Australia Trip Conclusion…

I’m back home from my Australia trip, so I thought I would post a brief summary post of the whole trip…

The trip out:
No major drama here. Only 1 delay, after we boarded the plane in Dubai. It turned a 14 hour flight into 15 hours on the plane, but it wasn’t a major drama. Emirates managed lose my special meal allocation, so they had to cobble together a vegetarian meal for me on both their flights. One of these contained prawns, so that got left. 🙂

In my brief time in Australia I managed to speak at 3 events. The main event for the trip was InSync11 of course, but the addition of the Sydney Oracle Meetup and ACTOUG events make it a lot easier to justify traveling such a long way. Three events in four days is a little crazy, but it certainly didn’t leave any time to get bored. 🙂 Thanks to everyone involved for making this go smoothly for me.

The trip home:
No delays during the trip home. Emirates even managed to get my food almost right. One vegetarian and one vegan. 🙂 Unfortunately, they managed to lose my seat allocation for one flight, so my 14 hour flight was not an aisle seat. This normally freaks me out, but fortunately I managed not to get out of my seat every 15 minutes or so.

I made a few single-serving friends on the way home:

  • One guy was doing the systems for theaters, which included music, lights, stage automation and back office systems. Sounded kinda cool.
  • I was sleeping on the floor near a check in desk in Dubai and a lady from my previous flight recognized me and woke me up just in time for boarding my last flight. For that she qualifies as my best single-serving friend of the trip!
  • The young guy next to me on my Dubai – Birmingham flight had won/earned a holiday in Dubai in a competition. It was all about memorizing and reciting The Koran. He won a regional heat and progressed to the UK final and won it. Pretty cool.
  • The guy next to him was on his way home after visiting his Filipino girlfriend. It turned out we liked most of the same films and were both big fans of The Dresden Files books. So sad how excited two grown men can get when discussing Harry Dresden. We swapped a few tips on authors we thought each other would like etc.

This was by far the most bizarre trip I have ever done where sleep is concerned. I never sleep really well on planes, which is a problem. Both trips started in the evening, so it made the total time from bed-to-bed ridiculously long. In Australia I seemed to follow a day-on/day-off sleeping pattern. I would alternate between about 6 hours sleep one night, then about 1.5-3 hours the next. By the time I was due to go home I was feeling like I was in a rather altered state.

I decided to go to Canberra airport early and slept on the floor for about 2 hours. As soon as I got to Dubai I did the same thing. I think both these sleep breaks are just about the only thing that kept me sane during the trip home.

Once home I went to bed and slept for 18 hours. I’ve just been to the gym and I think I’m going to right-off the rest of the day and try and sleep again.

So now I have 5 weeks to get myself ready for OOW11. The combination of the ACE Director meetings and OOW itself makes it a very long trip, so I need to be in top form to get through it without feeling like a zombie.

Thanks to everyone I met during the events. You all helped to make it a great trip.



ACTOUG – Canberra

Yesterday, Chris Muir and I drove down from Sydney to Canberra to present at an ACTOUG event organized by Marcelle Kratochvil.

The day started off with Chris introducing REST Web Services using Java. After that I did my Clonedb presentation and I didn’t stuff up my demo this time. 🙂 This was followed with a general Q&A and lots of pizza. I like these informal events. They are cool.

Off home tomorrow…



Canberra Oracle User Group (ACTOUG) get together…

I was chatting to Marcel Kratochvil at OpenWorld this year and he suggested I visit Canberra to have a chat with the guys from ACTOUG while I was in Australia, so yesterday morning I flew into Canberra.

On the plane I developed a splitting headache, due to lack of sleep, so by the time I got off I was feeling pretty bad. Marcel was meant to be giving me a lift to the hotel, but I couldn’t see him so with self preservation in mind I got into a taxi and went straight to the hotel. I told the front desk to tell him I had arrived if he called, but told them not to disturb me. I got to my room, puked a couple of times and fell asleep for most of the day.

Marcel called me from reception at 16:30 and off we went to the Oracle office in Canberra…

The format was a “Beer and Pizza” night. People eat, drink and chat for a while, then I did a one hour presentation while they were too subdued to leave. Once the presentation was over we went back to just general socializing. Nothing for pulling a crowd like free beer and pizza…

Despite still not feeling too great, I had a really good time. Put me in a room of people and tell me to talk and I’m in my element. Throw in pizza as well and I’m in heaven.

I got up at silly o’clock again today, 02:00 to be precise. Marcel is giving me a quick tour of the city on my way back to the airport, where I will fly back to Melbourne.



PS. Where were you Richard? There will be repercussions… 🙂