I woke up early, feeling kind-of nervous about the trip home. Approximately 24 hours on a plane, plus several hours in airports is not my idea of fun.
My first flight started at about 17:10, but I had to check out of the hotel at 12:00, so I spent a few hours sitting in the hotel lobby, trying to do something useful.
The first bit of stress for the day was my bags were not checked through to Birmingham, so I had to pick them up in Sydney and put them through security again. All of a sudden the connection time didn’t seem so cool. The flight from Gold Coast to Sydney was straight forward and arrived on time, so I got my skates on, got a train to the international terminal, and moved through check-in, bag drop and security pretty quick. There were no upgrades available, but at least I got there on time.
The flight from Sydney to Dubai was on an Emirates A380, which had a reasonable amount of room on it. I stood up a lot and did some stretching at the front of the plane. I was actually able to get the laptop out for a bit and do some video editing. I also managed a bit of sleep too, which is very rare for me sitting upright. All in all, not a bad experience. Of course, with those massive planes the boarding and getting off takes a lot of time.
I had a 2 hour stopover in Dubai, but by the time I had done security and got to the boarding gate is was half that. It never ceases to amaze me how people think it will be a good idea to get groups people travelling together to congregate in the middle of where everyone is walking, or often at the foot of an escalator. It’s so stupid and it makes me really angry. I feel like punching and kicking my way through the ignorant bunch of idiots.
On the flight to Birmingham I had a bulkhead seat, so I had extra leg room. There were quite a few seats free on the plane, including a spare one next to me, so I was able to relax a bit. The flight itself was fine, but during the last 2 hours I really started to suffer. There is only so much sitting on a plane the body is capable of and by 2 hours to go I was becoming a little erratic. I just kept fidgeting and twitching. It was a massive relief to get off the plane and know I was done with flying for a few days.
I guess I must have been looking a little dodgy because I was pulled by security as I was leaving the baggage area. They asked where I had come from and after some quite considerable effort I remembered. Once I managed to list the flights I had been on they let me go. I like to think they felt sorry for me. 🙂
I took a taxi home, had a bath and went to bed. I know it was a bag move going to bed at about 14:00, but tough. I got up at midnight and I’ve been watching Netflix and trying to sleep again since then. I’m guessing this is going to be a rather hard transition. 🙂
I spent the morning chilling out in my room and catching up with real life. At about 11:00 I checked out of the hotel and got the train to the domestic airport for my flight to Gold Coast.
The train was slow, so I was a little late, but it was a domestic flight, so I didn’t need to be there quite so early. After a little drama over problems with the automatic bag drop, I moved quickly through security and headed off to my departure gate, where I bumped into Bjoern and Connor. Pretty soon we got on the flight for Gold Coast, which was listed as a 90 minute flight, but took about 55 minutes. It turned out that both Frank and Arup were on our flight too. 🙂
Safely down, we picked up our bags and got a taxi to the hotel, which was pretty posh by my standards.
We were meant to meet up to get some food later, but I took a quick walk to see the beach, then felt really drained and went to bed. There is something about airports that sap your will to live. That combined with the heat and humidity of Gold Coast and I was the walking dead.
I slept from late afternoon yesterday to about 03:00 this morning. Since then I’ve been playing catch-up on stuff, including some of the videos I hadn’t edited yet, which I’ve now retrospectively added into the previous blog posts. It’s the usual stuff, just me walking through airports. 🙂
So in a couple of hours it’s time to start my last event in this tour before I fly off home.
Next up was Connor McDonald with “Big Data – A database dinosaur’s point of view”. Connor always puts on a good show and his session went down really well with the crowd. It was targeted perfectly for a bunch of Oracle DBAs and developers.
The final session I went to for the day was Connor again, this time with “New Features in the Next Generation of Oracle Database“. This was a variant of the session I saw him give at OOW16, and not surprisingly it went down well with the crowd too.
By the start of this event I was more used to the time zone, so there was less adrenaline and caffeine involved in getting me out in front of people. As a result I felt a lot more chilled out for this event. That’s no reflection on the previous events. Just how I was feeling at this point in time.
