April 1

Our journey back to Australia from New York was interesting beginning with the jerks in JFK who wouldn't let us on the plane because we didn't have a return ticket. I tried explaining about our situation and swore that I had permission to re-enter the country and leave by boat - he was belligerent and told me to take my tickets and bags and go to the Aus. consulate and get them to write me a letter! Kate suggested they just let us go to LAX on the first leg and they did. Of course, in LA when we checked in at Qantas (with our luggage which wsan't checked through of course) they didn't bat an eye or ask a question. In fact, we boarded the Qantas flight and were shocked to find our tickets were in Biz class (did they perhaps give us a silent upgrade? Was it related to the Qantas man I spoke with in JFK before boarding the LA flight? Who knows). The flight to Auckland was sheet pleasure. We would glady fly 12 hours any time with giant reclining seats - OH! It was a bulkhead also.

We had a 90min break in Auckland then back on the same plane for the 3hr leg to Brisbane. Unfortunately, this is where things started to go wrong. All of us were completely exhausted (because instead of sleeping in our big, comfy seats we watched movies and played video games the whole way! They had over 10 movies on demand on the little TVs and Jonah played vid. games) and slept for an hour but when Jonah woke up he started puking. We reched for the barf bags in the magazine rack but couldn't find them (they were camoflauged as film developing envelopes with big ads printed on them and prices for developing different size films!).

When we got to baggage claim he totally collapsed and refused to stand. This attracted the attention of Customs agents who swarmed around us offering to alert the EMTs or get more barf bags as he continued to barf 2 more times while waiting for baggage. The 6 duffel bags and 4 pieces of carry on luggage required at least 3 push carts, but we settled for 2 and got the customs people to help push them. Of course, since I was honest on the customs form (about importing food products) we then had to endure a bag search, x-raying (again), and inspectiong of individual jars and bottles of hot sauces, fuel filter canisters and potato latke mix (all of which passed muster as I knew they would being quite familiar with the rules regarding such things in Aus.).

Then we manage to get out of customs and into the terminal and find 10 people waiting on line at Avis so I went to a different counter which was empty and paid double to get a car quickly as Jonah was still unable to stand on his own and the Avis line would have taken 40 minutes! They do not move nearly as fast here as they do in a developed country like ours and we all know how slow they are there so you can imagine how damn slow they are here! Meanwhile, he barfed again in the back seat while we were loading the car with baggage (again, we needed a Range Rover to hold all this luggage, but had only a small 4 door Ford).

He puked again 2 hours after coming home so we took him to the doctor (and were seen immediately - cost, A$35 - and we're not even citizens!). As Kate predicted, she ruled out E-Coli and basically said to keep trying to give him fluids (pedialyte) and bring him back tomorrow if he is not improved. Well, its tomorrow now and Jonah is fine. He woke up at 3am, having slept 12 hours straight and had eggs and toast for breakfast.