s complete with peroxide hair, bad tan, terrible makeup, and had an odor mixed with cheap perfume and copious amounts of alcohol. She was an LA native and worked as a bartender all her life. She was wearing white jean shorts and pointed out her blouse which had a big red heart on it.
"I'm landing there on Valentine's day," she said to me and everyone in the vicinity as she displayed her attire. "I'm going to show these Aussie boys a good Valentine's day."
Sheila had the gift of gab and was so drunk she could hardly operate the media center. I helped her with her viewing selection and threw on a movie for myself (btw see The Hurt Locker, like right now), but Sheila was more interested in conversing with me as she nudged me every time she thought something about the plane was cool.
I attempted to sleep on the plane, but was constantly awakened by rocky turbulence and Sheila waking me wanting to visit. The air was so bad the captain at one point got on the intercom and told the staff to be seated immediately. We bounced around the atmosphere and Sheila threw up her arms and pretended she was in a roller coaster.
After many hours of flight I got no more than a half hour sleep per interval. The plane touched down as one of the attendants made conversation with me about Guinness and Aussie bars. Sheila, noticing I was not wearing a ring, tried to convince me to meet her daughter. I stepped off the plane onto new found soil....
"I believe in benevolent dictatorship provided I am the dictator." - Richard Branson