As with all one day events, it was over almost before it began. 🙂 Thanks to everyone at IAOUG for inviting me to event. Thanks to everyone who came to my sessions and came up to talk to me during the event. Thanks also to the ACE Program for getting me here!
In the evening I walked across to a local burger place with Bjoern Rost, we got veggie burgers and fries, then chatted about random stuff for ages. 🙂
Having spent a couple of days with friends in Pukekohe, it seemed really hard contemplating resuming the tour. I always have a post-tour crash, where I have a massive adrenalin dump and just want to forget about the world for a while. By staying with friends I kind-of had this a bit early. 🙂
I got dropped off at the airport, went through check-in and security, then went off to the lounge. For some reason, I don’t know why, I had a business class ticket for the short Auckland to Sydney flight, so I had lounge access, which means food!
Having stuffed myself, I rolled myself onto the plane. It was a rather old one, so business class felt a little like economy plus in more modern planes. Beggars can’t be choosers though. It was a good job I stuff myself in the lounge as there was no vegetarian stuff on the menu in business class.
After about 3+ hours we were landing in a very wet Sydney Airport. I got the train from the airport to North Rhyde, then walked to the hotel dragging my bag. I foolishly got off the train a stop too early, so it was a bit of a trek in the rain dragging a bag.
Anyway, safely in the hotel I bedded down for the night, ready to start the Sydney event the next day. Here we go!
PS. There is a 7 Eleven next door to the hotel and large Slurpees are $1. I’m living the dream baby!
I woke up early and took a taxi to the event, got a chair and a coffee and played catch-up with my blogs and videos. After an hour it was time to start the NZOUG event in Auckland. It was a three track event with the same timetable as the Wellington event, so I will only be talking about the sessions I attended.
Next up was Francisco Munoz Alvarez with “Discovering Oracle Cloud, how it works and feels!“. This was a general introduction to the pros and cons of cloud services, then some specifics about Oracle Cloud.
The next session was “WebLogic 12c: What You Need to Know” by Frank Munz. I watched Frank present this session in Colombia earlier in the year. Such this the life of a regular conference goer. 🙂
I was up next with my cloud database session called “It’s raining data! Oracle databases in the cloud“. I sometimes come off a little negative in this session. It’s not that I’m a cloud hater. It’s just that certain aspects of the cloud are not where I want them to be yet. I always advise people to get free trials and try things out for themselves. My issues may not be the same as yours. 🙂
From there I moved on the “Oracle Database Event Streaming 101 – Unlock the value of your data” by Mike Donovan. Kafka is very cool and it is fast becoming part of the plumbing for loads of systems. If only there was more time in the day, so I could play with Kafka…
The last session I went to was Arup Nanda with “Big Data Simplified for Oracle Professionals“. This was an overview of the “history of” and “current state of play of” the technologies used in the big data world, with spin to help Oracle folks understand the concepts. Trying to even put a definition to “big data” is kind-of tough, so I think Arup did a great job of pulling it all together in 45 minutes. 🙂
That was the end of the event and the last of my conferences in New Zealand. 🙁
From there we headed off to a place called “Mexico” to eat. Not surprisingly it was Mexican food. 🙂 It was a really nice way to finish the day! I got a lift back to my hotel, did my washing and fell into a coma for about 8 hours. 🙂
Thanks to everyone at NZOUG for inviting me for another event. Thanks to everyone who came to my sessions. Thanks also to the ACE Program for letting me fly the flag once more!
I’ll be stopping with friends for the next couple of days, so I may drop off the map until the Sydney event. 🙂
Frank and I were on the same flight to Auckland, so we picked up our bags from the conference hotel, then got a taxi to the airport. It was after rush hour and the Wellington traffic seemed incredibly quiet, so there was no problem getting to the airport.
Check in and bag drop for New Zealand Air was all self service. It took me three attempts before it would recognise my flight details, but I got there in the end. From there it was off to the lounge, with me piggy-backing on Frank’s Star Alliance status. We had already eaten, which was a pity because they had a lot of food on offer. We were looking for a seat when we noticed the Dbvisit gang, some of which were on the same flight as us. Happy days!
