Thursday, May 6, 2010

CSI Mitotera Style

My Comadre was a real trooper.  In just three days we saw the major sights featured on the Sydney Explorer, both the red and blue lines.  However, rather than traveling from stop to stop on the double decker bus, we had covered the route by foot.  It was at our final visit to our hotel in Darling Harbour, when Eileen let me know that enough was enough.   She couldn't face the final walk to the train station and/or shared public transportation to the airport.  It was time for a taxi.  In reality the price would be about the same whether we took a taxi or train, since traffic would be light on a Sunday evening.
The Bell Hop called us a cab and within a few minutes we were on our way.  The trip was quick and uneventful, or at least it was until we reached the airport exit. Just past the airport exit the traffic suddenly came to a complete stand still.  The driver attempted a back door operation, but no matter which direction he turned we were greeted with gridlock.  The driver could not provide us with an explanation for the  traffic jam, and he expressed his own frustration in a mother tongue monologue. Fortunately, we had plenty of time with over 4 hours until our flight.  However, many people around us did not have such leeway.  We were surrounded by people jumping from cars, pulling suitcases from the boot, and running down the street.  After about thirty minutes of inching forward we hit a queue escape--a side route that allowed cars to turn around and return in the direction they had just come from.  It was here that our driver announced that our trip with him was over;  we could reach the airport by walking through the parking garage while he made his escape back to the city.
We followed the directions that our driver had provided, but unfortunately we arrived at the wrong terminal.  A smiling lady at the information desk informed us that we could not take the short cut through the breeze way since the second story level of the building  was the scene of an un-discloseable crime.  Once again we were faced with trudging across a parking lot, though we didn't seem to mind as we were busy speculating about the nature of the second-story crime.
When we arrived at our terminal we were sent upstairs to check in.  As we stepped off the escalator we couldn't believe the scene around us.  The center of the terminal was blocked off with tape.  Within the perimeter there were several people investigating a crime scene.  Or at least that is what we assumed, since there were several people wearing jumpers that said Forensic Services.  It was at this point that our interest seriously peaked.  Instead of frantically running to the check-in counter, so we could get out of the danger area as soon as possible, the "mitotera" in us honed in, prompting us to find out what had happened.
We began by taking a seat  as close to the crime scene as possible so that we could assess what lay before us.  We quickly noted that that there were several yellow numbered markers spread across the floor.  Obviously these were of importance, since a number of photographers were busy snapping away.  There was also a  screened off area that hid who knew what from the public's eye.  After a few moments of sitting and observing, we discovered that there were several people checking in at the counter across the hall from us.  From where we stood, it appeared that the location of the other counter provided a better location for checking out the action.  We decided that if we returned back to the ground level and went up the other side we would have a better chance of figuring out what was going on.
Trudging around with suitcases in tow no longer seemed to be an issue and we eagerly jumped to our feet.  When we arrived on the other side of the terminal we found that not only did we have an unobstructed view, but we literally stood just a few meters away from the crime scene.  From our new vantage point, we quickly saw that next to many of the yellow markers there were pools of blood. We now knew that something major had gone down--but we just didn't know what.  I could only hope that if it involved a death, the corpse was long gone.

The strangest part of the whole situation was that no one around us seemed interested.  There were a half dozen people in the check-in line and no one seemed curious about what was going on.  There was no rubber necking, finger pointing, photo snapping or even an explanation when we reached the desk.  The situation began to feel surreal, and I began to think that perhaps a film was being shot or maybe it was the site of a morbid public art exhibit.  Unfortunately, our inquisitive minds never pushed either of us to become extroverted enough to inquire what was going on.  It wasn't until we had checked in and were passing through security that we finally got the full scoop.  
It turns out that just a few hours before our arrival at the Sydney Airport there was a wild brawl between two groups of bikie gang members.  In the fight a man was bludgeoned to death by 15 men wielding the steel bollards that are used to separate passengers waiting to check in.  When we learned the details, we were ecstatic that we had not taken an earlier flight.  However, since the fight began on the "secure" side of security, it once again made me question airport security.  


  1. Good lord - what a lucky break! - would have liked to have been a fly on the wall though!

  2. Wow! I didn't realize you were at the airport when this happened. I remember hearing about it on ABC radio. Great story.

  3. Hi Maya, my goodness what an airport experience to go through. It is kind of interesting that the other people at the counter was so disinterested.

  4. Paddy, for some reason I think if you had been there you wouldn't have been a fly on the wall, but doing your own investigating!

    Marta, it was over a year ago. Being back at the Sydney Airport a couple of weeks ago reminded me of the event.

    Kathy, I was really surprised about how no one else seemed to care. Maybe they aren't as nosy as I am.