The flight to Auckland was really quick and pretty uneventful. I barely had time to start my laptop before it was time to shut it down.
We landed and made our way to the baggage claim where we met Francisco, but not my luggage. One of the airport staff went off to see if he could find it, which he did. It had been loaded onto a cart to be sent across to the international terminal. Fortunately Auckland is a pretty small airport, so I got it back really quickly.
From there Francisco drove me to my hotel, then drove himself and Frank back to the conference hotel. I had to stay at a place in the city because all the rooms were taken in the conference hotel. I actually had an apartment in the city. Judging by the people walking in and out there seemed to be lots of workmen staying there. When I got into my place I had great harbour view and a washing machine and dryer. Awesome. 🙂
I went straight to bed, ready for an early start for the Auckland event the next day (today). See you there!
I slept for about 12 hours last night, which was really good news!
I met up with Frank in the hotel lobby, we checked out and took a taxi to the hotel for the NZOUG event in Wellington. Some quick hellos and a couple of coffees, then it was time to start. It was a three track event, so I will only be talking about the sessions I attended.
From there I moved on to “Docker in the Oracle Universe” by Frank Munz. I know virtually nothing about Docker, so this session was pitched perfectly for me. 🙂
The last session I went to was Anton Els with “The Oracle Database 12c Controlfile – A valuable source of information!” Anton was showing the link between the information in the controlfile and datafile headers and how they affected the recovery process. I learned a couple of things which I can now speak about like I always knew them. 🙂
And almost as soon as it started, it was over… 🙂
Thanks to everyone at NZOUG for inviting me and making my short stay fun. Thanks to everyone who came to my sessions. Thanks also to the ACE Program for making this happen for me.
After the event Frank and I went to get some food at The Crab Shack, who fortunately also do vegetarian stuff too, then it was off to the airport for the trip to Auckland…
I got to Birmingham Airport about 2.5 hours early, so I had no drama at the bag check or security. I’ve mentioned a couple of times I’ve been really nervous about this journey. As I waited the nerves started to take their toll and I puked before I got on the plane.
The flight to Dubai was unusually uncomfortable. I think part of that was because I was already really tired before getting on the plane. The more tired I get the more fidgety I get and it just feeds off itself. I didn’t sleep, but I did a little head nodding. I was wearing an Oracle T-shirt and an air steward asked me if I worked for Oracle. Rather than explain everything I just said yes, then sat there feeling annoyed for telling such a stupid lie.
I arrived at Dubai airport and as expected the upgrade didn’t include lounge access. I headed over to the C gates and waited for my flight. Dubai airport is all about shopping and there is very little provision for seating. This is especially true of the area around the C gates. For such a modern airport, the seating arrangements are pretty crappy. I was planning to sleep on the floor, but at the last minute I got a touch of shame and decided to wait until I got onto the plane. Oh yes, I puked again too…
Priority boarding and business class seats rule! I was the first person on the plane and I think I was first person to puke in the plane toilets on that trip. I changed into the joggers and a different T-shirt and managed to get some sleep, but not as much as I wanted.
The flight to Auckland was pretty good. I slept through the first lot of food. When I woke up I got some fruit and some nuts. By the time breakfast came I couldn’t be bothered to eat. The stewardess was freaked out about how little I had eaten during the flight. It’s not like it’s going to kill me. 🙂
I wasn’t issued a ticket to Wellington and I was told to check that my bags were sent straight through. My baggage tag said they would be, but the Emirates staff weren’t sure. I got to Auckland and the “first port of entry” thing meant my bags weren’t really checked through to Wellington. I picked them up and bumped into Frank Munz. We were on the same flight to Wellington, so we checked out bags and he signed me into the Air New Zealand (Star Alliance) lounge. 🙂
The flight to Wellington was really quick. Less than an hour. We picked up our bags and got a taxi to the hotel. I had planned to meet up with Frank to grab some food, but I fell asleep and woke up at midnight, local time. I was then awake for about 2 hours, then slept again for 4 hours until my alarm.
So that’s the trip from Brimingham > Dubai > Auckland > Wellington complete.